Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kosherfest, Day 1 - Recon

OK, so Day 1 of Kosherfest 2015 is history. Besides the traffic and looking for parking (I'm leaving early tomorrow), it was a very good day. Here's a basic rundown of the worthwhile mentions.

But before I get to that, let me just say that Kosherfest really encompasses the entirety of kosher food today. From artisan breads to restaurant equipment, there's something for everyone in every niche of the industry. With that in mind, and in keeping within the boundaries of what I would like this blog to be, I am only going to focus on products that can either be used at home to make high-quality, foodie-style food or that actually IS foodie style food. That means that I'm not going to tell you what the re-heated frozen pizza tasted like (I actually didn't even have any), nor will I delve into the minutia of food distribution. This is all about good, high-quality food. Alright, the disclaimer is over; onto the rundown:

Malka Israeli Craft Beers - These craft beers from Israel (and, as I understand it, the only such beers you can get in America) are fantastic. The stout was really great but so were the blond ale (nice orange and coriander in the background) and the IPA. I hope to see this stuff on supermarket shelves soon. 

Pallini Limoncello - Apparently, this stuff is made with a very low-acid type of lemon (you can read more about that on their site) and so it is sweet and not tart. Personally, I like things with lemon to have some acidity but this was still quite  delicious. Other than cocktails, I'm not sure what I'd use it in. Maybe a sorbet or to flavor some cream like in a a tiramisu. Any suggestions, folks?

La Rustichella Truffle Products - Fresh truffles are usually expensive and hard to come by. Truffle products like truffle oil and truffle butter need a hechsher so they're not widely available. So it was refreshing to see this line of products with a hechsher. I had the white truffle pate and black truffle pate which are kind of like truffle spreads. They both tasted great. This would be really incredible just as it is on toast or challah. But I would like to try and get some to use for something a little more interesting. A pasta sauce? A risotto? Give me any other suggestions if you have any.

The nice people at KoKo Kosher Korean Foods
Authentic Korean Foods - OK, this was probably the most interesting line of products that I think has some really good application. I am looking forward to learning more about Korean cuisine. I know I'll be using the Gochujang! Maybe in a bibimbap. I just gotta say, I'm not really a kimchi guy. It was nice and spicy, though, which made it decent.

The Cheese Guy Cheeses and Jams - I've always liked this brand of cheeses. I found out they also make jams - which are also really very good. For me, the star was the sheep's milk Mancheli. Incredibly flavorful. Rich. Smooth. Excellent.

Speaking of cheeses, there were at least two purveyors of real Parmigiano Reggiano. For those who don't know, it is the highest quality Parmesan cheese out there. It has to be certified by an official Italian group responsible for stuff like this (and it must be produced in Italy) so it's especially hard to get in kosher form. I can't wait to see this stuff in stores.

Par-baked Artisanal Breads by Table d'Hote - This was a nice and interesting product. It's artisanal bread that's par-baked. You take it home and finish baking it. The results are quite good. I took home a small ciabatta loaf and within 10 minutes of preheating the oven, I had a great loaf of bread. Don't get me wrong, I am a big advocate of making bread from scratch at home. It's not hard and the results are incredible. But we all know that sometimes you don't have time for that. More likely, you're too lazy. So this is a really good option. Not sure what the price will be on these but it's a good product. My wife liked it also.

OK. I have to go to bed so I'll have to leave some of the products for tomorrow's wrap-up. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Recipes you want to see (there was some really good honey I tasted today that gave me the idea for a honey marshmallow)? Let me know.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Kosherfest 2015

As you know, I've been AWOL for a while, but I figure if anything's going to push me to restart things on this blog, Kosherfest is just the thing to do it. I hope to have some new recipes up soon as well, but for now we'll start things off tomorrow from Kosherfest with some live-blogging and live-tweeting (@HeimishChef).

I'm looking forward to networking with people and sampling different products to use in future recipes on the blog. Although kosher food has come a long way in the last few years, I'm hoping to see some new things I've been begging for (fish sauce, bonito flakes, squeeze tube of tomato paste, maybe?) for a while.

Speaking of new things, I just want to clarify that one of the goals I have for this blog is to introduce more people to the whole foodie thing. So if any of you have a comment or question related to anything food, or if you want to see something specific, please comment or tweet me.

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