I am honored to host a giveaway for my FAVORITE North Fork event: the 10th Annual North Fork Foodie Tour. This will be my second time at the event, and I am so excited to once again explore the generous bounty of the North Fork, stretching from Riverhead to East Marion. This self-guided, family friendly tour includes educational and edible activities, exclusive tours, goat milking, tastings, and more! About twenty vendors are scheduled to attend including Browder’s Birds and North Fork Roasting Company.
I cannot express enough how much I am enthralled with TerraNut. As a fitness trainer, I need to keep my energy level at its peak throughout most of the day while teaching at local boutique studios. Their P’Nut Punch is my favorite of their cold-pressed nut snacks; I keep these handy in my purse and always look forward to them post workout.
I was delighted to hear of their new products that were launched last month, including their Banana Punch individual morsels, and New Pop no skin popcorn that is non-GMO and gluten-free.
After I experienced a true treat attending my second Summer Fancy Food Show, I dove deep into learning all about the specialty food industry. Did you know that specialty food, defined as unique and high-value foodstuff made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients, is a rapidly growing market and yields over 100 billion dollars annually? According to The State of the Specialty Food Industry 2015, the fastest growing categories include pasta, pasta sauces, nut butters, and ready-to-drink tea and coffee.
I am looking forward to attending the 2016 show in Manhattan to discover even more food brands and innovative approaches to culinary products. In the mean time, let’s jump back to 2015 to read about my ten favorite Specialty Food items.
On Sunday, November 15th, my husband, daughter, and I attended the first annual Chocolate & Sweets FantaSEA Fest at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center. The chocolate tasting event was included with our aquarium general admission pass. Whoever said undersea life and chocolate do not mix must be mistaken! Nearly everything pairs perfectly with chocolate and the location couldn’t have been better. While my husband and I were tasting fudge, truffles, chocolate sauce, honey, jams, and more, my daughter was entranced with the fish, seals, sharks, sea stars, and more.
I was lucky to have discovered a few new (and old) confectionery and specialty food businesses on Long Island! With about forty participating vendors, we discovered tons of gift ideas for family and friends. It is never to early to get a head start on your holiday shopping, as I tend to start in early November. Below is a selection of my favorite chocolate and sweet tastings at the event. Prepare for an intense sugar craving!
Jams and jellies are a favorite gift to give (and receive) during the holiday season. Of course, it couldn’t get any better than hand crafted, small batch fruit preserves made from local East End ingredients. Melissa Sabbatino made the decision to start Peconic River Preserves in 2015, two years after she moved home from Boston.
While she did enjoy working as a public accountant in Boston, she chose to focus on her personal business venture that drew upon skills she learned and grew up with as a child. “My mom taught me how to make jam,” explains Sabbatino. “I grew up in a farming and fishing family, and was taught how to bake and cook at any early age. My dad grew up as a bayman, and we always had high quality local produce and seafood. Cooking was a family tradition.”