I Know What You Ate Last Summer: Fancy Food Show NYC

Remember those old Crazy Eddie commercials they used to show in New York where Eddie would shout “It’s Christmas in July!!!” and then he’d try to sell you a cheap TV?  Well, for a few days in June, and one in July, it really was Christmas for foodies and food industry professionals right here in New York City at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Held at the gargantuan Javits Center, it encompassed three massive floors; that’s 10 miles of food stands, to you and me, folks. A veritable Food Walk-a-Thon, a Food-a-Thon, if you will.  I used to do the 20 mile March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon annually, so I can tell you that I was just as achy and sore and unable to walk after this.

Oh, but it hurt so good.

One room full of miscellaneous goodies.  One of regional cuisine and one of International delights.

Our fearless leader, Lin Randolph treated her Alecia Bakery NYC crew to day passes for this most awesome of foodie spectacles, which began at 10 am.  No need for breakfast. Hell, I didn’t even have coffee before I got there.  We dove right in, and there was coffee — oh, there was coffee.  There was tea. I got caffeinated up like a college student with one day to study for every exam.

My first foray into food heaven was the most creamy, decadent chocolate truffle I have ever had, followed by pastry, followed by gelato, then a Korean salad, seaweed chips, more chocolate, more chocolate and, well…you get the idea.  It was a breakfast-lunch-dinner-and-various-assorted-snacks smorgasbord that, while leaving the stomach in a bit of a what-the-hell stupor, was wondrous all the same.

You know those glorious supermarket salad/olive bars you only wish you could sidle up to with a tooth pick and an empty stomach? Well, you can here!  Massive displays filled with assorted stuffed olives, grape leaves, artichoke hearts, cheeses, and peppers – also stuffed with cheese.

Did someone say cheese? Oh, lordy yes! Oh, there was cheese.  If you were Kramer from Seinfeld, you’d be saying “Oh there was cheese, Jerry!”  I said to my husband Kevin “I haven’t seen goat cheese yet.” Literally 10 seconds later, I was savoring goat cheese on a toasted round.  There was enough cheese to choke a Wisconsonian.  Is that what you call them?

Chocolate. I overheard one guy say “Okay. I’m done with the chocolate.”  And usually I wouldn’t be able to understand that concept. But I found myself having to take short (key word: short) chocolate breaks in order to conserve my considerable eating abilities so I wouldn’t peak too early.  It’s all about pacing, people.  This is an Olympic Sport.  The chocolate was insanely good and came in all forms: truffles, chocolate bark, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, nutella on bananas, chocolate chips, baking chocolate, gelato, ice cream, coffee, hot chocolate.

Heaven.

“Oh, but I wish I had a beer to wash it all down”, lamented my husband.  Not a problem. Indian Pale Ale was being served in the India section of the International floor.

Pasta, quesadillas, gourmet lollipops, kimchee, beer jerky, whiskey fudge!!!, what one man proclaimed were “The World’s Best Gummy Bears” (though I dunno…the texture had a little too much give to it. I like my gummy bears to put up a little more of a fight. I like ’em to scream for mercy.), why, there was even a guy dressed as an elf handing out sparkling water as Santa himself looked on. What did I tell ya’ ’bout Christmas?

Suffice it to say, this was one for the ages. I will tell my grandchildren about it. And if I don’t succumb to Type 2 Diabetes, I’ll tell my children’s children about the time Grandma & Grandpa ate their way through three floors of the Javits center; one of the best things they’d done — like ever.  Oh yeah kids, you can have your Disney World.  This was my Disney World.  And if there has to be a rodent involved ala Mickey, then I appoint Ratatouille.  

But if I go next year, I’ll train first. Does anybody have the number of that guy who won this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest?

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