It is always a thrill to visit the International Restaurant & Food Service Show In New York. In three action packed days one can get a comprehensive idea of exciting food and beverage trends about to hit the market. Although, I have to admit that, I can only take one day of this 3-day sensory overload. Navigating my way around aisle after aisle of tens of hundreds of vendors, tasting their food & drink samples, conducting short Q&As to learn more about the items that sound noteworthy is an exhausting task. But I always walk away from the show excited to report my findings to you.
This time, I focused on the section featuring emerging trends and the culinary demo theatre. Donatella Arpaia was scheduled to demonstrate her world-famous meatballs recipe and get this… Danny Meyer was coming in for Q&A. What a fascinating man this is. I loved hearing about his life experiences and lessors learned. Both events were worth attending as I got to taste Donatella’s meatballs and while Danny Meyer was being interviewed, his executive chef Dan Jackson (MoMa) prepared for us their iconic dish (on Union Square Cafe menu) Cauliflower Sformato with Black Truffle. YUM!!! Oh! For icing on the cake, all attendees got to take a copy of Danny Meyer’s latest book: Setting The Table. Cool, huh?!!!
So, what new things did I discover, you ask? How about a really delicious pho-broth concentrate by a company called Savory Creations? Can you imagine the possibilities? No need for standing at the stove for hours preening over the broth as it simmers. No, this is weeknights made easy and delicious. Just add water, meat, veggies and noodles of your choice and voila! This product is gluten free, trans-fat-free and msg-free.
I also saw a continuation of past years’ trends focusing on innovative health-conscious goods. There were also a lot of fusions of flavors and cultures. How does Ethiopian Tahini (made of Ethiopian sesame seeds) sound to you?
I got really excited when I happened upon a section called Taste NY – featuring a variety of goods and beverages from the New York region. It was particularly fun to try a variety of spirits and whiskeys produced in the region. Here I also discovered Toma (a well-balanced mix made with tomatillos). This is a company that claims to have ended the pursuit for the perfect Bloody Mary. I happen to agree! 🙂
There were LOTS of teas. Green tea, black tea, chai tea, herbal tea, infused tea… you name it!
Ah! But the one company that made a lasting impression on me was called The Flower Pot Tea Company. A Westchester NY based business entrepreneur sells floral tisanes (herbal teas) and “blooming teas”. The blooming teas are made by “gently infusing green tea leaves with the essence of fruit and wrapping them around delicate dried flowers”. For caffeine-free indulgence, they offer pure flowers in their natural form with floral tisanes. This is a collection of products for a guilt free, spa-like-pampering that is bound to put a smile on your face as you take in the delicate aromas of the steeping liquid…. all the while your senses compelling you to take that first sip and the next…and next….! The teas come from Fujian province of China and flowers come from producers all over China.
It was so exciting to brew my cup of teas at home with the samples I received from the owner Jason. So simple to make… just add hot water! Sipping on this tea on an unusually cold March day – was pure bliss! The Renewing Rosebuds flavor has just deeply touched my heart. It my my favorite flavor in macarons, my favorite fragrance in candles and soaps and lotions…. and oh! to have the flavor in my tea! DIVINE!!!
….. and then I tried the rose flavored tea cake that came in my sample bag. Oh my! I can’t even describe its delicate floral taste and fragrance. Not overly sweet – it was the perfect pairing to the tea I was sipping.
Flower Port Tea Company also sells elegant glassware in which to prepare and serve the tea. I cant’t wait to give a set of these floral teas and glassware to all my friends and family. Shhhh…. don’t tell them and ruin the surprise. 😉
I have to say that the first thing that struck me, as I walked up to this display counter, was my memory of Season 3, Chef’s Table episode on Netflix – featuring the very fascinating monk from Korea. Jeong Kwan is shown brewing a very delicate tea with a fresh flower. Her absolutely meditative movements and reverent tea-making process was simply mesmerizing to watch. I immediately made a mental note to visit that monastery at least once in my lifetime. And if I am lucky enough to get there – I know I have to try that lovely tea brewed by Jeong Kwan. Ah! but until that day comes, I am happy to know that I can always have Flower Pot teas whenever I wish. The product is available online…. and I have great news for you: we can all look forward to this product showing up in our local Fairfield County spas and speciality stores, very soon!
Give it a try! https://flowerpottea.com/