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brusselsproutpuffsEarly this summer I attended the 2018 Fancy Food Show in Manhattan to learn about current and upcoming food trends and sampled so much that I thought I would never want to eat again.

There are many exciting and interesting development food industry this year that consumers will begin to see on the shelves and on their menus. There’s good news for carnivores, vegans, gluten-free’ers, aquaphilics, allergy kids, matcha-lovers, super-food aficionados and more. And the other news is that DeCiccos, Balduccis and Trader Joe’s keep up with these trends and stock these new products. Here are just a few you’’ soon see:

Cauliflower
Although not his most famous quote, Mark Twain did say, “Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.” And boy is that proving to be true a century later. Plant-based food is becoming increasingly popular. Some are calling cauliflower the “next kale” and touting its success as a carbohydrate substitute that’s packed with nutrients. Trader Joe’s has cauliflower-based pizza crust, “rice” and “mashed potatoes” but you’ll even start seeing cauliflower flour used in snacks like pretzels and cheese squares. I detected a cauliflower aftertaste in the pretzels but not so much in the cheese snacks. Apparently, some people are more bothered by this than others, like most foods. I skipped the cauliflower ice cream (in favor of the chocolate and cheese aisles). Other vegetables like brussel sprouts and broccoli are also being “hidden” in snacks, most often in powder form. Interestingly, many snacks have the hidden vegetable name and/or picture on the package. I’m not sure about your kids but if mine saw a package of potato chips with a giant broccoli on the packaging, they’d be like “hell no.”

Superfoodsfoodfocus
Superfoods are upping their game in a big way. Superfoods don’t have an exact definition, but are essentially any food packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals or collagen, or foods like broccoli and wild salmon that are nutritiously superior to other foods. It seems to be a marketing “bling word” these days. Newer to the food industry is giving consumers the ability to make their regular ol’ plain foods into superfoods. For example, you can turn a simple cup of H20 into a superfood by dumping a packet of (purported) “superfood boost” into it. Forget the kale salad for lunch, just toss a packet of Navitas daily boost into your food or drink. There are options called “detox,” “Focus” and “immunity.” I need all three of these but don’t know if they can be used concomitantly. I also saw “brain oil” and “collagen fuel” but there were no IQ tests being given nor dermatologists around to confirm their efficacy.

Upcycled Foods
Manufacturers have gotten waste savvy and are testing new products that were once seen as byproducts of manufacturing but are now being repurposed into a marketable food product. For example, RIND snacks uses the whole fruit, rind and all, hence the name. I found their fruit products to be remarkably palatable. Salmon skin is being turned into crackers and shells of hempseeds are being used in granola bars.

The Coconut
Coconut everything. It’s not new, but the coconut is still trending in foods, drinks and of course beauty products. Coconut water is now available using king coconuts which are mainly harvested in Sri Lanka. As a natural beverage, coconut and particularly king coconut water provides the imbiber with a vitamin and mineral-heavy refresher of a drink. Also popular is carbonated coconut water like Jax Coco. Coconut continues to be a fashionable ingredient in food from granola to energy bars and everything in between.

Nuts. No Nuts. Nuts. No Nuts.
Nuts remain prominent in foods like chocolate and energy/nutrition bars. Nuts are being seasoned in unique ways and marketed as healthy snacks. Furthermore, they’re being packaged creatively for on-the-go snacking.

Seemingly newer to the market is the response to the demand for allergen-free snacks. Between the increase in allergies in kids and school rules to accommodate these allergies, parents need to find snacks that are tree nut free, peanut free, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, for example. Specialty food manufacturers are packaging numerous alternatives to popular children’s snacks that are safe for schools and safe for kids with food allergies. Expect to see more of this on your grocery store shelves this year.

Also look for nut-based milk as well as nut-based cheese and butter.

Water and Other Drinks
It’s interesting to see water take off since it is virtually free and ubiquitous. But we Americans love our fancy water! There’s oxygen-enhanced water, pH balanced water, alkaline water, electrolyte water, mineral water, engineered sparkling water, natural sparkling water, enhanced sparkling water (pro-biotic, flavored, etc.), and plenty of Artesian water from places as far away as India. When I was in India, most of the people I went with got sick from drinking the water but that hasn’t hindered the demand for Indian Artesian water. Artesian water is produced from an aquifer under layers of rock and clay. Water from a confined artesian aquifer is marketed as being “more pure” than other water. Though the EPA doesn’t support this claim, those who have discovered a taste for artesian water swear by it.

There were quite a few kombucha exhibitors at the Fancy Food Show with many new, interesting flavors. Kombucha is a fermented tea made using SCOBY, or a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. A kombucha maker will tell you that there are numerous health benefits from drinking kombucha (daily) but these claims have not been scientifically verified. Regardless, kombucha is now a $400+ million-dollar market.

foodminichipsMatcha everything
Matcha has become so popular among its ever-increasing fan base that there are now companies that manufacture only matcha-based products. Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder and contains polyphenols which some studies show may boost metabolism. It also contains powerful antioxidants. Matcha is now being added to drinks like lemonade for better taste while still getting potential benefits from matcha powder.

The beverage industry is growing faster than the food industry and the sparkling beverage industry is the fastest growing within the drinks category.

A Bug’s Life (or Lack Thereof)
My mom loves to tell the story of her most badass moment as a teenager- ordering chocolate covered ants and getting her brothers to eat them. As a self-proclaimed insectophobe, I knew it would be fun to lure her into eating a sample of green ant-covered goat cheese from Australia. (It was fun, after I got over the momentary guilt of watching her face turn pale after she learned she ate a green ant.) I ate it too and frankly, it was delicious.

Insects are packed with protein, iron, b12 and other vitamins; they’re low in fat; they are better for the environment than animals raised for their meat. They eat less and they poop less than farm animals and their poop (called frass) makes an excellent organic fertilizer. There are over 1,700 of varieties of edible insects.

Americans have not taken well to the idea of eating insects though 80% of the world enjoys them. I’ve tried mealy worms and whole crickets (as ice cream toppings). I can’t say I loved the whole cricket because it was dry and powdery. But companies such as Crickstart are using cricket powder in products like energy bars and crackers and there’s no “insect taste.” Like boogery kombucha, cricket powder may just be something that people need to get used to. In Cambodia I had the opportunity to try fried tarantula, a common Khmer dish, but that’s where I drew the line.

Snackin’ Meatsfoodjerky
Jerky in all forms was all over the Fancy Food show. The most unique was Pan’s Mushroom Jerky that was unbelievably delicious. Traditional beef jerky is still popular but is now available in “super premium” filet mignon or other fancier cuts of meat. Salmon, buffalo and pork are being used as jerky meats and chicken is being made into “meat bars” by Epic. South African style dried meats are gaining popularity in the U.S. such as biltong (air-dried, cured meat) and Droewors (a coriander-seed spiced dried sausage). I enjoyed the biltong as it is much less salty and moist than jerky.

Have you seen any of these new foods while grocery shopping this summer? Are there other new products we should try? Most importantly, would you eat crickets? Please share in the comments section below.

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Bango Bowls 3Though the streets of Scarsdale are bit quieter than usual, Harwood Court is hopping thanks to the new hot spot Bango Bowls, which opened in June and has instantly won a flock of loyal customers who are raving about the oatmeal, acai and poke bowls.

I have to admit I was slow to the party. I had no idea what acai was and even more embarrassing, I did not know how to pronounce it. But after my pilates class this morning, before the crowd descended on Bango Bowls, I decided to venture in. And now that I’ve tasted this new sensation, I am sure it will become a habit. It’s no wonder why so many people are hanging out on the sidewalk.

First the acai. At Bango Bowls, they take frozen acai berries and combine them with several fruits to make their proprietary blend, which is something like a sorbet. Pronounced ah-sigh-EE, these berries are found on palm trees in the Brazilian rainforest and are said to be packed with vitamins and nutrients including antioxidants, fiber, calcium and omega fatty acids. I feel healthier just writing about them!

The signature Bango Bowl is a few scoops of acai, topped with strawberries, blueberries, bananas and granola, sprinkled with coconut flakes and drizzled with honey. I bought the small eight-ounce for $6.00, which my server said was 280 calories, but it tasted like 1,000.

While customers can choose between the signature Bango Bowl or The Pink Dragon bowl, a bowl with a base of pitaya, banana and apple then topped with vanilla nut granola, pineapple, strawberries, banana, coconut and drizzled with honey, there are also an abundance of granolas and toppings to customize their own bowls. A pitaya bowl is prepared the same way as acai except it uses frozen, diced dragon fruit instead of acai berries.

Bango Bowls 2Another big hit at Bango Bowls is the selection of Poke Bowls. Poke (pronounce po-kay) is traditionally a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine but has recently become a popular dish for lunch or dinner here - and Bango Bowls has certainly gotten on board. They offer a selection of signature poke bowls which can also be customized to your taste.

Bango Bowls makes it even easier to order Poke Bowls by supplying laminated menus and expo markers. For the base of the bowl you can choose from brown rice, white rice, kale crunch, or quinoa. Then, for protein, select from marinated ahi tuna, marinated salmon, naked (not marinated) ahi tuna or naked salmon. The first protein is included and each extra is $3.00. For the toppings, pick three from from along list, and add extras for just $0.50 more. You can also select a premium topping which includes avocado pulp, seaweed salad, mango, or crab salad, any additional premium topping is $1.00. Finally, you can choose from a selection of sauces to either get on the side or mixed in.

Bango Bowls 1I like the Bango Big Eye bowl with brown rice which includes marinated ahi tuna, cucumbers, edamame, seaweek salad, sweet onions, crispy onions, avocado poblano sauce and soy sauce and it usually runs about $12.50 for a regular size.

For breakfast, the oatmeal is delicious. They recommend the Holy Hamptons, which is steelcut oatmeal topped with peanut butter, bananas, coconut, and chocolate chips.

You can top the steelcut oatmeal with healthy options like fruits and seeds. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, go for the nutella, cookie butter, marshmallows, or chocolate chips and breakfast will taste more like dessert.

Bango Bowls 4Not that hungry? Bango Bowls also offers several signature smoothies and coffee. Whether you're looking for a full meal or just a small snack, each bowl comes in a variety of sizes and can satisfy any cravings.

Bango Bowls
16 Harwood Court
Scarsdale, NY

(914) 725-0555
7am - 8pm daily

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fireworks 4Independence Day festivities started early for Scarsdale residents this year. On Monday, July 2nd, thousands of community members of all ages gathered with friends and family at the Scarsdale Pool to watch the annual, beloved fireworks show. While the fireworks started at 9:15 pm, many residents arrived earlier to listen to the Westchester Band perform. When the fireworks began, some chose to get up close and view the show from the pool and others brought lawn chairs and blankets to watch the fireworks from Crossway and Boulder Brook fields. The sky was illuminated and the sound thunderous as people celebrated 242 years of independence.fireworks 1fireworks 2
fireworks 3

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Marilyn cake 2Lulu¹s of Scarsdale was recently called on to create the centerfold for this year¹s Edible Hudson Valley #Foodporn themed edition. Never short on creativity, they created a human-sized, nude, Marilyn Monroe cake.

The bakers pulled out all the stops to create this masterpiece to be featured in the magazine's centerfold. The life-sized cake is a life size 5’5” tall and weighs in at roughly 150 pounds.

To make the cake look realistic, the vanilla cake with mascarpone filling is decked out with white chocolate and marzipan. Just like the iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe, the cake features a luscious red curtain, made entirely out of fondant. For the finishing touch, the cake is covered in confetti sprinkles, adding a hint of fun to the already glamorous desert. It took 14 hours for cake designers Lily Pare and Jay Muse to bring Marilyn alive in cake form. The best part is that the cake was completely edible and it was served at the Fancy Food Show in New York.

See more about this creation featured in the Daily Mail here.

Serena Williams Wedding CakeEarlier this year, tennis star Serena Williams retained Lulu’s to create her wedding cake which was only partially unveiled in an edition of British Vogue. Since the wedding was in New Orleans, Lulu’s had to hire someone to drive the cake down to the wedding site to ensure the cake arrived with no damage. And when, like many newlyweds, Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian found that they forgot to taste it, they asked Lulu¹s to create a replica that the couple shared five months after the wedding.

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tennisThe Scarsdale Summer Youth Tennis League is now registering players for their 34th season. The league is organized by the New York Junior Tennis and Learning Scarsdale Chapter and the Scarsdale Recreation Department for boys and girls between the ages 6 and 18.

The program begins on Tuesday, July 10 at the Scarsdale Middle School Tennis Courts on weekday evenings from 6 to 8 PM for four weeks and the fee is just $50.

This program offers up to 32 hours of tennis in round robin matches for all skill levels :beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced. Every player receives a participation trophy and a Scarsdale NYJTL tee-shirt . The program concludes with a tennis tournament and pizza and ice cream party. Players can pick their evenings and play for one or two hours.

Contact Bob Harrison, League Director at 914 646-4054 (cell) or by email at proscars@aol.com. Applications can be picked up at the Recreation Department at Village Hall or printed at the Village website at www.scarsdale.com/recreation or from Mr. Harrison's email.

Sign up your kids today to enjoy the Scarsdale Summer Youth Tennis League this summer.

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