Greece was among the countries displaying products at the Specialty Food Association 66th Summer Fancy Food Show, June 12-14 at the Javits Center in New York City. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
NEW YORK – The Specialty Food Association (SFA) 66th Summer Fancy Food Show took place June 12-14 at the Javits Center in New York City with an impressive array of foods and beverages from around the world for attendees to sample. The SFA’s mission is “to champion, nurture and connect members to deliver innovative products and expand consumption of specialty foods,” and as always this well-organized show impressed attendees and exhibitors alike who were all grateful to see the event back in person after pausing for nearly three years due to the pandemic.
This year’s partner country was Italy with what seemed like their whole country in attendance, featuring all the well-known Italian products including everything from pasta and cheeses to panettone and gelato.
Once again, Greece and its high quality products were highlights of the show, with organic products such as extra virgin olive oil, olives, feta, teas, honey, and wines among the many items attendees could sample. The section devoted to Greece, organized by Enterprise Greece, included well-known Greek products and brands as well as prepared foods and gourmet foods like Trikalinos grey mullet bottarga- salted, cured fish roe, Avgotaraho in Greek, a delicacy since ancient times, offering attendees a unique taste experience plus the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Lila Kourti, chief of the export department at Trikalinos, noted the health benefits and the high nutritional value as she shared samples of the bottarga, and pointed out the company’s other products- grey mullet bottarga powder, sea salt, sardine fillets, anchovy fillets, and fleur de sel, among others. She also noted the recipes available on the company’s website: https://trikalinos.gr/recipes/.
Mella Botanica offered attendees a taste of two delightful varieties of Greek organic honey, one from wild herbs and conifers and the second a forest honey.
Nikolopoulos Estate CEO Stavros Nikolopoulos and his son Panagiotis were among the Greek exhibitors highlighting family-owned businesses along with great products such as the Kalamata-based company’s organic olive oil, olives, and sun-dried figs.
Also from a family-run company, Tzivani Wines Vice President Chrissie Tzivani participated along with her son John Tzivanis, the company’s Sales Manager, bringing with them exceptional organic wines, including their Kyklos Red Selection and the 1000 Nights Syrah as well as white wines, the Chrysi Malagouzia and their 8 Winds made from the Athiri grape, one of the most ancient Greek varieties.
Sparta Gourmet’s booth featured the company’s award-winning extra virgin olive oils as well as olives, olive paste and vinegars.
Ophellia, based in Heraklion, Crete, offers organic extra virgin olive oil, jarred olives, vinegar, and jams made with 85% fruit among their products.
Dimitrios Zapranis of Menikio Dairy which produces organic cheeses, including feta which won the Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2021-22, goat milk yogurt and kefir, spoke to The National Herald about his time at the food show, noting it was a positive experience though he did wonder how attendees decide where to begin with so many exhibitors in the huge Javits Center.
When asked how the three-day food show went this year, all the exhibitors praised the SFA’s efforts and all were happy to once again participate in an in-person event as so much of the food industry relies on person to person interaction.
Also exhibiting at the food show was Kontos with its famous pita bread and other items displayed in a charming booth designed to resemble a classic Greek taverna.
Loumidis Foods showcased its wide selection of Greek products, including everything from coffee, cheeses and pasta to prepared foods and desserts along with the well-known brands Misko, Loux, and Agrino, among others.
Celebrity Chef Maria Loi exhibited her line of Greek products which continues to expand and is available everywhere. Attendees flocked to the Loi booth for a sample of her famous baklava made with olive oil.
The Cyprus Embassy Trade Center’s pavilion featured a range of Cypriot specialty food products such as soutsoukos (grape rolls), Paphian gum, pomegranate juice, red and white wine vinegars, balsamic vinegars, apple cider vinegars, teas, herbs and spices, olive oils, frozen pastries, carob syrups, carob chocolates, tachini, halva and a variety of natural bee honey spreads with flavors and organic herb extracts. In addition, there was a variety of Cyprus cheeses such as Halloumi, Kaskavali, Kefalotiri, and Anari to enjoy.
Among the Sofi Award winners was 776 Deluxe Greek Mastic Honey, a raw honey with a dash of oil of Chios mastiha, which won gold in the Sweeteners category. Greek-American Katerina Mountanos’ company Kosterina won gold in the Vinegars category for its Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. In the Yogurt & Kefir category, Yips Greek Yogurt Chips, won gold for founder Erin Vranas whose husband Dimitri Vranas is of Greek descent. They co-own the Parthenon Gyros restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin.
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