One Tasty Summer: Fancy Food Show Offers Tasty, Unconventional Treats

Treats include sausages, cheeses, and bacon-flavored microwaveable popcorn.

June 30, 2010 — -- It's summer, and that means sun, fun and good eats.

But if you've got a hankering for more than just hot dogs and barbecue, we've got a treat for you. Take your palate from blah to wow with some of the sumptuous treats that were showcased at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Organized by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, the 56th annual summer food show was held at the Jacob Javis Convention Center in New York City.

More than 2,500 exhibitors from 81 nations gathered from Sunday through Tuesday to display more than 180,000 specialty foods -- among them cheeses, coffees, spices, ethnic, natural and organic products.

"Good Morning America's" food editor Sara Moulton scoured the seven acres of exhibits at the show. Moulton, a TV chef and author, appeared today on the show to talk about the top trends, which included gluten-free, fair trade and flavors from India.

Bacon-flavored popcorn: Yes, you read that right. It's J&D's Bacon Pop, a microwaveable popcorn flavored with bacon. It's brought to you from the guys who introduced bacon-flavored mayonnaise and bacon-flavored salt.

Great American cheeses: If you hate blue cheese or goat cheese, prepare to change your mind. Bijou cheese is an aged goat cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery. Made in the French style, this cheese has a nutty, buttery flavor and tastes great melted on a baguette.

Then there's the cheese with the colorful name: Caveman Blue. From the Rogue Creamery in Oregon, this cheese has a hint of butterscotch flavor, and it's sweet and fruity.

Tasty smoked meats: Vermont Smoke and Cure, a small company that's been around for 45 years, makes smoked pepperoni and summer sausage from local beef and pork that's been raised free of additives and antibiotics. The pepperoni is spicy -- not oily -- and delicious.

Pumpkin and squash flavors: One of the big flavor trends this year is to flavor foods with pumpkin or squash. Frontera's Pumpkin Salsa won't be out until the fall, but it has tomatillos, roasted chiles and pumpkin, and it's loaded with flavor.

Dig into the salsa with Laurel Hill's nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips, which are billed as the chip of the future. Laurel Hill claims this chip won't leave any of the cheese powder on your fingers, and when we tested it, our fingers stayed powder-free. These chips won't be available until September.

Rick's Picks "Hotties": Rick's Picks pickles everything from okra to beets to green beans, and this year, they've gone for the cucumber pickle, taking it and infusing it with a spicy sriracha flavor with a habanero kick! That's hot.

Hybrid Fruit: Melissa's Produce always comes up with some unconventional ideas for combining fruit. This time it's the organic sherbet melon, which from the outside resembles a honeydew but on the inside it looks -- and tastes -- both like a honeydew and a cantaloupe. The melons are available at through the Melissa's Produce website and from retailers nationwide, and they're in season from May to early July.

Drinkable chocolate: Mmmm. Dagoba Chai hot chocolate is the first ever organic chai drinking chocolate. Indian flavors were popular at this year's show and chai has long been a popular beverage in India and southeast Asia. This drink combines the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and peppercorn.

And for some fun, how about the hot chocolate sticks from Choc-o-lait. They're wooden sticks with 100 percent Belgian chocolate, and they come in nine decadent flavors.

Flavored Teas: If you're not a coffee-drinker, there are some exciting flavors of tea that are perfect for various seasons of the year. The Republic of Tea's new flavors included hibiscus key lime tea – lime was another flavor trend; blackcurrant cardamom, a great combination in a base of raw green bush, so it's better for you than red tea; and sea buckthorne, a superberry that's native to the shores of the northern Baltic. This tea combines the buckthorne with green tea , and has a creamsicle flavor.

Goat candy: Happy Goat candy is a batch of are soft caramels made from 100 percent goat's milk. The goats are free-range, and are hormone- and antibiotic-free, and this is may be good for those who are lactose-intolerant.

FunkyChunky: FunkyChunky happens when you can't decide on popcorn, potato chips, caramel or chocolate – so you throw them all together, and voila! Our personal favorite was the chip-zel-pop.

Waffles: Belgian waffles from Julian Waffles are made with caramelized sugar. They are so good that you don't need butter or syrup. They come in four flavors, just pop them in the toaster.

Web-extra Fancy Food

Umami Paste: We've got sweet, sour, salty and bitter, but Umami is billed as the "fifth taste," and Laura Santtini's Taste No. 5 Umami paste bring it to you. Umami reportedly unlocks a new a new level of pleasure in the brain.

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