Moonstruck Chocolate Co. welcomes fall with new collections inspired by warm autumn hues and rich flavors. Whether preparing for ghoulish Halloween festivities, a resplendent Thanksgiving table or simply celebrating the changing seasons, including handcrafted Moonstruck Chocolates in the mix steeps the senses in quintessential autumn experiences.
“With the changing of the seasons, we look to the bounty of the Northwest and highlight the flavors that are prevalent in markets, on kitchen tables, and at favorite local restaurants and watering holes,” explains Julian Rose, Master Chocolatier for Moonstruck. “Our fall collections feature spicy, nutty and syrupy notes that conjure memories of old favorites like pumpkin and pecan pies and gingerbread, but we think chocolate lovers also will find new favorites to enjoy.”
Pumpkin Patch Collection
Ideal for an autumn gift bag or place setting, the four-piece Pumpkin Patch Collection offers perfectly molded pumpkins that look almost too good to eat. Filled with velvety pumpkin spice milk chocolate and dark chocolate ganache and enrobed in ivory chocolate tinted naturally with orange, the pumpkins are hand-finished and two are dusted with sugar for a sparkly, textured delight. Suggested retail price is $10.
Monster Mash Collection
This frightfully fabulous collection features the artistry of Chef Rose, who hand-carved the clay originals from which confection molds were cast. It’s no trick; each treat is decorated by hand, and no two monsters are exactly alike. Familiar combinations are captured in milk and ivory chocolate shells, including caramelized tones in the Crème Brulèe Werewolf Truffle, nutty goodness in the Peanut Butter Ghost Truffle, deep citrus in the Blood Orange Devil Truffle, and crunchy Oregon hazelnuts and popping candy in the Popping Praline Mummy Truffle. Suggested retail price is $10.
Spooky Spider Collection
Moonstruck’s classic bow-tied truffles get a creepy crawly makeover as Creepy Orange Spider Truffles and Milk Chocolate Spider Truffles. The collection includes three truffles draped with orange spiders guarding a rich, extra-bittersweet dark chocolate ganache within. Two milk chocolate ganache truffles are embellish with foreboding dark chocolate spiders. Suggested retail price is $10.
Flavors of Fall Collection
Capture the best flavors of fall with this six-piece collection, released just in time to lend warmth and comfort to cooler autumn days. Stunning seasonal motifs of foliage, nuts and pies hint at the unique combinations within. The popular confections include a Maple Walnut Mousse Truffle, Pfeffernüsse Spice Truffle, Pumpkin Pie Truffle, Pecan Pie Truffle, Harvest Almond Praline and Plantation Molasses Caramel. Suggested retail price is $13.50.
New Milk Chocolate Tumbled Gingerbread Hazelnuts
Oregon hazelnuts get an extra kick from gingerbread spices before being tumbled with layer upon layer of premium chocolate. These small bites pack big and complex flavor, revealing notes of ginger and cinnamon followed by a toasty crunch under signature milk chocolate. Suggested retail price is $5.
Special Treats and Wrapped Collections
For a hauntingly sweet gesture, give Moonstruck’s 10-piece Haunted House Collection. Boxed in a chilling coffin-shaped haunted house, the collection includes one of each of Moonstruck’s Halloween-themed truffles, including all four Monster Mash truffles, both pumpkin truffles, both spider truffles, as well as a Frankenstein Toffee Truffle and an Extra-Bittersweet Black Cat Truffle. Suggested retail price is $25.
With fall comes the great pumpkin, and Moonstruck offers two. Satisfy chocolate and peanut butter cravings with a Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Pumpkin, or take a walk on the dark side with a Dark Chocolate Rocky Road Pumpkin. At 110 grams a piece, pumpkins are available for a suggested price of $7.50.
Moonstruck offers its signature truffles specially wrapped in seasonally-inspired paper ideal for any gift-giving occasion. The suggested retail price is $20 for the nine-piece collection and $35 for the 16-piece box.
Finally, now is the time to find Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bark. A superb balance of sweet and salty, this decadent dark chocolate incorporates roasted almonds and Maldon sea salt flakes for a satisfying crunch. Available in one-pound boxes for a suggested price of $25.
Moonstruck Chocolate’s autumn collections are available online at www.moonstruckchocolate.com, at select national retailers, in four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon and at the St. John’s store in North Portland. For more information, call 800.557.6666.
Castleton Crackers “Governor’s Cheddar” has won the 2014 sofi™ Award for Outstanding Cracker from the Specialty Food Association. A sofi is the top honor in the $88.3 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.
Governor’s Cheddar Crackers was one of 125 finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from a record-setting 2,737 entries across 32 awards categories including Outstanding Chocolate, Cheese, and Snack Food. Winners were announced June 30, 2014 by internationally-acclaimed Chef Dominique Ansel at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
“I was honored that my Governor’s Cheddar Crackers were nominated, but when I saw the winning picture of my crackers on the big screen it was an amazing feeling,” said Whitney Lamy, founder of Castleton Crackers. “To know that retailers and food service buyers vote for the Gold winners right here at the Summer Fancy Food Show makes this award even more valuable. This is a delicious combination of Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company’s award-winning Governor’s Cheddar cheese and my artisan cracker recipe,” says Lamy. Lamy’s complete Castleton Cracker line is sold at grocery and specialty stores throughout the country and online at castletoncrackers.com.
It’s super food, super fast, and it’s bringing mod to mornings. Innovative Beverage Concepts Inc. has launched MODERN OATS, an all-natural, gluten-free oatmeal option for today’s discerning consumer. The convenient new grab-and-go oatmeal cups are packed with whole rolled oats and healthful blends of superfruits, nuts and seeds, while the packaging boasts a colorful, contemporary look that pops on the shelf. The products are available are available anytime at www.ModernOats.com.
“Oatmeal is a hot item right now, but there was nothing on the market that spoke to the modern consumer – everything pointed to frumpy and old-fashioned,” said Richard Principale, President and Chief Executive Officer for Innovative Beverage Concepts, a leading coffee house food and beverage brand. “People care about the packaging in their hand both at home and especially when they eat on the run. We wanted to develop a product that not only tasted delicious and met the dietary and environmental values of today’s conscious eaters, but that also appealed to their personal style and tastes.”
MODERN OATS are non-GMO certified and crafted with the most nutrient-rich, protein-rich, certified gluten-free whole rolled oats. The oats are naturally grown and harvested in small farms throughout North America’s upper Midwest. The oats are also minimally processed and are the highest quality available on the market, which makes for a hearty grain texture in the bowl as opposed to a paste-like mush.
Once harvested, the oats are steamed and sized, then paired with a carefully selected blend of flavorful and antioxidant-rich superfruits, along with nuts and seeds rich in omega-3; the recipes are lightly sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice. MODERN OATS is available in six gourmet flavors: Apple Walnut; 5 Berry; Goji Blueberry; Mango Blackberry; Chocolate Cherry, and Nuts & Seeds. All flavors are sodium and cholesterol-free and provide an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein.
MODERN OATS is packaged in portable, recyclable 2.6-ounce cups and provides the ultimate in convenience. Just add hot water, wait three minutes, stir and enjoy! MODERN OATS makes for a quick and healthy breakfast at home, while maneuvering the commute, hitting the course, hiking the trail, or getting in an energy-sustaining snack at the office. It is also vegan, kosher – Parve and Halal certified to appeal to a variety of diets.
MODERN OATS sells in six-cup variety packages for $19.50 (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) or a 12-pack variety for a suggested retail price of $39.50. It is available for consumer purchase at www.modernoats.com, and wholesale options are available for coffee shops, cafes, fitness centers, specialty shops and more. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for wholesale inquiries.
The winners of the 2014 sofi™ Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year were announced this evening at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
The awards, considered the top honor in the $88.3 billion specialty food industry, were presented by acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel, creator of the Cronut®, a croissant-doughnut hybrid. The Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. “sofi” stands for specialty outstanding food innovation.
This year’s contest was the largest in its 42-year history, with specialty food makers submitting 2,737 products across all 32 awards categories. The sofi Award for Outstanding New Product went to East Hampton Gourmet Food’s Lentil Rice Crispbread with Sesame and Pink Salt.
“The creativity and passion our members bring to their foods and beverages was evident in the variety and quality of the contest entries this year,” says Specialty Food Association President Ann Daw. “The winners clearly reflect our brand for the industry, “Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy.”
This spring, a national panel of specialty food professionals convened over eight days to taste and evaluate all entries and select 125 finalists. To determine the winners, 275 buyers at the Summer Fancy Food Show sampled the finalist products and cast votes for their favorite in each category. The results were tabulated by an outside accounting firm this afternoon.
The Summer Fancy Food show is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty food in North America. The show ends tomorrow, July 1, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Learn more at fancyfoodshows.com.
By Lorrie Baumann
Jessie Osias is serving Mint and 6 Spice Drinking Chocolates at nibmor’s booth #4475 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. This is nibmor’s debut at the Fancy Food Show, although the company, headquartered in New York, has been around for five years now. Both of the drinking chocolates that are being served in the booth are made with cashew milk. “Everything is vegan, so we stick to a nondairy milk,” Osias commented.
All of nibmor’s chocolate products are ethically sources, certified either by Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade. The company is currently planning for a fall release of a 6 Spice bar, which is dark chocolate with 72 percent cacao. The 2.2-ounce bar will retail for about $3.99. At the same time, nibmor will release a Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar with 80 percent cacao. This will also be a 2.2-ounce bar to retail for $3.99.
nibmor is also planning a new All-Natural Superfruit line of chocolate bars intended to offer a healthier confection option to the mainstream grocery market. “We’re trying to meet the consumer where they are,” Osias says. The line is tentatively scheduled to launch at the end of this year. “At this point, it’s still being discussed,” says Osias.
By Lorrie Baumann
PARTNERS is just introducing at the Summer Fancy Food Show its Double Chocolate Gluten-Free Brownie Thins under the Free For All Kitchen brand that signifies that they’re part of a product line that’s gluten-free as well as meeting all the other PARTNERS product standards for good taste and clean ingredients.
These little squares are a sweet cross between a cookie and a cracker, and they’re made with ancient whole grains, naturally sweetened, and they’re absolutely gluten-free, although you wouldn’t think it when you taste them. They contain no rice, corn or soy ingredients. You can taste them for yourself, along with other products in the Free for All Kitchen line, by visiting PARTNERS in booth #4112 at the Fancy Food Show.
The Brownie Thins are offered in a 4-ounce package to retail for $3.99 to $4.29, and around the time school starts this fall, they’ll also be available in a 120-calorie single-serving package that will retail around 99 cents and that will be a great item to tuck into that school lunchbox. “Being able to have something to give your kids who are gluten-intolerant that’s a sweet treat,” says PARTNERS Vice President Cara Figgins, “There just aren’t sweet alternatives on the market in single serves…. It’s a sweet treat, but it’s all clean ingredients, and it’s way better than eating Oreos.”
By Lorrie Baumann
The folks at Hammond’s Candies (in booth #3930 at the Summer Fancy Food Show) are delighted at the market’s reception of its new Cotton Candy, which launched in March and exceeded market projections for the entire year by the end of April, according to Hammond’s CEO Andrew Schuman.The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is offered in Classic and Peppermint as well as a couple of other seasonal varieties, and Schuman is predicting that the peppermint flavor, which is made from crushed Hammond’s candy canes, is going to be a strong seller during this holiday season. Shipping of the product is in hiatus during the summer, but once the weather is a little cooler this fall, Hammond’s Cotton Candy will be available again. Schuman recommends ordering in September so you can offer it for sale to customers during the fall and holiday season.
The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is packaged in plastic bags to hang from a tree, and it retails for $2.99.
Also coming this fall is the Hammond’s Popcorn line, which will be relaunched in August, says Andrew Whisler, Hammond’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. It’s coming in a newly designed bag with a much more attractive retail price point that should appeal to customers. Flavors include Caramel, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, Mango Habanero and Honey Peanut, as well as Chicago-style, which Whisler says is half caramel and half cheese popcorn. “It is so good, especially in combination,” he says. The popcorn retails for $3.99 to $4.99.
And new in the Hammond’s booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show are the Hammond’s Brittle Crisps. These are nut brittle confections that are a little thinner and a little crispier than the traditional brittle, and they’re infused with adventurous new flavors like Jalapeno Lime. There’s a Cashew & Cayenne Brittle for the folks who like sweet heat and a Sea Salt & Caramel Brittle for the folks who are fond of the sweet and salty taste. They’re packaged in 9-ounce bags to retail for $3.99 to $4.99, and they’re available to ship.. “They’re going to do real well,” Whisler says. “The price point is really nice on them.”
By Lorrie Baumann
In a matter of hours, Riccardo Felicetti of the Pastificio Felicetti will know whether he’s eating his Monograno Felicetti pasta with butter and anchovies for a celebration dinner or because that’s his ultimate comfort food. “It’s very easy, very simple, but it’s exactly the pasta meal I eat when I come back from my travels,” he says. “This is exactly my comfort food.”
The pasta has been named a finalist for two sofi Awards: one for Best Organic Product and one for Best Pasta, Rice or Grain, and it’s the first time that Pasta Felicetti has ever been in the running for the Specialty Food Association’s ultimate recognition for outstanding food innovation. Felicetti wangled an invitation for dinner at a friend’s New York apartment with the understanding that his favorite Spaghettoni with Butter and Anchovies would be on the menu. “And if I don’t get the award, then I will need a heavy comfort food,” Felicetti says ruefully.
He believes that his product was considered by the award’s jurors because it’s a single-source organic pasta from the biggest organic pasta producer in Italy. The buyers from Pastificio Felicetti travel Italy and the world searching for the best organic grains and then combine that grain with pure spring water from springs in the Italian Alps around their pastificio production facility. The pasta’s taste and its elegant packaging probably also played a role, he acknowledges.
He hopes that American consumers will appreciate the premium pasta for its great taste and texture, regardless of the degree of al dente to which it’s cooked. Even in Italy, there’s no consensus about that proper degree of firmness for the cooked pasta, and so the Felicetti pasta is made to be good no matter the al dente preference of the cook who prepares it. “It cooks to your preference,” he says. “The most important thing is that you cook it the way you like it.”
Putting food into the body is an extremely intimate act, and Felicetti hopes that the consumers who ultimately purchase, prepare and eat his product will choose it because they understand and appreciate that the pasta was made in a modern production facility with 21st century sanitation practices using a safe process that enhances the grain’s natural flavors. “I trust that always more people will be interested in knowing what they are eating,” he says. “We will continue to offer high-quality product to interested American customers because we believe they will understand the difference between a high-quality pasta and another pasta.”
Visit Pastificio Felicetti in booth #2615 at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
By Lorrie Baumann
Stonewall Kitchen is showcasing the flavors of maple and bacon in two new products that will put a stamp of excellence on holiday entertaining events. See them in booth #3914 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Maple Bacon Onion Jam has the sweetness of maple and onions combined with the savory umami of bacon for a flavorful and versatile product. Put it on the cheese tray during the cocktail hour or use it to glaze the dinnertime ham. There’s even a pizza recipe — just use the jam as the base sauce on the crust and then top with cheese. For a super-easy appetizer, pick up some flatbread at the grocery, spread it with this jam and toast it in the oven. That would be fabulous, and there’s no requirement at all that you tell anyone at all how easy that was to pull off.
The other new maple-bacon product is a Maple Bacon Aioli that’s made with canola oil, real bacon bits and pure maple syrup. Try it as a sandwich spread, especially on a BLT, just use a dollop on grilled meats to add some extra flavor, or you could even use it as a dip for fries or vegetable sticks. After tasting it, I can hardly wait to slather it over some chicken pieces, bake that in the oven and serve it to somebody I love.
Stonewall Kitchen is also introducing a second aioli — this one a Cilantro Lime Aioli. Use this one to top fish tacos of other summertime Mexican dishes. Remember that commercial in which the hamster in the plastic ball points out that the dinnertime tacos aren’t going to eat themselves and then the young woman bounces in anticipation? “Oooh, tacos!” Well, that’s the reaction this Cilantro Lime Aioli would get.
The Maple Bacon Onion Jam retails for $7.95, and the aiolis retail for $7.50 for a 10.25-ounce bottle.
Mexico thought ahead in its planning for the Summer Fancy Food Show and brought along a pair of big-screen TVs that made the centerpiece for a theater-in-the-round that attracted several hundred visitors to the Mexico pavilion in the 2300 aisle at the show as Mexico played against the Netherlands in their Round of 16 match at the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.