coconut

The Summer Fancy Food Show

by Anne Maxfield on July 11, 2016

Fancy Food ShowCan you imagine 840,000 square feet of food?

No, neither can the Accidental Locavore, even though I was part of it.

That was the recent Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

Vast.

Overwhelming.

And delicious!

It made me glad to be just a casual observer, rather than a food retailer or someone who needed to really shop the show for business. Think about working your way through 180,000 products – in three days, that’s 60,000 a day!

Sensory overload went into effect after about five minutes and my objectives for the show – find local vendors for future pieces, identify potential clients for my consulting business and do some market research for a client – totally went out the window.

But what you want to know is what’s going to show up in the stores. Here are a few of the trends I noticed at the Fancy Food Show:FancyFood Show Coconuts

  • Chips: Made out of anything that can be flattened and fried or baked. Pumpkin, risotto, kale (old news), coconut. Flavors from savory to sweet, some of them more successful than others. Surprisingly Parmesan/garlic risotto chips made me run for something to take the nasty taste out of my mouth (Bulgarian feta worked very nicely).
  • Coconut: Probably the kale of 2016. Many different types of oils. More varieties of coconut water and other drinks all in about a thousand flavors. Yogurt made from coconut milk. Chips (see above). Just imagine all the things people have tried to put kale into and substitute coconut…
  • Coffee: Fair trade, local blends, local roasters. Hot, iced, cold brew. Recyclable pods. Composting pods. Flavors. DIY roasting, cold brew etc. kits. At least half of the incubator companies were coffee related. And although tea is supposed to be a contender, there was very little of it that I saw.

Fancy Food Show Sample SausageThere was a huge area representing Italy and pastas in all shapes and colors. Like rice noodles from Taiwan, not sure how you tasted them to figure out what was what.

Other countries at the Fancy Food Show included places like Latvia who had a surprisingly large area (lots of fish and dairy products, if you were wondering). I don’t know if I was projecting, but the aisles along the United Kingdom’s booths seemed eerily quiet.  Sad, if you had spent the money to come and exhibit and end up not knowing what future trade rules look like.

Overwhelming.

The most beautiful food there was a version of a Middle Eastern date bar, but by that point too tired to taste, photograph, or even get a card.

Dumb.

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5 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

by Anne Maxfield on March 8, 2012

Accidental Locavore Coconut Macaroons on a PlateMy friend Leslie makes these coconut macaroons all the time.

She introduced these to me and when I found out how easy they were, I demanded the recipe.

It’s better if you remember to take the eggs out ahead of time, but they’ll be fine either way.

Dipping them in chocolate is so unnecessary but so good! Takes about 45 minutes, mostly baking time and makes 20 to 22 cookies.

5 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (one bag)
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (one can)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (optional for dipping)

Accidental Locavore Coconut Macaroons BakedPreheat the oven to 325°.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4″ diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

To coat them with chocolate: Melt about 4 ounces of good quality bittersweet chocolate in  a double boiler, or on a plate in a microwave in 30 second blasts. When the chocolate is melted dip the macaroons in the chocolate, or paint the bottoms with chocolate, let the excess drip off into the pan. Place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet, or on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper to cool. Enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Coconut Macaroons With ChocolateMy verdict:  It’s always amazing how something so simple can be so good! Adding the chocolate isn’t necessary but it makes them even better, so why not? If you ever need a quick dessert to bring to something, this is it.

 

Save the extra yolks and use for mayo or hollandaise sauce.

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Crunchy Granola

by Anne Maxfield on June 11, 2010

Accidental Locavore My GranolaOne of the Accidental Locavore’s big issues with granola is that it’s very hard to find any without nuts.

I started making my own because it’s really easy and you control exactly goes into it. The secret to this one? Really good butter, the European variety–trust me it makes a big difference! The rest is up to you. Makes about 3 cups:

Crunchy Granola

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, or coconut chips
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (you can use honey)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted European-style butter
  • Dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, cranberries, cherries and additional coconut

Preheat the oven to 300°.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (don’t try to be cheap here and use wax paper, you’ll be sorry…trust me!).

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds.

In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the maple syrup. Pour the mixture over the oat mix and toss well to combine.

Spread evenly on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to keep it browning evenly.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Add the dried fruit and coconut to taste and mix well.

I use small handfuls of raisins, and chopped cranberries, cherries and apricots.

Store in an airtight canister or a Ziploc bag. Serve straight-up or over your favorite yogurt and enjoy!

My verdict: There’s always a canister of this granola in my cupboard. It’s really good and you can add or subtract whatever you’d like–even make it savory.

Interestingly, the quality of the butter really makes a difference! It went from being really good to great when I switched to Plugra butter.

I always use it on my yogurt and the dried fruit gets hard from the cold, so I usually chop it into small pieces.

What do you like in your granola?

 

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