Who needs fancy when you can just eat and have fun? Thats what the Unfancy Food Show was all about, sampling some really delicious grub while meeting the geniuses who's very hands created it. Having been raised by my Sicilian father Rocco, I have mastered the art of talking with my mouth full. I have not mastered the art of ordering a prosciutto sandwich with my mouth full of mulberries and trying to take a photograph of the sandwich while paying for it. So I did the eating and let them do the talking and learned a lot of interesting facts about what went into the food that was going into my mouth. I also came home with lots and lots of goodies!
First stop, Gerald Jerky. I have to admit, after the Slim Jim factory explosion, I am not pro-jerky, plus its seems like mystery meat. But this Gerald Jerky actually looked like chunks of meat.
And Rachel, the Jerky Lady, hand made it in a food dehydrator with no preservatives. She spiced the jerky just right and it tasted like meat, not like salty MSG. Delicious. And soon she'll be making these with pastured grass fed beef. Even better. One bag of Jerky please!
Next, McClure's Pickles. I am really a sweet gherkin kind of girl, but Bob McClure, co-owner with his brother (I love family enterprises) had some really tasty garlic pickles, some outrageous hot spicy pickles, and a mustard that was out of this world. How much for a case?
Onto Mama O's Kimchee, another family pickling venture. Kimchee is a Korean super-food, raw and very nutritious.
Mama O was right there being great and mama-ish. Kheedim Oh, son and chef/owner, was super nice and his kimchees were phenomenal. There was kimchee salsa, cucumber kimchee, daikon kimchee and I picked up a tub of traditional kimchee. All were ridiculously good and the perfect spice level for my taste.
Time to represent at the Queens County Farm Museum! When I was a kid this farm was an educational petting zoo. Pat, my godmother, helped out there one summer and explained to her tour group of kids that the horse's untimely erection was really a ladder for climbing onto the horse! No pony rides that day!
The girls at the farm table explained to me that the farm has come a long way since then. Now they sell fresh produce, eggs and even farm raised pigs at the Union Square Farmer's Market on Fridays. I bought a round zucchini and made it that night for dinner in the form of Zucchini Stew and it was so flavorful and fresh. There I also bought a cup of their super sweet mulberries and cursed myself for wearing light colored pants. Lookout for the Queen's Farm's and Brooklyn-Based July 4th Weekend Pig Roast!
Next door was the Brooklyn Kitchen table and a lot of fun cooking supplies. Their canning display caught my attention because of all the produce I have been getting from the CSA and my anticipation of some really fresh plum tomatoes for sauce that I want to preserve. I bought a Canning Manual and they gave me a lot of great advice. Check out Brooklyn Kitchen's cooking classes.
Across the way, the sight of a woman cutting pieces of fresh prosciutto off a pig caught my eye. Salvatore Bklyn, a wholesaler that sells to the likes of Marlow and Son's, was whipping up amazing open-faced prosciutto sandwiches smeared with fresh homemade ricotta and arugula and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Yes!
Chocolate time. First stop, Nunu Chocolates with some really nice salted chocolate caramels. A box of those to go. Owner Justine was a doll and explained that the company was started to give away goodies during her partner and husband's music shows, but the company just took off with a few successful retail stores, one on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, and they still haven't given them out during performances. They get their cocoa from Brazil and look forward to a trip there to visit the farm.
Taza Chocolate had an elaborate display, with lots of free samples, like my favorite the Guajillo Chili Mexicano which tasted like chocolate covered peppers! (Hmmm? Kitchen experiment tomorrow?) Their organic and sustainable, direct trade and stone ground chocolate from Mexico and the Dominican Republic was really delicious and had that unfancy raw texture I prefer in dark chocolate. Anne showed me what a giant cocoa pod looks like, inside of which the cacoa beans are found.
I even tried some raw ground unsweetened cacao nibs which almost had a nutty, Grape Nuts cereal flavor, and would be great to put on ice cream or Ann recommended in place of chips of chocolate chip cookies. A bag of nibs, thanks!
There were two cheese stands, but they were so packed with people I literally couldn't get a taste, so more chocolate made sense and I headed over to Fine & Raw Chocolates for some dark chocolate from Equador. Their newest product, Raw Chocolate Ice Cream, was displayed on dry ice. Sexy.
I had to elbow my way into Liddabit Sweet to try some of their local seasonal candies. Their cucumber mojito jelly candy was really like nothing I have ever tasted and I loved it! It was like eating fresh candy. No weird artificial aftertaste. Great!
My last stop was the Marlow and Son's table, a sea of sanwiches and a tough decision. White fish or Brisket Sandwich? How does one choose? White fish, and can I just try a piece of the brisket, please?
They were such a fun crew and let me have my white fish and my brisket, too! Both were such a great way to end my day of sampling at the Unfancy Food Show. I didn't have one beer while I was there but I felt drunk (in a good way) on irresistible food while I headed home. Thanks Brooklyn!