NEW YORK — From chardonnay iced tea to beer brittle, libation inspiration abounded in products featured at Summer Fancy Food Show, held June 28-30 in New York. Specialty food manufacturers are adding a spirited spin to sauces, sweets and snacks with beer, wine and liquor as an ingredient or flavor.
Along with seaweed, sumac and Szechuan peppers, alcohol was identified as an emerging flavor trend for sauces and seasonings during a presentation at the show by Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, Inc., a trends forecasting think tank.
“During a recession, you see mild, bland flavors, and during a recovery, you see explosive flavors, and that’s why some of these trends are being born and coming forward,” Ms. Badaracco said. “Expect more extreme, adventurous items to gain popularity as the economic recovery unfolds.”
Intoxicating innovations were unveiled by several ice cream brands at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Tipsy Scoop, New York, makes liquor-infused ice cream inspired by cocktails. Containing 5% alcohol by volume, flavors include dark chocolate whiskey and salted caramel, vanilla bean bourbon, raspberry limoncello sorbet, and hot buttered rum. L.A. Creamery Artisan Ice Cream, Chatsworth, Calif., introduced a variety called Manhattan, featuring brown butter toffee and Rittenhouse rye whiskey ice cream with Bing cherries. Mercer’s Dairy, Boonville, N.Y., manufactures a line of wine ice cream, featuring such flavors as red raspberry chardonnay, chocolate cabernet, cherry merlot, Riesling, and peach white zinfandel.
A new line of bagged iced teas from The Republic of Tea, Novato, Calif., is made with fine wine grape skins that typically are tossed after production. Varieties in the Sonoma collection include chardonnay with pineapples and peaches, cabernet with oranges and currants, rosé with strawberries and apples, and mulled zin with cinnamon, ginger and orange.
Offering a grownup twist on the classic PB&J, Reginald’s Homemade L.L.C., Manakin Sabot, Va., makes bourbon pecan peanut butter, and The Potlicker L.L.C., Bethel, Vt., offers a line of beer jellies in oatmeal stout, pumpkin ale and India pale ale flavors. Jammit Jam L.L.C., Dallas, manufactures preserves with whole fruit, pure cane sugar, herbs, spices and a splash of wine, beer or liquor. Varieties include raspberry ginger stout, apple cinnamon bourbon, blackberry star anise merlot, blueberry balsamic black vinegar, strawberry chili chiraz, and peach thyme prosecco.
Snack makers also are tapping into the trend. Wine Nuts from Ford’s Food Inc., Raleigh, N.C., are seasoned roasted peanuts in margarita mix, Lemoncella, chardonnay and merlot varieties. Guinness potato chips from British brand Burts Chips are making a U.S. debut with original and rich chili flavors.
A line of boozy brittles from Annette’s Chocolates, Napa, Calif., feature such flavors as chili lime tequila tortilla, microbrew beer, triple nut Kentucky bourbon, and chardonnay. Belgium’s Chocolate Source, a Milton, Mass.-based importer of Belgian confections, displayed ChocOBeer, a line of bottle-shaped Belgian chocolates featuring liquid fillings flavored with Belgian beers, including fruity lambics and brown and blond ales.
Hopped-up condiments at the show included All Malt Amber-Lager Worcestershire sauce from Colonel Pabst, Milwaukee; beer vinegar from Podor Oils and Vinegars, North Bergen, N.J.; JB’s Best barbecue sauces made with craft brewed ale from Milo’s Whole World Gourmet, Athens, Ohio; and stout beer mustard from Wildly Delicious Fine Foods, Toronto, Ont. Wildly Delicious also makes Petite Maison compotes for cheese in such flavors as mulled wine, peach bourbon and black tea, blood orange and port, fig with brandy and vanilla, and blueberry icewine.
On display from Robert Rothschild Farm, Urbana, Ohio, were an organic hot cherry merlot dip and organic whiskey pepper cream sauce. Barhyte Specialty Foods, Inc., Tualatin, Ore., showcased Willamette Valley Mustards in champagne raspberry honey variety and a sweet hot beer variety. Brooklyn Brine Co. L.L.C., Brooklyn, is launching Hop-Pickle, a jar of medium-spicy pickles made with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, caramelized onions and Cascade hop oil.
Maple syrup farmer Nate Bissell of Bissell Maple Farm, LLP, Rock Creek, Ohio, partnered with Pappy & Co. to develop Sugar Chalet Bourbon Barrel-aged maple syrup, made with pure maple syrup, Kentucky bourbon barrels and a proprietary process. The syrup is aged for months to impart the perfect flavor.