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The 7 Best Things We Ate at the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show

Last week, the culture crew traveled to New York City to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show, a semi-annual trade show for people in the food industry. We ate our way through aisle after aisle of delicious cheeses, charcuteries, non-alcoholic cocktails, mushroom chips, and truffle-infused everything—basically anything delicious you can imagine!

Here are some of our favorite cheeses (and a couple of non-cheese items) we tried at the Fancy Food Show.

Yoav Perry at the World’s Best Cheese Booth tabling for Perrystead Dairy.

1. Atlantis from Perrystead Dairy
“I love ALL the cheeses Yoav Perry makes at Philadelphia’s Perrystead Dairy, and I swooned over his newest, Atlantis, which is washed in Atlantic Ocean seawater and both infused and dusted with seaweed. According to Yoav, using seaweed in the cheese is tricky, because the iodine interferes with the lactic fermentation, but thankfully he figured it out and we are the luckier for it.” – Editor Susan Sherrill Axelrod

Kyra James, Alisha Norris Jones, and Veronica Pedraza at the World’s Best Cheese booth tabling for Blakesville Creamery.

2. The Newest Cheese from Blakesville Creamery
Veronica Pedraza’s latest cheese for Blakesville Creamery is a luscious, sheep’s milk wheel made with milk from Ms. J and Co., a Wisconsin sheep dairy farm featured in Alexandra Jones’ recent feature on breeding. I don’t think it has a name yet, but it’s fabulous.” – Editor Susan Sherrill Axelrod

A close up of Villa Bleu from Treur Kaas at the Food Matters Again booth.

3. Villa Bleu from Treur Kaas
“Villa Bleu is a sweet Dutch gouda with the addition of blue cultures to develop blue veining. I thought this was a super mild, sweet, and flavorful blue cheese that would be a good way to convert the blue cheese skeptics.” – Digital Editor Josie Krogh

4. Gruberg from Klein River Cheese
“I was also thrilled to see Raymond Siebrits of Klein River Cheese in South Africa, who I ran into at last summer’s Fancy Food Show tucked away in a corner downstairs. This year, Raymond was upstairs at the World’s Best Cheeses booth; his multi-award winning and wonderful Alpine-style Gruberg is the first South African artisan cheese to be imported into the US in more than two decades.” – Editor Susan Sherrill Axelrod

Doug and Heather Donohue, owners of Balfour Farm and Dairy at their booth.

5. Smokey Ghost from Balfour Farm
“Itt was a special surprise to find Maine cheesemakers Doug and Heather Donohue of Balfour Farm at their own booth! I’ve bought Balfour’s organic dairy products at my local farmers’ market since I moved to Maine 10 years ago, and when they started to make raw milk hard cheeses, I was an instant fan. Their Smokey Ghost—a version of their Haymaker cheddar with ghost pepper salt and smoked chipotle peppers—won a 2022 ACS Award, and I hope Heather and Doug’s first FFS as exhibitors helped more people discover their cheeses!” – Editor Susan Sherrill Axelrod

6. Ginger Marmalade from W.A. Imports
“I was blown away by everything I tasted at the W.A. Imports booth. W.A. Imports is an importer and manufacturer of premium Japanese ingredients based in Hebron, IL. The company was recently acquired by Forever Cheese, and it’s easy to see why once you taste the products. I loved the spicy ginger marmalade and Shaukra Cherry Blossom Shoyu, I’ll definitley be picking up a bottle next time I see it in stores!” – Digital Editor Josie Krogh

7. Savyll Non-Alcoholic Canned Cocktails
“NA beverages have become a huge market, and as someone who likes their booze, I’ve always been skeptical about what this new class of beverages could offer me. After trying Savyll’s Mojito, I think I finally understand the concept. I could totally see myself opting for one of these instead of a traditional cocktail. It was complex, not too sweet, and had the flavor of fresh, slightly bitter mint. I didn’t feel like I was “just drinking a seltzer,” but an actual cocktail. I’m a convert!” – Digital Editor Josie Krogh

Other Honorable Mentions:

Susan Axelrod

Susan Sherrill Axelrod is a former editor of Culture. Her love affair with cheese began at age 12, when she bicycled to a gourmet shop to taste an exotic newcomer—French brie. She lives with her partner in midcoast Maine, where she enjoys a well-made cocktail, hiking with their dog, Lucy, and spending as much time as possible on the water.

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