July 8, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Adventures of Kosherfest 2015

What is Kosherfest? Kosherfest is comparable to the largest kiddush you have ever been to in your life; imagine being able to taste the finest cheese, accompanied by the finest wines. Imagine being able to sample an array of meats, fish and desserts. Imagine filling a very large bag with samples of everything ranging from gluten-free animal crackers to chocolates made in France. Imagine being able to do all of these things and catch a mincha minyan every 20 minutes. That is Kosherfest.

Kosherfest is a coming together of corporations that supply food, beverages, kitchen supplies, travel arrangements and more all for the kosher consumer. And even though it is called Kosherfest, one can still overhear someone asking, “Is this candy kosher?” Kosherfest has a lot going on, with many types of Jews interacting, but with the right attitude can be very enjoyable.

One of the most entertaining parts of this event, aside from watching the older people push their walkers while holding a muffin in each hand and balancing a bottle of beer on the seat, is taking in all of the different brands and their selling points. We have Sneaky Chef who can “Sneak in the Good Stuff.” How much fiber can one put in a teeny tiny brownie? Apparently a lot. Did you know that “Bagels ain’t Bagels unless they are Just Bagels?” Fiber Gourmet is “The Original Patented. The Name You Can Trust.” We are trusting them and their new line of Thinnables—tasty little crackers in many flavors, packed with the fiber they are so proud of that they named the company after it.

We have Froozers—which are “fresh, frozen fruit—dairy-free, no sugar, no preservatives.” Take a banana, mush it into a pretty little pouch and stick it in the freezer. The brand Les Petites Fermieres tells you to “Eat Cheese and Be Happy.” Unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant and then eating cheese will make you anything but happy. On the lactose front they also had Norman’s Chalav Yisrael Really Good Yogurt. With a name like Norman, it has got to be really good, right? A line of cheeses called “Slims” has the logo “One Slim Change can make all the Difference.” Upon further inspection, these “slim cheeses” are actually full-fat cheeses that are cut into slimmer slices. More money for less cheese, consumer beware.

All Round Foods is a company that makes all round foods: bagels, rolls, doughnuts and the like. Clever name. And then there is Ten Acre Snacks. They have potato chips and popcorn in flavors that you have to taste to believe. Jimmy Attias, the Chief Tasting Officer of Ten Acres, explained that each flavor has a story. When you go online to tenacressnacks.com you can learn the story behind “The Amazing Adventures of Salt and Vinegar,” “When the Pepper Crack’d” and “When Bombay Got Spicy,” just to name a few. And when the flavor says Pastrami in the Rye, the chips really taste like pastrami.

And to wash down the pastrami-tasting chip, Jelly Belly jelly beans has a draft beer flavor. They also have other unique flavors like peas and carrots, champagne, and pancakes and maple syrup. If those are unappealing to you, you can stick with the traditional flavors of berry, citrus and black licorice. There is something for everyone.

Many of the bakeries advertise that their kosher for Passover products taste just like the real thing. While speaking with Moishe Bineth, the vice president and third generation of Munch Real from Montreal, he said that the method behind the madness of making kosher for Passover taste like chametz is “everyone should be happy with what they are eating. We want those people who would not normally want to observe Passover to see that for eight days they can eat things that taste just as delicious as they do the rest of the year. We have come a long way from just making macaroons and jelly roll.”

And then we have David Avital, founder and CEO of Koshwhere.com. On this website, you can type in where you are going and you will then be directed to kosher caterers who will make your meals for you. Now, if he could have all of the minyan times to accompany the food, it would be the perfect website.

By Banji Ganchrow

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