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KOSHERFEST 2001 Offered Nosh, Nibbles And News

From bagels to salsa, chicken soup to saké, the 13th annual Kosherfest gave the food industry an exciting and comprehensive look at the world of kosher food. Despite apprehension following the events of September 11th, this year's show had its largest number of exhibitors (450) and highest attendance (12,000 visitors) to date.

The two-day exposition held at the Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Jersey November 6-7, featured food companies old and new, large and small, with products to please the palates of all ages.

According to Menachem Lubinsky, the show's organizer, “Today kosher is not just for kosher consumers. The industry produces new, interesting and quality products that are of interest to any consumer.”

This year's show had an unprecedented array of products to choose from with more than 5,000 products featured. Among them were 500 brand new product entries, many representing totally new categories for the kosher market.

As the show exhibited, kosher consumers can now choose from a universe of ethnic and regional choices. This includes Chinese soba udon noodles, Thai curry samosa, tri-color tortellini, pre-cooked breaded plaintains, Indian-spiced edamame, vege-beef tamales, French foie gras, hot tomatillo with corn sauce, fortune cookies in 49 different themes, and tortilla wraps in more than 20 flavors. To complement each entrée are a wide variety of new kosher wines and beers ranging from $5.00- $300 a bottle, as well as saké.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. This year's trend at Kosherfest emphasized organic and natural fare as well as soy products, low fat and health food items. Coming to grocery shelves soon will be organic English muffins, Krispy and Crunchy lowfat and organic corn chips in four flavors, Ahava's fat-free soy chocolate pudding, spinach tofu wontons from Twin Marquis, Guiltless Gourmet snack chips in brand new flavors, soy “cheese” pizza, and Klein's soy-based pistachio almond and cookies 'n cream ice cream.

Kosher, as Kosherfest showed, has also gone gourmet. Some of the finest gourmet products on the market have recently sought kosher certification, including great chocolates and desserts just in time for Chanukah. This includes Scharffen Berger fine chocolates and natural cocoa powder, La Fleur De Lis Madeline French cakes (which took first place in the new products bakery category at Kosherfest), Shabtai Gourmet Ring Things (an award-winning Kosher for Passover dessert), Gladders gourmet cookies, and Barton's chocolates. (The name once synonymous with kosher candy has returned with old-favorites and some new, chocolaty delights as well.)

For kids, there's also plenty new to choose from. Now moms can find kosher packaged meals for school children called Kosherables, which include pre-made bagels, salami, peanut butter and jelly, and turkey sandwiches. Kids may want to try Bloom's new saltwater taffy that fits into a plastic “cell phone,” Paskesz's “fizz” sugar crystals that pop in your mouth, the newly kosher certified Keebler brand of cookies and crackers and Kellogg's Eggo waffles and “wafuls.”

For cheese lovers, the number and variety of kosher cheeses available covers all bases. From Two Tribes look for a line of Cholov Yisroel cheeses with whimsical names including A Bisil Swiss'l, Yetta's Chedar, Hava-Na-Varti, and Muenster Mench. Their other regular line of cheeses, under the name Yosef's Farm will offer mozzarella, gorgonzola and feta beginning in February 2002. From Anderson International, there will be Les Petitie Fermires brand of Canadian brie and camembert made with non-animal rennet. Most of their cheeses are soaked in brine, which gives cheese its flavor (a process often skipped by manufacturers).

Hi-tech has entered the world of kosher food from a small manufacturer, La Briut of Lakewood, New Jersey. Their “on the go” kosher meat meals require no refrigeration, and no microwave or oven preparation. A water-based heating device (which comes in the packaging) heats the meal in about 14 minutes while the box serves as the “oven.” This is targeted towards the military and camping markets.

For those who like the traditional gefilte fish, matzoh balls, or pastrami on rye with pickles, it's all still available – although instead of mustard, it can now be topped off with Gold's new kosher Wasabi sauce instead. Hearty Appetite!

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More Articles from Special to The Jewish Press

When soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces went into combat against Hamas in Gaza, they were armed with the highest level of military equipment Israel could provide them.
Some of the soldiers were also armed with “spiritual ammunition” provided to them earlier this week by the Orthodox Union (OU), which delivered 102 packages consisting of tefillin, tzitzit and a siddur with Tehillim prepared especially for soldiers on the battlefield.
The materials were brought to Gaza by Rabbi Avi Berman, director of OU Israel, and represent the first disbursement of the special fund created by the OU to provide the items to soldiers who wanted to add a spiritual component to their armament.
Funding for these packages was provided by Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills, CA. In the next few weeks, hundreds more of these packages will be provided by the congregation to soldiers returning from Gaza.
“The IDF arms the soldiers with their military weaponry; the OU’s mission is to arm them with spiritual ammunition as they put their lives at risk,” said OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb.
The fund-raising campaign is taking place in OU synagogues across North America. The tefillin delivered to the 102 soldiers on Sunday cost $33,000. Another 70 soldiers are on the waiting list to receive their packages.
“Commanders who have been with the IDF for a long time were telling me that they didn’t remember such a spiritual high in the army since the day after the Six-Day War,” Rabbi Berman told The Jewish Press.
“These tefillin represent Jews in America whose heart is with the soldiers who are risking their lives in Gaza. The soldiers are putting the tefillin on at a critical time in their lives, and the people who contributed are hoping that they will continue to do so forever and ever.”

From bagels to salsa, chicken soup to saké, the 13th annual Kosherfest gave the food industry an exciting and comprehensive look at the world of kosher food. Despite apprehension following the events of September 11th, this year's show had its largest number of exhibitors (450) and highest attendance (12,000 visitors) to date.

Shredding the old perception that kosher wines are sweet and inferior to mainstream wines, A.V. Imports introduces Akiba Eger ? an exception brand of wine that is ideal for the ''Holiday of Freedom'' and other special occasions.

In a recent interview with the Jerusalem weekly Iton Yerushalayim, Professor Amiram Goldblum, an associate of Peace Now’s National Secretariat and head of the movement’s Settlement Watch Team, discussed the disillusionment of Israel’s peace camp, supported unilateral separation, called for the annexation of 50% of the settlers, and opposed the Palestinian “right of return.” Following are excerpts from the interview:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/kosherfest-2001-offered-nosh-nibbles-and-news/2001/12/28/

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