There's no better place to chart the gourmeting of America than at the Fancy Food Show in New York. The summer event, which ran from June 29 to July 1, offered samplings of 60,000 items to retailers looking to stock their shelves with exotic sauces, ready-to-eat entrées, and restaurant-style desserts. Here are my favorites:
Chipotle, made of dried, smoked jalapeno peppers, appears in everything from meat glazes to double-fudge chunk cookies. Check out Bronco Bob's Chipotle Sauces from Lady Walton's Cookies of Dallas (ladywalton.com) in Roasted Raspberry, Tangy Apricot, Wild Cherry Berry, and Smoked Bacon ($7 to $8 per bottle). They're great not just for grilling but as a salad dressing (mixed with vinegar).
Kettle Cuisine of Chelsea, Mass. (freshsoup.com) uses a rapid-chilling method to create fresh-tasting, all-natural soups sold refrigerated in 10-oz. microwaveable bowls ($2.49 to $3.49). It ransacks the globe for recipes, from Southwestern-style Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder to Thai Shrimp, Scallop, and Zucchini Soup.
Dessert? Try a Chocolate Truffle Marquise ($2.99 to $3.99) from Galaxy Desserts in San Rafael, Calif. (galaxydesserts.com). The mousse cake, glazed with bittersweet chocolate, layers chocolate ganache on a chocolate sponge cake, topped with a chocolate bar and a hazelnut.
By Gerry Khermouch