Everything here seems to have the label “All Natural,” which doesnâ€™t make a lot of sense to me since as far as I can tell, this is the processed food capitol of New Jersey right now. I keep asking people what it means to be â€œall naturalâ€ and they helpfully tell me that they only use â€œall naturalâ€ ingredients. Um, what? Lots of stands refuse to answer the question when they see Iâ€™ve got a camera.
On the other hand, some of the â€œall naturalâ€ food is damn good. Maybe itâ€™s just because itâ€™s full of wheat, corn and salt, but the little pieces of veggie burgers are delicious. Most of the desserts look significantly less enticing. There are packages of raw chicken and fish sitting on a lot of tables, too, which doesnâ€™t look attractive at all.
Had my first Susie Fishbein (of Kosher By Design fame) sighting, and discovered a hilarious booth for Holy Cow beef jerky. If I wasnâ€™t a vegetarian Iâ€™d totally try the jerky for the name alone. Conversely, I couldnâ€™t never put anything in my mouth that was made by a company called Geshmak.
As far as I can tell, thereâ€™s nothing here to encourage people to cook. Everything is either something you just heat up and eat, or something your pour over something else. Other than Fishbein, no one is selling any cookbooks. There are some dips (tons of hummus, of course) but no falafel that I can find, which I think is interesting. Also, Iâ€™ve seen exactly one booth that seems like it caters to non-Ashkenazi tastes.
Some of the booths are very confusing. Argentina, the country, seems to have itâ€™s own booth. The OU has a completely empty booth, and the Paskesz booth is huge but has no samples except for a bowl of kosher for Passover potato chips that no one is touching.
Best thing Iâ€™ve eaten so far today: tiny little purple cookies made with beets. Worst thing Iâ€™ve eaten so far today: a mini latke.