Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News Sept. 2016

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN Little Mountain from the Roelli Cheese Company, Inc., won the first place award in Best of Show competition at the American Cheese Society's annual awards. Little Mountain, made by Wis- consin Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli, won the top award from among this year's 1,843 en- tries from 260 companies. In second place were Buff Blue from Bleating Heart Cheese and St. Malachi Reserve from The Farm at Doe Run, which finished in a tie. Buff Blue is a blue cheese made with water buffalo milk by California Cheesemaker Seana Doughty, who took the win as re- demption as she fights her way back from a 2014 listeria recall BY LORRIE BAUMANN La Truffe Royale is the new up- scale truffle product line from Wild Forest Products. "While Wild Forest Products are priced so anyone can afford them, La Truffe Royale steps up the quality. I didn't overdo it on the price – I'm still priced below my com- petitors – but it's a little more el- egant, and the quality and taste are there," says Wild Forest Prod- ucts CEO and Co-Founder Mario Fortunato. The La Truffe Royale product line features organic extra virgin olive oil along with black and white truffle essence imported La Truffe Royale: Elegant and Affordable Continued on PAGE 8 Continued on PAGE 11 Continued on PAGE 10 from Italy. They're packaged in dark green bottles with elegant black labels that communicate a message about the premium qual- ity of the products inside. The line started with La Truffe Royale Infused Organic Extra Vir- gin Truffle Olive Oil in an 8- ounce dark glass bottle. The same product is now also available in a 3.4-ounce bottle. "It's for people who wanted a smaller bottle be- cause they don't use it as often as regular olive oil," Fortunato says. Not stopping there, La Truffe Royale also offers whole truffles for people who just can't get enough of that earthy flavor. "We went along with the Italians and brought in a whole organic black truffle. People really like it," For- tunato says. "Also from Italy, I fell in love with this Black Truffle Carpaccio, with its very thinly sliced truffle packed in olive oil, so we made that also." There's also a Black Truffle Sauce and a Black Truffle Butter. "We used a heavy, creamier butter so the flavor stands out with nice pieces of black truffle in it," For- tunato says. "It's been received very well." But Fortunato didn't stop there. "I don't know what happened. I got a brainstorm," he says. "We import a balsamic Condimenti from Modena with a very low acidity, about 3 percent, and said, 'Okay, we could infuse this with a Natural Products Expo East to Reflect Growth Little Mountain Takes the Summit at ACS Contest that nearly put her out of busi- ness. "Winning this award was huge for me," she said. "When I won this award, I just went back to my room and called my hus- band and just cried." "I finally cracked the 'code di bufala,'" she added. "I finally can say I think I am a good cheese- maker now." Third place was also tied two ways. Jeffs' Select Gouda was sub- mitted by Caves of Faribault but made in a collaboration with Maple Leaf Cheese. Master Cheesemaker Jeff Wideman at Maple Leaf made the orig- inal Gouda that be- came Jeffs' Select Gouda after affi- nage by Jeff Jirik at Caves of Faribault. Together, Wideman and Jirik are the Jeffs after which BY LORRIE BAUMANN Widmer's Cheese Cellars is in the midst of a plant expansion that will increase the area devoted to its growing mail order business as well as boost its compliance with the ever-tightening safety net of regulations designed to protect Americans from food- borne illness. Changes in the food safety regulations mean that the company will have to discon- tinue its long-standing practice of inviting guests into its cheese- making facility. "It hurts business," says Joe Continued on PAGE 10 Tradition Rules at Widmer's Cheese Cellars Widmer, "One of the reasons peo- ple like to come here is that they like to see how cheese is really made." Widmer's grandfather emi- grated to the U.S. from Switzerland in 1905 and bought the build- ing in which Widmer's Cheese Cellars is now located in 1922. Ever since then, there's been a store at the front of the building, and curious customers have been invited to remove all their jewelry, don hairnets, wash their shoes in a san- itizing foot- bath and come on back to a viewing room for a video showing them how Widmer's very traditional brick, colby and cheddar cheeses are made and to have their questions answered by This year's Natural Products Expo East is projected to draw more than 25,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibiting brands, including more than 400 new exhibitors this year. According to Adam Andersen, the Managing Director of New Hope Network, which produced the show, interest in the show reflects increased interest in emerging brands and a rise in mergers and acquisitions throughout the natu- ral products industry, which is ex- periencing rapid growth of 9 percent per year. The speakers lineup for the conference includes keynotes by environmentalist and author Paul Hawken, food system analyst Robyn O'Brien and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Walter Robb. The show will take place September 21-24 at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland. The 2016 Natural Products Expo East Education Conference will focus on supplement oppor- tunities, climate friendly foods, mindful leadership, natural story- telling and nutrition science. On the show floor, Frontier Soups will be celebrating Southwestern flavors with Montana Creekside Classic Chili and Southwestern VOLUME 81, NUMBER 9 SEPTEMBER 2016 n $7.00 NEWS & NOTES n Work Environment Influences Profit Potential PAGE 6 RETAILER NEWS n Eataly Surrounds Customers with Italian Food Culture PAGE 12 SUPPLIER NEWS n La Panzanella Delivers On-Trend Snack Cracker PAGE 14 HOT PRODUCTS PAGE 20 & 21 News ..............................................6 Ad Index .......................................23 Calendar.......................................23 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ®

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