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Five to Follow from The Mercantile NYC Food Show

Once a year, Lindsey flies in from London and we get together to check out the Summer Food Shows on my side of the Pond

This year, we had the pleasure of visiting the fascinating, eclectic and inspirational  Mercantile NYC Food Show at the Brooklyn Expo on the shore of the East River. The venue, packed into an airy but compact space was perfect to showcase creative artisans in the food industry from across the US

The products we sampled were all of the highest quality and it was extremely difficult to choose our favorites. However, we appreciate our readers at taste2taste  want us to pin our flag to the mast, so here’s our opinion on 5 great products / companies to follow, why we chose them as well as our pick of the best of the rest


Acater & Oliter – Wethersfield ,Connecticut

Three products showcased from their range including , McDonald Rhubarb Conserve Star Anise & Galangal and Meyer Lemon Preserved Puree of Lemon Cured with Sel Gris

McDonald Rhubarb

MacDonald Rhubarb Conserve

We loved the Rhubarb Conserve with its distinctive chunks of rhubarb and spices, not only a great flavor but texture too elevating it to a higher level.  Spread on freshly baked bread or equally good paired with a fresh cheese such as a goats or sheep milk

Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon Preserved

The Meyer Lemon Puree had a zesty flavor with just the right balance of sour and salt. It is a really convenient alternative to using preserved lemon for cooking North African and Middle Eastern dishes without the need to prepare the fruit. There was also a fab tangy vinaigrette  dressing made with the puree

Green Dirt Farm -Weston, Missouri

Dirt Lover Sheep’s Milk Cheese

2.1 Green Dirt Farm (Dirt Lover)

Natasha of Green Dirt Farm

This Artisan Cheese Society Winner was a winner for us too. An Ash coated rind outer and soft, creamy center,  with a subtle tang from the sheep’s milk was one of the best sheep’s milk cheeses we have tasted in a while

2.2 Green Dirt farm - Dirt Lover

Dirt Lover Sheep’s Milk Cheese

Green Dirt Farm, just north of Kansas featured in Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and many of their artisan cheeses have won 1st place in American Cheese Society awards

Noona’s Ice Cream- Brooklyn, New York

Black Sesame Ice Cream

3.2 Noona's Black Sesame Ice Cream

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Noona’s is an Asian inspired ice cream created by ‘Noona,’ meaning big sister in Korean.  Originally for her family and now luckily for us too! They have a dairy range made with New York organic, hormone/antibiotic free milk and a dairy free vegan 100% plant based range too

3.1 Noona Korean Ice Cream

Noona’s Ice Cream Range

We  really liked Noona’s Black Sesame ice cream with its stylish pale grey color, black flecks and nutty flavor from the roasted and stone ground black sesame seeds.  It has a creamy taste, yet not too sweet. A great version of an Asian classic.  We also found her vegan Rose Ginger ice cream with a  hint of floral rose and ginger combined with coconut milk a great flavor combo in perfect balance

Big Heart Tea Co –St Louis, Missouri

Malawi Iced Tea

4.2 Big Heart Tea (Malawi #413)

Malawi #413 Iced Tea

A beautifully refreshing drink, especially good after a morning of food sampling! Big Heart Tea Co. work with small farms in Malawi to ethically source and select the finest  leaves to produce an awesome tea

4.1 Big Heart Tea Co

Lisa & Kunthearath of Big Heart Tea Co.

In fact, so good we couldn’t help ourselves going back several times to sample this delicate thirst quenching drink

Chokospice –Belmont, Massachusetts

Cherry Mahleb and Bourbon Smoked salt & Cape Cod Cranberries

5.2 Chokospice

Some of Chokospice’s wonderful chocolate

At taste2taste we love to hear about producers and their food stories. From Political Sciences Professor, lecturer and author to ‘bean to bar’ artisan chocolate maker. Ethically sourced, organic, Rainforest Alliance certified cacao beans blended with spices,dried fruit and coconut sugar (no refined sugar)

5.1 Chokospice

Robert of Chokospice

We tasted some smooth, rich, melt in the mouth chocolate with our two highlights being the Cherry Mahleb (66% dark chocolate) and the bourbon smoked salt and Cape Cod Cranberries (70% dark chocolate)


Cup of Sea – Portland, Maine

7. Cup of Sea

Cup of Sea

Innovative use of Seaweed in healthy tea blends, we both liked their Emerald Honeybush with Sea Lettuce

Tulip Tree Creamery –  Indianapolis, Indiana

8. Tulip Tree

Laura of Tulip Tree Creamery

One of our favorite artisan cheese makers from a previous visit to the Expo, we loved Foxglove. A double cream, orange rind cheese washed with Hubbard & Cravens Porter Beer (from Thr3ee Wise Men Brewery). Soft, earthy and mildly pungent, buttery and delicious

Penny Lick Ice Cream Co. – Hastings, New York

9. Penny Licks

Ellen of Penny Lick

Local to me in the Hudson Valley, Ellen Sledge started out pushing the ice cream cart in my local farmers market, then moved to a high street ice cream parlor in Hastings and is about to supply retail. We tried her Dark Chocolate Coconut. A truly decadent vegan treat

Calivirgin – Lodi, California

Extra virgin olive oils crushed with the actual fruits, herbs and spices for an authentic tasting infused oil

10.2 Calivirgin Olive Oil

Mike of Calivirgin

We tried their newest oils, Blood Orange and ‘Extreme Heat’ Habanero Pepper and it sure was fiery HOT!

Dram Apothecary –  Salida, Colorado

6.1 Dram (together)

Brady & Shae of Dram Apothecary

We sipped their gently infused, adaptogenic sparkling water range: including Gingergrass plus Hemp (THC free) which contained amla berry, rhodiola and chaga mushroom and Cardamon and Black Tea with black bitters both of which are calorie free and vegan

Gentle and refreshing and the perfect end to our day at the Mercantile NYC


If you want to find where you can get the products that we talk about above, please check out:


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