Jennifer Middleton Richards
July 01, 2008

Anne, Holley, and I are at the Fancy Food Show in NYC today. There are about 1 jillion specialy foods to taste. Seriously, there are more than 6,000 booths with everything from Eqyptian fruit drinks to Sponge Bob Square Pants edamame snacks. It's a food lover's dream.

One of the first finds of yesterday was found at a Chilean cooking seminar hosted by Michael Gordon and Pilar Rodriguez. We tasted 15 foods indigenous to the region...which means I drank 2 glasses of wine, tasted 4 olive oils, vinegars, king crab, fruits, honey, and Dulce de Leche all by 10:30 am. Yikes!

One of the hits was Merquen (or Merken) from the producer Etnia. It’s a native spice blend made of Cacho de Cabra "horn of the goat" chiles, Coriander, salt, and cumin that I could--and did--eat by the teaspoon. It has a smoky yet ubiquitous flavor that could go on pork, chicken, corn … pretty much everything. Think of it as a mild, all-natural liquid smoke with a kick. I found it on LaTienda.com and plan on ordering some when I get home.

Now, I’ve gotta get back to the show. More news and photos to come ...

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