One of the first assignments I went on as a cub reporter for the Jewish News (then MetroWest, not New Jersey) was to report on Kosherfest, the kosher industry trade show held annually at the Meadowlands, this year Oct. 29-30. It was so long ago I can’t link to it: we didn’t have a website or even the Internet. We were lucky to have replaced our quills and ink with ball point pens. So when I got an email offering me a press pass, how could I resist?
It was bigger, with more exhibitors and demos, but everything seemed familiar. The big boys had big booths up front, the drinks and chips and cookies were flowing, the Vitamix demo guy was talking a mile a minute, and the frummies were out in full force (an aside: why if you’re wearing a wig would you wear a scarf over it? Talk about a fence around the follicles.) I sought out my Facebook/Twitter buddy Rabbi Jason Miller (at six-foot-a-lot, he’s hard to miss), who had a booth with his kashrut certification company, Kosher Michigan. His was the only Conservative heksher in the whole joint.
I love sampling as much as the next person (my kids think it’s the only reason to go to Costco) but sometimes Jews tend to overdo it, maybe?
I loved talking to exhibitors, but none more than my gal pal Doni Zasloff Thomas, aka Mama Doni! She was there with her biggest sponsor, Streit’s, and I got to try a new (Passover friendly) matzah granola distributed by Streit’s called Matzolah which I promise is yummy enough to eat year round. We caught up on our girl talk (hair and feelings) and found we were both wearing
cowboy cowgirl boots, and now we’re planning a jaunt into Nolita to Space Cowboy Boots to get some more. We ran into former NJ resident Jeffrey Yoskowitz and his partner Liz Alpern from Gefilteria, and they gave us fresh horseradish samples we can’t wait to try!
I posted this photo to Twitter (follow us, @tribeandjoy and @mamadoni) and someone asked, Who’s Tribe and Who’s Joy – no question, Doni is JOY all the way!!
I thought it would be fun some 15 years later to dust off my press credentials. I’ll be writing a reallio-trullio article for NJJN about Kosherfest; look for it next week.
The whole experience was great fun (even though I don’t love loud crowds, and it was really loud and crowded), but of course the toughest decision of the day was, do I sample the meat or the dairy. I was parve for the first hour, then turned fleish. I can do dairy at home. The “chicken fries” were kinda gross, but the Jack’s Sweet Italian Sausage (which I know
Trader Joe’s Shop Rite carries) was really yum. I took a second little slice. Oops, was that excessive product sampling?