A drink that says “summer” (photo courtesy Belvoir Fruit Farms).  A new, limited edition Cholula Hot Sauce (photo courtesy Jose Cuervo).
In two days we head to the Fancy Food Show, a trade show of specialty food producers so vast that, like Disneyland, you can’t possibly see it all, much less eat it all.
So before we head out to find new favorites, here are five more of our current faves, in alphabetical order.
1. BELVOIR FRUIT FARMS: CORDIALS & FLAVORED LEMONADES
Belvoir calls their beverages “non-alcoholic fruit cordials.” We’d call them elegant non-alcoholic sparkling drinks or a very sophisticated soft drink. But evidently, in the English countryside where they are made, says the company:
“Cordials were originally a way for country people to preserve some of each summer’s glut of fruit for the coming winter. Adding sugar to the fruit juice would stop fermentation and keep the juice fresh for a few months.”
Belvoir Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland. The current duke’s mother infused elderflowers, grown on the estate, into a delicious beverage for family and friends, who couldn’t get enough of it.
Her husband saw a revenue potential, and the family business has been pressing and cooking fresh flowers, fruits and spices since 1981, combining them with local spring water. The line expanded, and is now sold worldwide.
The all-natural flavors include:
Flavored lemonades: Elderflower, Organic Elderflower, Elderflower & Rose
Each one is a must-try. There are 25.4-ounce full bottles and 8.4-ounce individual bottles. Buy them for yourself, buy them as party favors or as gifts to summer hosts.
Discover more at BelvoirFruitFarms.com.
Trivia: Originally, all the elderflowers were handpicked from bushes growing around Lord and Lady John Manners’ garden. The whole family helped to make the first batch of elderflower cordial, chopping the lemons and stirring the syrup. Lord John then popped the 88 cases of drinks into the back of his car and went around to local farm shops, persuading the owners to buy a bottle or two.
2. CHOLULA HOT SAUCE: SWEET HABANERO
Cholula Hot Sauce as had a cult following for some time. Now the cult has another flavor to enjoy.
Sweet Habanero is a limited-edition flavor in a line that includes Chili Garlic, Chili Lime, Chipotle, Green Pepper and Original. The sweetness comes from pineapple flavor, and it’s a charmer, especially to those, like us, who like sweet + heat.
The brand is thanking fans for their support by launching the Order of Cholula, in tandem with the new Sweet Habanero.
Only 1,000 bottles of Sweet Habanero were made, so head to the Order Of Cholula and sign up.
Trivia: The hot sauce is named after the 2,500-year-old city of Cholula, Puebla, the oldest still-inhabited city in Mexico. The name is derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) Chollollan, meaning “the place of the retreat.”
Cholula, a third-generation family business, is now licensed by Jose Cuervo. It was begin by the Harrison family, originally of Chapala, Jalisco, now of Dallas, Texas. The image on the bottle is a portrait of Harrison family matriarch, Camila Harrison.
3. DR. PEPPER CAKE
Café Valley Bakery, a leading bakery producer for better grocers, has partnered with Dr. Pepper to create a Dr. Pepper Cake.
We’re wary of foods that sound like gimmicks, but we’re always willing to try a sample when offered. We’re both happy and sad about this, because Dr. Pepper Cake is so delightful, we ate the whole thing.
Made with real Dr. Pepper, the cake has a bottom of yellow cake, topped by a Dr. Pepper-flavored layer. The cake is drizzled with white icing.
Dr. Pepper Cake is is certified kosher (dairy) by OK Kosher. It joins an array Café Valley Bakery soda cakes, including 7UP, Orange Crush, and A&W Root Beer (we haven’t tried any of these).
The new flavor is available at grocers nationwide. The 26-ounce cake has a suggested retail price of $5.99. Here are the retailers that carry the line.
Trivia: The Dr. Pepper soft drink is made from a secret formula of 23 flavorings.
4. P.B. CRAVE: COCONUT MILK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER
We have long been fans of P.B. Crave’s flavored peanut butters. These days, the line includes peanut butter and chocolate combinations:
Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter
Raspberry Dark & White Chocolate Peanut Butter
Sweet & Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter
and the latest:
 A Dr. Pepper Cake, which goes great with…Dr. Pepper soda pop (photo courtesy Dr. Pepper).  The latest in a line of chocolate-peanut butter flavors (photo courtesy PB Crave).
The company calls their newest flavor “a Caribbean beach escape with a blend of coconut, organic honey, and milk chocolate chips.”
Resistance is futile!
Discover more of this all-natural line at PBCrave.com. Might we suggest an all-flavor tasting party?
Trivia: Peanut butter was originally developed by a physician as a protein-packed food for patients who no longer had teeth to chew meat. Here’s the history of peanut butter.