(Sandy Eller/Kosher Today Special Correspondent) Inspiration can sometimes come from the strangest of places, according to Jay Churba of Get Pikl’ed, one of the surprise hits of Kosherfest 2019. Churba and his partner, Mark Field, were out drinking picklebacks, shots of whiskey with pickle-juice chasers, when the bartender ran out of brine, sparking the idea of selling filtered dill pickle juice. Churba said that while he and Field toyed with the idea of launching their business, he spoke with Andrew Leibowitz, chief pickle maker at the iconic Guss’ Pickles, who has been to all 31 Kosherfest events.
“He said that when Steinbrenner had the Yankees, he would send a chauffeur over once a week to get 10 gallons of pickle juice to keep the boys hydrated,” said Churba. “When we heard that, the proverbial light bulb went off over our heads and that was when we came up with the idea with packing the product for athletes.” Packed with electrolytes, antioxidants and probiotics, pickle juice is a surprisingly healthy sports drink that, according to Churba, can reduce cramping, both before and after a workout. It is also believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestive health.
Although Churba and Field are both Floridians, their product has an all-New York City vibe. Get Pikl’ed 3.4-ounce resealable pouches proudly feature Bronx water as their first ingredient and show the Statue of Liberty silhouetted in front of the Manhattan skyline. An airplane flying overhead has, not surprisingly, a green pickle body and pickle-slice wings.
Mom Pops Prepares to Hit Kosher Stores
(Sandy Eller/Kosher Today Special Correspondent) After 30 years as a music teacher, Sandra Ostrander had seen it too many times—kids with food allergies and those who struggled with weight issues who couldn’t enjoy the treats that everyone else was eating. Instead of just feeling bad, Ostrander decided to take matters into her own hands, founding Mom Pops with her son Issa. Mom Pops produces approximately 10,000 of its OU-Pareve, dwarf-sized frozen pops daily in its Philadelphia-area factory. Holding up a mango mini Mom Pop, Ostrander noted that the product feels hard at first, its all-natural ingredients softening up on the tongue.
“It has just three ingredients, one of which is water,” said Ostrander. The other flavors, pineapple basil, strawberry lemonade, chocolate sea salt and banana raspberry, are also made with surprisingly few ingredients. With just 10 to 20 calories in each mini treat on a stick, Mom Pops were a hit with Kosherfest 2019 attendees. “We are the only ones in the nation who thought about taking things down to a one-ounce size,” said Issa. “They are a portion-controlled, great night snack, are free of the top 12 allergens and are as perfect for little kids as they are for adults.”
MISCEO Coffee Liqueur 300 Wows Kahlua Lovers
(JLNJ Staff) Leah Halberstam came up with a delicious concoction that sought to fill the void for all kosher-keeping Kahlua lovers, inspired when it was announced that the produced-in-Mexico beverage would be changing its formulation and no longer be certified kosher, back in 2016. Halberstam developed the product initially in her own kitchen, but those days are long over. The liqueur is now available at FillerUp and the product is a crowd pleaser, both for sipping in mixed drinks (try it in piping hot coffee with whipped cream!) or in baking. The ingredients are simple, yet high end: arabica coffee beans, saaccharum officinarum (the root of the sugar cane plant), and vanilla planifolia from Central America. The product’s name, Misceo, has two meanings: first, to mix, mingle, blend, combine or unite, and second, to confound or embroil.
We couldn’t help but want to hear more of this story, from the woman herself:
“I started blending and mixing my way to this recipe in my Brooklyn kitchen with one simple dream in mind: to make the perfect coffee liqueur for my friends and family. It had to be a high-quality product with a rich and luxurious flavor, so I used only the best ingredients. It took some time perfecting, but we got there, and before long strangers were asking for it by name: Misceo,” Halberstam wrote on her website.
“As a mom and a business woman I understand the desire to have it all and the need to find balance in all things. While it takes hard work and sacrifice to achieve our goals, we always strive for those perfect moments when it all comes together in harmonious unity. It is in the spirit of these moments that we offer you Misceo, the ultimate blend of sophistication and indulgence—in short, pure, unfettered elegance.”
Kosher Enthusiasts Gather for Annual Pre-Kosherfest Event
(Kosher Today) On Monday evening, November 11, the night before Kosherfest, a group of food personalities, cookbook authors, chefs, food enthusiasts and brand representatives, ate the night away at Teaneck’s ETC restaurants as part of the annual KosherFEAST dinner. Chef Seth Warshaw created an exclusive three-course menu especially for the event. In addition to New Jersey-area food enthusiasts and brand representatives, this year’s KosherFEAST was spear-headed by Alyssa Kaplan of KosherGourmetMart.com, Esti Berkowitz of primetimeparenting.com and Roberta Scher of KosherEye.com.
Buzz Pop cocktails, a leading sponsor of the event, offered their new OU-certified blueberry “cocktails in a pop” as part of dessert. Each guest received an amazing swag bag filled with new products from kosher-certified companies. The Jewish National Fund-USA provided a raffle copy of Lior Lev Sercaz’s cookbook “Mastering Spice.” He will be sharing his expertise with Israel’s new JNF project, the Galilee Culinary Institute. From the first toast to dessert, a wine pairing was curated by superb sommelier Gabe Geller, Kedem’s director of public relations and advertising. Favorites included the sparkling Herzog Lineage Momentus, Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition 2014 and a memorable Domaine de Panquelaine Sancerre 2018. Roberta Scher noted that the dinner was founded in 2011 at the now-defunct Solo Restaurant in midtown Manhattan, attended by a small group of 26 kosher food bloggers. No one at that first event would have ever foreseen the widespread influence of the kosher media!