By Rochelle Maruch Miller
They came, they tasted, they converged at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus. Despite dreary weather and a heavy downpour, more than 5,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors from all over the world participated in the 21st Annual Kosherfest 2009 on October 27 and 28.
Showcasing a record number of upscale foods, including over 500 newly kosher certified products, this year’s competitions and events gave visitors a taste of the best that kosher has to offer.
And among the best of the best was Glatech Productions’ Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin, which made its debut at an exclusive book-signing with internationally acclaimed cookbook author Susie Fishbein.
“The introduction of Kolatin Kosher Gelatin in consumer size by Susie Fishbein was quite the experience,” Chez Eider, Kolatin’s vice-president of business development told the Five Towns Jewish Times. Susie Fishbein sat at the Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin booth (#137) at the high bartop table, fully accessible to the public. She gave interviews with a wide variety of media outlets. Between interviews, she spoke with the crowds of people who stopped by to say hello to her. In her signature style, Susie graciously answered every question posed to her.
We had the pleasure of speaking with her, and she related how she enjoys the Five Towns shopping experience. “It’s such a great place to shop, with a wide variety of fresh, high-quality items. I can always find even the most hard-to-find ingredients when I come to the Five Towns.”
I asked Susie why she decided to use Kolatin in her recipes.
“Kolatin unflavored-it’s just so versatile; there is so much that the product can do,” she explained. “Other products were just not up to par of what I was looking for in my recipes. They didn’t have holding power . . . You want the Kolatin unflavored gelatin in your product. You want the hold, you want the shimmer. For example, you can’t do a panna cotta without good gelatin, or no-bake cheesecakes.”
She went on to explain, “With Kolatin, you can layer; the presentation values are just stunning. Think about the centerpieces, what you can put out as an easy and healthy dessert. I think people, when they hear ‘no-bake’-it means almost no skill. Prep time on gelatin desserts are 5 to 10 minutes. People love that.”
Susie elaborated on the myriad possibilities with Kolatin unflavored.
“Kolatin opens up a world of fast and easy recipes for the kosher consumer,” she said. “I had never written any recipe using kosher gelatin previously. In my world of cooking, I won’t use a product as an ingredient in my recipes unless it yields a perfect result. If I can’t find a chocolate that is perfect, for example, I won’t use it in my recipe. I am so excited about Kolatin; it’s a superb, high-quality product. It’s versatile and allows you to add a multitude of recipes to your cooking repertoire.”
Indeed, so impressed is Susie with Kolatin that she has introduced her Kosher by Design Recipe Supplement, presenting Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin, at Kosherfest. The supplement features gorgeous desserts created by Susie, as well as tips by Tish Boyle, editor of Dessert Professional magazine. “I was already in this mindset of healthy cooking when I discovered Kolatin,” Susie explained. “I loved everything about its taste and texture, but it was too late for me to include the new recipes in Kosher by Design Lightens Up, so I decided to create a special supplement. People do want to eat something for dessert that is sweet yet light, and Kolatin is an ingredient that strikes the perfect balance. Kolatin yields spectacular recipes that were heretofore unheard of in the kosher market.”
Health-conscious consumers should consider Kolatin’s additional benefits. “There are many health benefits, both direct and non-direct, to using gelatin in your dishes. Gelatin is a natural ingredient and is low-calorie, sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in protein. Many experts also believe that gelatin itself has benefits for maintaining healthy bones and joints and attractive hair and nails, and it has long been valued as a digestive aid.”
But it is gelatin’s ability to mimic the feel and texture of fat that may be its greatest asset. Adds Susie, “Nothing else matches the feel and texture of true gelatin in gel desserts, custards, or whipped cream. From silky to chewy, real gelatin’s ability to mimic the texture of natural fatty substances is incomparable. This allows cooks to make healthier dishes that taste and look like the higher fat foods and recipes we all love.”
It’s not often that a company is founded by someone who is a renowned kashrus expert, yet that was exactly the case with Glatech Productions. Founded by the legendary Rabbi Shimon Eider, a leading authority and trailblazer in kashrus, Glatech manufactures a truly unique gelatin, marketed as Kolatin. What makes Kolatin unique from all other gelatins?
“Real gelatin is an animal derivative, a product of bovine hides,” explains Chez Eider. “For the kosher consumer, concerned with all the issues that this entails, manufacturers resorted to substitutes, such as fish-bone gelatin or seaweed-based products like agar agar or carrageenan. Other companies used bovine gelatin, but it was obtained from non-kosher hides or bones; no major kosher certifying agency in the United States, Canada, or most of the world would approve it.
“My father, who was really out there on the front lines, saw the niche for real gelatin that was 100 percent kosher, pareve, and kosher-for-Passover. And so he diligently began the research process. After five years of research and development, with much determination and perseverance, Kolatin was successfully developed.”
Kolatin is the only kosher gelatin in the world that is sourced exclusively from 100 percent glatt origin and is certified by the Union of Orthodox Congregations (the OU) as kosher, pareve, and kosher-for-Passover, with raw materials sourced in the U.S.
Glatech Productions offers gelatin with characteristics that comply with each customer’s unique product specifications, such as bloom strengths, viscosity, and mesh size. “We also have a wide variety of gelatins ready for immediate delivery,” adds Chez. Manufacturers who switch to Kolatin don’t have to retool-its integration into existing systems is virtually seamless.”
As the trend for food products enhanced through real kosher gelatin continues to grow commercially, due to the health benefits and versatility, Glatech Productions is introducing Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin to the retail market. Each package of new Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin will contain an exclusive recipe from Susie Fishbein. Included in the delicious recipes are Kolatin Banana Coconut Parfait, Kolatin Espresso Panna Cotta, and Kolatin Triple Mousse Pie-each one a culinary masterpiece, exquisite yet surprisingly easy to prepare.
What feedback has Susie’s appearance and the Kosher by Design Kolatin Supplement elicited thus far?
“Everyone knows Susie Fishbein,” Chez Eider explains. “Sales of her Kosher by Design cookbook series have reached over 400,000-in the Jewish publishing world that is unheard of . . . Susie was a real pleasure to speak to. People of all types were happy to share in her wealth of knowledge. Susie’s knowledge, and the way she shares it, is invigorating. Her enthusiasm when she talks about Kolatin makes you want to try it right away and wonder how we didn’t have this pantry staple before.”
The Kolatin unflavored ingredient, as well as the flavored dessert gels, are expected to be on shelves in the tri-state area in December. Visit www.KosherGelatin.com to learn how to use Kolatin, receive exclusive recipes from Susie Fishbein and tips on how to use gelatin from Tish Boyle, and receive updates via exclusive e-mails and Twitter and Facebook updates. And starting in February 2010, look for “Gelatin School” at KosherGelatin.com.