Each year, hundreds of new products hit supermarket and specialty food store shelves. Many die a quick death, never attracting consumers' attention, though others manage to achieve success either by filling a demand that up till then had gone unnoticed or by coming to the public's attention as a result of extensive promotion. Still others never even have a chance, squeezed out of the marketplace by a lack of available shelf space. In covering the International Fancy Food Show--the industry's trade show--each year, a number of new products catch our attention. Still other new items we learn about through press releases. Here are some from this year's crop that we found interesting. For each, a website and/or phone number can lead you to the store nearest you that carries the product(s).
Fish. If there ever was a company name that says it like it is, Chesapeake Bay Gourmet, Baltimore, Md. (www.cbgourmet.com, 1-800-432-2722), has to be near the top of the list. Its succulent, meaty crab cakes made from jumbo lump crabmeat are four ounces of seafood heaven, while the lobster cakes and scallop and crab cake combination match them in flavor, texture (all are handmade, not molded by machine), and appearance.
Crab shows up again in three rich soups from Chincoteague Seafood Co., Inc., Chincoteague, Va. (www. chincoteagueseafood.com, 1-443-260-4800), each loaded with Chesapeake Bay crabmeat, garden-fresh vegetables, and a heady blend of spices. The 15-ounce cans of Vegetable Red Crab, Cream of Crab, and Crab and Cheddar Soup are practically meals in themselves.
Still more crab pops up in one of the wide variety of delicious boil-in-the-bag dinners from Home Bistro, Essex Junction, Vt. (www.thehome bistro.com, 1-800-343-5588). In this case, it's Roasted Crab Cake with Lobster Sauce, a jumbo oven-roasted crab cake accompanied by grilled corn, bell peppers, and onions, with each ingredient packaged separately to avoid everything blending together in a hodgepodge of flavors. Further seafood specialties include Salmon Filet & Shrimp in Lobster Sauce, Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Herbed Lime Butter, and Maine Lobster in Lobster Sauce. If you're not a fish-lover, you can try Roasted Rack of Lamb with Garlic Sauce, Roasted Prime Rib au Jus, or Blackened Chicken Breast in a Champagne Sauce. All come with hefty portions of vegetables, some with potatoes, and others with pasta. The Home Bistro entrees put ordinary supermarket frozen meals to shame.
Olive oil, olives, and salad dressing. The growth of the fancy , olive oil craze continues unabated, as Americans seek out new zest for spicing up their cooking and putting zip in their salads. Lessik Imports, LLC, New York (www.campobellooil .com, 1-201-601-9300), has brought Campobello Riserva Extra Virgin Olive Oil over from the Belice River Valley in Sicily, and it is well worth the effort, with a clean, fruity taste and eye-catching deep green color. It makes a perfect complement to Campobello Aged Balsamic Vinegar, imported from Modena, Italy, where it has been aged in wooden barrels for eight years.
For those who'd rather chomp on whole olives (or fish them out of martinis) than pour their oil over everything, Divina Olives, New York (1-800-350-3411), offers a wide, spicy range, from Mount Pelio Black to Cracked Green to Pitted Kalamata, as well as a Greek Olive Mix for variety's sake.
Even the venerable Wish-Bone, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. (www.wishbone.com, 1-312-329-0811), a longtime salad dressing staple on grocery shelves, is branching out with more-exotic blends, having introduced a quartet of new flavors for its Dressing & Marinade dual-usage line. Asian Sesame, Lemon Garlic & Herb, Tangy Honey Mustard, and Balsamic Olive Oil & Herbs should pep up your salads and add zest to various meats and chicken before you put them on the grill.
Salsa and sauces. Garden Fresh Salsa, Ferndale, Mich. (www.gar denfreshsalsa. …