I had the privilege of attending the Fancy Food Show Winter edition in San Francisco, a culinary spectacle split by food types and nations to exhibit the finest of ‘fancy foods’ and retail favorites that would debut over the coming season.“Sustainability and social good, through upcycling, ethical sourcing, diverse crops, and cause-related products, are growing ever more in popularity. We saw this emerging at the Summer Fancy Food Show this past June, and it’s really come to life here at the Winter Fancy Food Show,” said Denise Purcell, head of content for the Specialty FoodAssociation. “Combine this with more traditional trends like single serve on the go, and jerky, and we’re seeing a whole new way of eating and snacking. Innovation is happening very quickly within the industry and it’s exciting to see how these trends will evolve over the next few months.” Of what I tasted, a few favorites that remained with me will definitely be on my pick of the platters.
Turmeric: a superfood of sorts and my morning regimen to drink in hot water with ginger and black pepper (secret: it activates the turmeric) was evidently the number one trend. Found in everything from 4th and Heart turmeric ghee to rice to naans to a Frontier Co-Op blended mix which was ready to cook with, to my favorite Love Honey with moringa!
Speaking of spices, the diabolical variety of quirky sauces was outrageous and definitely burnt many a tongue and imaginations! While the glow in the dark Aloha from Oregon lit jalapeno jelly flavors juxtaposed sweet and spicy quite well, the excessively spicy sauces from Bravado Spice Co nicely merged the likes of fruity blueberry or crimson for an almost street style Indian touch. The prize for most sexually named sauces was from Bull Snort of Texas: capture Texas Tongue Torch, Butt Burner and Fire in the Hole!!!
Spice was not just reserved for sauces but also prevalent in my favorite chocolates. What with a pepper and peppercorn spicy Scorpion Chocolate by French Broad Chocolate which left a lingering aftertaste, or the Honey Mamas cayenne spice bar which was simultaneously meltingly luscious as it was potent. Classic brands like Chuao had a plethora of treats like charcoal, popping candy and marshmallows to elevate textural chocolate, an accomplishment made into art by Budapest brand ChocoMe, who created canvases of artistry with their chocolate mastery.
Ending the day with red wine paired with Ethel M nutty chocolate nuggets gave way to the resplendent Elmhurst 1925 nutty milks in simple single digit ingredients of walnuts, peanuts, chocolate peanuts, hazelnuts and everything that made me go nuts for a healthy milk load, by the gallon! Notwithstanding a last bite of vintage Beemans gum, tribute to Marilyn Monroe no less, matched with pink virgin coconut water by the everlastingly pretty NutriVsta!