For those of you who have never heard of the Fancy Food Show, it is THE trade show of everything specialty food from thousands of cheeses to gourmet packaged foods and everything in-between. If it exists at Dean & Deluca, Whole Foods or even your local Deli, most likely it exists at this show. Mom and pops looking for distribution and established brands alike sample their wares at these shows and buyers from every gourmet food store across the nation taste their way through oodles of aisles of food looking for the next tasty thing.
When it comes to food, I am like an obsessed Trekky. I have attended three shows total in the past 4 years, two in San Francisco and I even flew to New York to attend theirs. The San Francisco Winter Show took place this year January 16-18 at the Moscone Center. Yes, mam and sir, a humungous convention center of rows and endless rows of delectable foods all for me to taste. Only food trade people are allowed to attend, but I used my connections to get in. Wink wink.
I hand picked a few products that I thought were delicious and worthy of sharing, however, not everything is food at this show. One of my favorite products is a bag designed to keep bread fresh longer. I never buy baguettes anymore when cooking for two because I hate to waste what’s left over, and let’s face it, traditional zipper bags tend to rob breads of any personality they have left. The product is called BREAD ARMOR. I am not sure if they are in stores now, but I think the general public can order from their web site.
SENCE is a rose nectar used to make cocktails. I have to say that the first thing that struck me was their beautiful booth, but I was transported to romance land when I took a sip of this lovely rose nectar. The bottle is gorgeous and the product sublime. Strangely enough, the founders of Sence are a former Nevada Governer and Toursism Secretary. You are welcome to check out their site for more on that. The product itself is produced in Bulgaria. Apparently, Rose nectar has been gracing the palettes of the middle east and southeastern Europe for years. At the show they were mixing Sence with Hendricks Gin, my favorite gin and St. Germain elderflower liquor, my favorite liquor. I think it would be just fabulous in a little prosecco with a rose petal floating at the top.
I love ETRURIA products. I have tried their divine white truffle oil and their agrumati is like nothing I have ever tasted. An Agrumati is an olive that is flavored with a fruit, usually citrus. What makes it so special is that the fruit is actually pressed with the olives giving a beautiful and intense bouquet and flavor. I have also used the Bergamot infused oil. I drizzle it on green vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli with a few grey salt crystals. At Uva enoteca in San Francisco, chef/owner Ben Hetzel drizzled a little lemon agrumati over locally made vanilla ice cream with some grey salt. One of the most memorable and sensory desserts of my life.
I am a teensy bit perturbed that they don’t actually show the real packaging on their site, especially because it rocks. I tried JUSTIN’S version of Nutella at the show and I was blown away at how yummy it was. Who doesn’t like Nutella? Answer: No one. Who wants to fill their body with hydrogenated oil/trans fats? Answer: No one. I purchased Whole Foods healthier version of this and it just didn’t cut it. Justin, however, has nailed it. I was on Virgin America once and tried a little envelope of their maple almond butter that came in my $5 snack pack. It was creamy and very tasty. I love companies that are built on passion and integrity and succeed at putting out incredible products. I wouldn’t be surprised if Planter’s hasn’t made Justin a big fat offer. Don’t do it Justin!