New Faces, Familiar Places.
Byline: Anna Wolfe
One of my favorite things about traveling to tradeshows is meeting new people and reconnecting with my friends in the gourmet trade. The Winter Fancy Food Show just happens to be in one of my favorite cities - San Francisco.
I started off the Winter Fancy Food Show by attending some of the stand-out educational sessions where I heard that chickpeas and quinoa are hot, and soy is not, according to SPINS' prognostications for 2012. Chickpeas and quinoa are in the spotlight for several reasons: the increasing interest in Asian and Latin foods; the rising popularity of eating meat-free meals; cooking more at home; and healthy and affordable meals.
In a nutshell, there wasn't anything so new and so revolutionary it knocked my socks off. What I did see and taste, however, were products that expanded or built upon existing industry trends. (Better tasting gluten-free products; salty-sweet chocolates, caramels and snacks; and healthier snacks, to name a few.)
I definitely noticed more coconut, more teas, more barbecue sauces, and more Indian foods and sauces. It was a lot to take in, literally. I did sample a lot of fantastic products. (See Show Notes posted on www.gourmetretailer.com) Here are two of the stand-outs from the 2012 Winter Fancy Food Show:
Seth Greenberg's family has been baking in the Big Apple for years. Greenberg, pictured right, sampled his latest creation: Brownie Crunch, a thin brownie in three flavors: Toffee Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip. These thin treats are available in 4-ounce bags and in foodservice sizes. For more information, call 917-825-6695 or visit www.browniecrunch.com
Renee Erickson, pictured below, is the chef-owner of Boat Street Cafe in Seattle. The pickled fruit preserves from Boat Street Pickles were one of my favorites, new-to-me products. (This was the first time I've sampled them, but I learned these gems are available at Bi-Rite Market, Murray's Cheese and other specialty food retailers.) My favorite was the pickled apricots. Black Mission figs, raisins and prunes are also available. Suggested retail price is $9.99 per 9-ounce jar. For more information, call 206-588-1208 or visit www.boatstreetpickles.com