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Jan 17, 2010 08:08 PM

Fancy Food Show

My husband and I spent over 5 hours in the North hall at the Fancy Food show today. We tasted some great food, and some really bad stuff. Tomorrow we will do the South Hall. Lots of "new foods". Glutten free seems to be a huge part of the show.

Stubbs is a great BBQ booth, Gourme`Mist is another great product to try. So many great products to try: candy, chips, meat, dips, oils, salsa. If it is food it is here.

This is such a great show,

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  1. Spent several hours in the South hall. Probably more traditional food there. I believe Moscone North is the center for organic, vegan, etc, whereas South is where they feed you foie gras and pâté. They have areas dedicated to specific countries, like France, Italy, and Germany. The Peruvian section offers ceviche and pisco sour from La Mar. I was overwhelmed by the abundance of cheese -- it was almost too much of a good thing. Initially, I tried to remember the names of the vendors I liked, but I soon gave up. There was just too much good stuff, often in overlapping categories. Over all, given how large Moscone Center is, the amount of great food in one place is staggering. And $35 for a three-day pass is a bargain. (I believe it's more if you didn't register in advance.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: nocharge

      Oooh! Thank you both for the info! I will be visitting the Fancy Food Show tomorrow and can't wait!

    2. I spent the afternoon at the show today, walked both halls, borrowing a pass from a friend. I hadn't been for some years and took note of the number of kosher and certified gluten-free products.

      Here's a list of some of the items I enjoyed, most of them from California.
      Sierra Nevada vat-cultured organic butter, salted
      Siggi’s Icelandic-style non-fat, strained skyr, natural flavor is quite tart and brisk, sweetened with agave nectar
      Hotlips Oregon fruit soda , rep’d by The Cheese Works, loved the pear and black raspberry flavors, just launching in this market so ask your retailer to stock it. I said to the owner, “that tastes so much like a fresh pear, I almost expect it to be gritty!”
      Mama’s Goodies from Sunnyvale, delicious nut brittles, loved the pecan,
      Popping boba and fruit ice rep’d by a Union City company
      Fermin jamon Iberico
      Pio Tosini prosciutto di Parma – darker color and sweeter aroma than other prosciutto. One of the Dean & Deluca guys had just tasted it and pulled me in from the aisle insisting that I try it. I’m glad he did.
      Black garlic from Hayward and South Korea, just started production in Hayward using California-sourced garlic (higher sugar content), , available at Berkeley Bowl
      Bubbie’s green tea mochi ice cream, Hawaii
      Kari’s Malva Pudding, made in Aptos, available at Whole Foods, Lunardi’s, Andronico’s
      Silver Moon liqueur-flavored ice cream and ices, from Los Gatos/San Jose,
      Devils Gulch, new chili-coated cheese from Cowgirl Creamery
      Fennel pollen from Pollen Ranch in Lemon Grove, CA, , mailorder or available at Berkeley Bowl
      Bequet caramel sauce, Montana,
      Savory flavor macarons by Fabrique Delices, Hayward, not sure that I like them but they are innovative and different
      Apricot-almond panforte, from Chico,

      14 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Was there today also - one of our first tastes was the truffle macaron - o v e r w h e l m i n g to say the least...

        Really liked the popping boba - have never seen or tasted this before - loved the way the boba popped - sort of the way good caviar pops.

        1. re: RWCFoodie

          How did i miss signing up for this event - any chance of getting in tomorrow for less than $60?

          1. re: RWCFoodie

            Do you recall the name of the boba company? I didn't take any notes and can't remember.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The popping bobba was one of my favorites, too. The rep is Sogo Trading, 510-487-6788 (Union City); the manufacturer (?) is Possmei, Bubble Tea Creative Marketing. The girl told me this is a new concept for bubble teas, etc. The popping bobba comes in passion fruit, yoghurt, mango, plum and litchi.

              I also loved the old-fashioned cream cheeses shown by Sierra Nevada and another company. Much lighter in texture than the commercial cream cheese.

              A product in search of a market is the water bottles with built-in straw. A product I'm looking forward to trying is the bread saver bag.

              Some of the worst foods for me were the sticky toffee cheese and the apple pie cheese, and the bacon popcorn and baconnaise.


              1. re: waldrons

                Thanks, I loved the snap of the popping boba. Seemed like agar-agar in the shell from the firmness of it. That's what molecular gastronomy mavens use to spherify liquid flavor bubbles. Fun to see a mass market product that does that. I think we've had a request for this type of snow ice, that is, shaved ice cream or sorbet but no luck finding it at the time. Hope this shows up locally, anyone who sees it, please post!

                "Biggie" did a lot of show coverage in her twitter feed. Here's her photo of the popping boba.

                And, her shot of the black garlic,

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            Did the savory macarons have the right texture. I tried some in France and while the concept was intriguing, not having the sugar in the shell ruined the texture and made it not so appealing.

            1. re: jsaimd

              The texture didn't seem the best to me - a bit soggy. The texture of the goat cheese one was better but still not exactly what it should be (IMHO).

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              Let me add one revelatory find on Sunday ... there was a small booth in Aisle 4600 south with Chinese spices. Mostly just the usual chiles, etc., but they had a small bowl of what was labelled as "Green Ma". It looked like Sichuan pepper corns but was green and the flavor was incredible, complex (and numbing). I asked if it was available in the Bay area and he said none of the local places had any time for him. The people are from LA. I think the green ma came from the north of China someplace, not Sichuan. Does anyone know what it is? I am guessing it is a green phase of the Sichuan pepper corns picked and dried before they turn red??They gave us a small sample to take as they only sell in large units. I may get back later today and will report if I learn anything new.

              1. re: Thomas Nash

                Do you have the name of the importer/rep?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I thought I dropped their card in my bag, but embarrassed to say I can't find it. I am checking with someone who was there with me and will post if I learn more. From the location and listing it could be JFC International (booth 4647) but their website only shows Japanese stuff. JFC is from LA, which is what I remember. I went back on Tuesday and couldn't find them. I wonder if the people on Sunday were using someone else's booth or were a subgroup doing Chinese spices or???. They were a tiny operation.

                  1. re: Thomas Nash

                    Turns out they scanned my cousin's badge -- so we are hoping to receive some literature in a couple of weeks. She thinks it is not JFC, but the location both of the booth and their home was very close. Will report more when/if we learn anything.

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                Melanie, I second the skyr from Siggi and Mama's Goodies. The latter looked like a nice little company. I hope they do well.

                1. re: mielemaiale

                  It's nothing short of amazing that of all the products on offer at the show, independent tasters manage to find the same things and agree. Here's Chow's article on the skyr.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    They sell the yogurt from Siggi's at the Whole Foods on 4th Street. I bought it on Sunday but have not tried it yet.

              3. Other notables that stood out to me were the porchetta and the new fiery toffee lineup at Poco Dolce (try the popcorn flavor and then the red chili- great texture and flavors).

                1 Reply
                1. re: anneliesz

                  How could I forget to mention that porchetta - that was so good - and we were surprised that the skin wasn't ruined - we loved it!

                2. We did the South Hall today. OMW, the pig! Ham and more ham, sausage, salami, bacon, and every other way you can use pig. Every country has incredible ham. And then we had pate and foie gras. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Somewhere in Italy we had truffled risotto. And then more ham. Spain wins hands down for ham.

                  The cheese was everywhere. I reached a point it had to be really special before I would taste it. The body became to rebell.

                  This is the best $30 per person we have ever spent. Every year it gets better. I wish we could go tomorrow. But the work calls for DH.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Janet

                    While there is indeed a lot of pig on offer, this is a trade event not a pig out. Which product brands are you recommending for purchase?

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Being in the industry, I quite enjoy the sheer pleasure Chowhounds take in just tasting the food at Fancy Food. My experience was and typically is so different at this show. I went to both halls, and barely tasted anything, because I did not want to get distracted with tasting foods, as I needed to focus on various brands and what they were up to. In different circumstances, i would have adored the South Hall, but I just breezed through it because none of the companies I worked with were there, and there were hardly any packaged goods that were relevant to me. I was forced to save my appetite for lots of bland chips and trail mixes and such. :)

                      1. re: mielemaiale

                        It was great to see more brands of Serrano coming to the US. Each brought their own guy to shave off slices and I wondered whether Spain was short last weekend on jamon slicing specialists. I had my eye out for new things and it was hard to bypass all that cheese.

                        I've had someone inquire privately about the Dean & Deluca guy. Nope, I don't know him from Adam, he just grabbed me as a random passerby to try the prosciutto. And he stopped me from just stuffing it in my mouth, saying I should pay attention to the aroma first. I am grateful that randomness landed on me at that moment.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Was the prosciutto di Parma imported by Dean & Deluca hand shaved and next to the jamon Iberico stand? It was truly delicious. I may also add to your list the kimche from Mother In Law's with a real kick of anchovy.

                          1. re: PBSF

                            Yes, that's the stand, though I don't think that D&D is the importer of Pio Tosini but a customer.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              Thank you for the info regarding to D&D and the prosciutto di Parma.

                              1. re: PBSF

                                Well, hopefully it means we can buy it at D&D in St. Helena. If you find it at retail, please do let us know here. I'd love to have that in my mouth again.

                            2. re: PBSF

                              I had that kimchee and agree it was very good. Overall, I thought this show was not as varied as the last I attended (3 years ago) and although I love cheese, man it was everywhere! Some things I liked was the stock / broth in the liquid concentrate (forgot the name) - low sodium for a broth and the vegetable and beef broths were better than any manufactured liquids or cubes I have tasted before. I also tried several jamons and loved them and side by side with prosciutto really pointed up the differences. I also tried many good olive oils and salts, enjoyed the bacon infused salmon cavier (but not the malassol compressed stuff) The only really new thing to me was the black garlic. Not surprisingly given the things I liked, I passed on all the candy, chocolates, desserts and sweeter items.

                        2. re: Melanie Wong

                          Lots of these products are not available for purchase in the Bay Area. We are gifts, so many items can't be used in our gifts baskets.

                          By far the best ham was Monte Nevado Jamon Serrano.

                          Patsy pasta sauces and Raos are excellent. They are the only ones who peel their tomatoes.

                          Drinks I like Sence spiked with gin. A lovely rose nectar which was lovely on its own..

                          I don't think we pigged out. We enjoyed the tastes of the world.

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