Each year at the Fancy Foods Show, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of flavored waters. I know that it's important to drink a lot of water, but if I want water with flavor, I prefer to add it myself with fresh citrus, mint sprigs, or sliced cucumber. How about you? Do you purchase flavored water? And if so, what's your favorite kind?
Cheese spreads were all the rage at this week's Fancy Foods. I asked Michel Bray, who works with Cabot Cheese, what types of people buy spreadable products. That's when I came across the second interesting cheese fact from the show: people who purchase cheese spreads also enjoy eating traditional cheese — but those who primarily purchase traditional cheese eschew "cheese products." Which camp are you in?
While we enjoyed many exciting bites and spotted plenty of trends at the Fancy Foods Show, there was one food item we could not get enough of: cheese! The amazing array of cheese at the show is phenomenal, and although we tasted countless kinds, there are 10 special cheeses that stood out above the rest. If you come across any of them at your local market, we highly recommend you give them a try.
At food expos, cocktail mixers are nothing new, but at this week's show, it seemed like there were few liquid mixers that wasn't a fruit puree touting therapeutic benefits, fewer calories, sugar-free substances, Stevia sweetener, or a low glycemic index.
While the idea's great in theory, too many of these faddy food products were also skinny on taste. What do you think of low-calorie cocktail mixers?
We're always on the lookout for upcoming trends, and there's no better place to spot them than at the Fancy Foods show, where thousands of exhibitors display the latest and greatest edibles they've developed for the mass market. There was some trends you could probably guess were huge — everything was gluten-free! — but here are a few that you probably didn't.
In between the Guy Fieri salsa and the bacon salt stands at the Fancy Foods Show, Team Yum stumbled upon something we had never seen before: Mario Batali wine. Unlike the orange-clogged chef's pasta sauces, the wine bottles do not have Batali's face plastered across the front of them. Instead, the new bottlings are elegantly labeled and expected to hit the West Coast market at Cost Plus stores soon.
We tasted two of the three varietals, the Prosecco and Chianti (the Pinot Grigio wasn't chilled), and were pleasantly surprised by the drinkability of both. The Prosecco was a classic sparkler true to the Veneto region of Italy with a delightful dryness, crisp body, and simply delicious flavor. The Chianti was earthy, smooth, and full-bodied. Both will retail at under $20, making them an affordable option for your everyday wine selection.
So tell me: the next time you follow one of Batali's recipes, would you be interested in pairing it with one of his wines?
The Fancy Foods Show is a giant food industry trade show that happens twice a year. The Winter event takes place in San Francisco and thus, we've spent the past two days eating our way through the whole thing. While there are plenty of trends to discuss (stay tuned for those!), our favorite part of the show are the mind-blowing bites and intriguing sips that we found as we wound our way around the Moscone Center. Pepperoni pesto? Spicy Spanish guindillas? Goat's milk caramels? Keep reading for all our delicious discoveries!
Before you answer this question, consider where you're from, because your choice may be predetermined based on where you live. At the Fancy Foods Show, we learned from the cheese reps that, while the Coasts prefer white cheddar, Midwesterners heavily skew in favor of yellow cheddar. "We'll show them a white variety, and they'll say, 'No, where's the cheddar?'" a Wisconsin dairy expert told us. Readers, tell us: is this correct?
While at Fancy Foods, we caught up with J&D's Foods, the masterminds behind Baconnaise. Cofounder Justin Esch revealed what's next in the world of cured pork: soon, Hickory BaconSalt will grace the top of every table at Denny's Restaurants nationwide.
In addition to Hickory BaconSalt's presence at Denny's, we also learned that Baconnaise is coming to the shelves of Wal-Mart.
Hickory bacon sprinkles atop a Grand Slam, and bacon mayonnaise for the middle-American masses; it'd be hard to dream up a better fit, don't you think?