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Hot Stuff at Fancy Foods 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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By Melanie Yunk

Fancy Food San FranciscoOn Sunday, January 16, 2011, the four of us arrived at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, ready to sample every one of the 80,000 specialty foods on display. Well, a few of them, anyway. My husband, Kent, and colleague, Kim, and her husband, Tim, helped me navigate the aisles, and we found more than enough tasty treats to satisfy our hunger for hot stuff.

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s (NASFT’s) Fancy Food Show was established in 1952 and is the most popular food show in the world, open only to food buyers. The show occurs twice each year in San Francisco and New York City. This year’s Bay Area show included more than 1300 exhibitors displaying diverse foods from all over the world. As a food manufacturer, I’ve exhibited at this show many times and determined it’s the happiest place on earth--well next to Disneyland, of course. I'm always fascinated by the year’s top food trends, which according to the NASFT, include:

  • Chocolate for Breakfast: Tea, Belgian waffles, granola and hot chocolate on a stick. (Seriously. Why did we wait so long?)

  • Foods for Healing, such as Ancient healing teas, aloe and cucumber drinks, plus micro-batches of healthful beverages.

  • New Noodles made from yams, kelp, yuba (tofu skin), farro (a rice-like grain) and spelt (ancient wheat).

  • Heat with Flavor: Ghost peppers, yuzu-wasabi sauce, and piquillo almond glop.

  • Creative chips like pinto bean, black bean, naan, peas, mung beans, kale and wild rice.

  • Other trends included retro foods, classic cocktails, wine-flavored foods, mini- servings and cured meats.

We wandered throughout the various sections of the show, starting in the California section at the Savor California booth where we met food manufacturers from all over California; some brand new to veteran businesses. In the International section, we tasted French wines, cheese from Wales and some of the finest anejo tequilas from Mexico.



 

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