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What We Found at 2014 Fancy Food Show in San Francisco
Submitted by Seleyn DeYarus on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 15:35
By Shoshana Romer
Twice a year, hundreds of the world’s finest food companies gather to showcase their products to eager buyers such as ourselves, at the Fancy Food Show. Held in San Francisco and New York City, arguably the culinary capitals of the United States, the three-day show is a delicious frenzy of tastings, nibbles, sips, and mouth-watering flavor combinations.
America’s Best Organics attends the Fancy Food Shows in search of products that hit our sweet spot: where gourmet and artisanal meet US-made and organic. This year our goal was to discover sweet spot products in the savory category: olive oils, vinegars, crackers, spreads, sauces, chips and other innovative snacks. Here is a sampling of what we discovered, plus a few surprises.
The crunchy stuff is trending big time in the snack world this year. Popcorn is gluten free which makes it a perfect stand-in snack for eaters with sensitivities to gluten. Thanks to some honorable farmers and eager consumers, non-GMO corn is readily available in the marketplace. And, it can easily swing sweet or savory.
Pop Art brings flavors many of us are familiar with to popcorn: Rosemary Truffle, Thai Coconut Curry, White Cheddar Jalapeno, White Pepper Parmesan and more. Pop Art is organic and they went the extra step to become Non GMO Project Verified that is very important when dealing with corn.
Let’s be honest, popcorn is similar to tofu. It takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with or sprinkle on top. Masala Pop brings mouth-watering authentic Indian flavors to an otherwise mouth-boring food. If you like the flavors of the Southeast, you will love these savvy combinations: Chai Masala with Assam Tea, Savory Masala with Papadums (lentil chips), and Tamarind Sesame with Papadums. The popcorn is organic, made from non GMO corn and air popped. What more can you ask for?
Next discovery: Half Pops! We all know and love the kernels at the bottom of the popcorn bag that didn’t fully bloom during popping. Crunchy and flavorful, Half Pop’s patented technology brings snackers a whole bag of those kernels in two flavors: Natural Aged White Cheddar and Natural Butter & Pure Ocean Sea Salt.
Non GMO Verified Project Presence
With the labeling of GMO products in the news and on the ballots for the past two years, there was a noticeable increase of natural products companies toting the Non GMO Verified Project seal on their products and at their booths. We were thrilled to see increased awareness and enthusiasm for such an important initiative.
Vinegars with a Twist
The show was nothing if not tart in the best way possible. We stumbled across two unique products to share with you. Organic, but not certified, Chaparral Gardens artisan crafted fruit vinegars give vinaigrettes and marinades added flavor depth. We would love to feature these with an organic olive oil in our gift collections.
Lastly, the show-stopper (though not organic) was a line of Drinking Vinegars from Portland’s famous Pok Pok restaurant. Pour a bit into seltzer or your favorite alcohol and you have a delicious and unique beverage. Or, enjoy straight (we did)! Favorite flavors: Thai Basil and Tamarind.