The Fancy Food Marathon
The good people at Foodzie bestowed upon me such a great honor that a simple blog post can't do it justice. I was allowed to join them at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco to serve as an additional stomach and palate for the team. The vast convention featured 80,000 healthy and fattening, natural and chemical, chocolates, cheeses, frozen meals, chips, candies, teas, pickles, patés, cookies, olive oils, curries and more tastes than a food marathoner could dream of. Overall it was a brilliant whirlwind of eating from 10am-5pm.
I was on sauce detail for Foodzie and my favorite was San Angel Mole. Cooking mole is a complex task, which Foodzie can attest to. With 20 ingredients it's imperative that each one is fresh. San Angel's flavors were strong, and it's the subtle difference between their red and black varieties that stood out in my mouth.
I wasn't impressed with that many hot sauces because I have an affinity for Marie Sharps (who unfortunately were not in attendance). Half Moon Bay Trading Company's lines of Iguana and Bee Sting hot sauces were good. They had distinct flavors that rose above the tomato-based options throughout the show.
The other decent salsa company was Xochitl, who were one of the few sauce makers to actually sell a tongue-searing habanero salsa- the rest were masked behind other flavors.
Also, to all the salsa companies, enough with the mango/habanero salsa people- I get it, the sweet cuts the heat. However, it's boring and everyone else is doing it. Are mangos really the only other fruit in the forest?
The show proves that it's a frightening task to enter the food marketplace. There are so many similar companies, selling such similar products that standing out is extremely difficult. It begs the question why some exhibitors chose such boring names. When there's already Gourmet Village, Sisters Gourmet, Gracious Gourmet and Original Gourmet Food, do you really need Gourmet in your name? Sweetriot, Grumpy's and the old standby Yoo-Hoo were all notable names on the positive side. Spicy Nothings stood blandly on the negative name side, while Looza just didn't translate. Then there was the Fartless Factory. Agree to disagree with whoever thought that was a good idea...