The Fancy Food Show is one of the largest in the world with over 1,300 vendors showcasing over 80,000 food products representing 35 different countries. And there are free samples. A lot of them.
I arrived at San Francisco's Moscone Center armed only with my the camera on my trusty Iphone and an empty stomach. Turns out that's all I needed.
From the looks of the endless rows of booths that lied ahead, this was definitely going to take a lesson in patience and pacing. Both of which I am not very good, especially when eating food is involved.
Throughout the dozens of aisles, there were many new products that I tasted that were…very tasty, but these five were my favorite firsts:
I had always thought that my first experience with caviar would be at some hoity-toity black-tie gala where it was being passed around by white gloved servers. This was a close second. California Caviar Company was handing out their Saffron infused caviar, doing their best to make it seem like we were at an uber high class affair. Though I am not sure I will ever be a fish egg fan in general, I knew that this roe was of a high quality.
2. Elk Strips
As soon as I saw the Elk logo overhead, I made a beeline for the Gary West Meats booth. I'm a sucker for the stranger eats and elk was an animal I had never tasted before. Elk jerky is just a slightly gamier version of it's beef counterpart. I only wish that the local convenience store would carry this at the counter instead. I would buy it with my lottery tickets.
3. Fennel Beets
Of course, I have had beets on many occasion, but never beets soaked in a fennel and tarragon brine. The Brooklyn Brine Co. is most famous for having the finest pickles in New York, but don't count out their beets. Quite addictive.
4. Biscotti Bites
Biscotti cookies are a staple in my Italian family, but never ones that are enrobed in white chocolate and dusted with raspberry infused cane sugar. What Italian thinks up these delicacies? Bless you.
5. Mango Marshmallows
I have been a marshmallow lover ever since my first campfire s'more. I even once made homemade marshmallows and ate them straight up, sans chocolate or graham crackers. So, as odd as these Hello Kitty, Japanese Mango marshmallows may initially sound, I couldn't bypass without popping one in my mouth. And another. And one more.
What is the best food show you have been too? What's the last new food product you have tried?
Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to the Fancy Food Show, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.