I Came, I Saw, I Ate: A Report from the Winter Fancy Food Show

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Domestic ‘nduja. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Fileja Calabresi from Bella Italia. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Savory yogurts from Blue Hill. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Grady’s cold brew. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Sunday I hit up the Winter Fancy Food Show, which is always a staggering undertaking, with more than 80,000 international food and beverage products displayed in both the north and south halls of Moscone. I only had one afternoon, so I surfed the aisles and cut through the crowds like a fast shark, looking for obvious prey. A few products I enjoyed sinking my teeth into were:

  • The new/about-to-be-released sriracha potato chips (using sriracha “rooster sauce” from Huy Fong Foods), and they’re also releasing a sriracha seasoning (deviled eggs and popcorn will never be the same). And you know about their sriracha popcorn they made with Pop! Popcorn, right?
  • This was kind of mind-blowing: there’s a new buffalo mozzarella made in the U.S., but using milk from water buffalo in Campania. I. KNOW. Angelo + Franco will also be selling the milk soon in small frozen 500-ml blocks (or more)—your mozzarella-making at home, or ice cream, or whatever, is gonna have a whole new level of game.
  • The salumi from New York’s Charlito’s Cocina were new to me—especially enjoyed the dry beer salami and chorizo.
  • Always good to taste the cured meat products from Daniele, Inc.—they do an excellent domestic prosciutto.
  • Holy crap, I saw the biggest chub of ‘nduja at the Lettieri & Co. booth. It’s from ‘Nduja Artisans in Chicago, and this very authentic spicy spreadable pork from the heavens is actually available at The Pasta Shop, and hallelujah, this product isn’t sold in a jar. Bonus: the pork is hormone-free.
  • Also on the Calabria tip: I discovered this line of pasta called Bella Italia, which offers a regional line of pasta shapes, including fileja Calabresi. I couldn’t believe it. They also had cicatelli Molisani, busiate Trapanesi, and more. Not sure who carries this line locally, but it was cool to see!
  • Oh man, someone needs to pick up this line of mustards by Domaine des Terres Rouges imported by HPS Epicurean—their absinthe mustard was beautiful, and I would totally find many uses for their tandoori mustard (it made me want to make an Indian mustard chicken with it). While I typically like a hotter mustard, these had an appealing delicacy and balance. And fortunately they sell them on Amazon (until someone local picks them up).
  • While visiting the HPS Epicurean booth, it was great to see Victoria D’Amato-Moran and preview her new (and complex) line of Cent’Anni Spirit Syrups, coming soon to BevMo and Dean & DeLuca.
  • The enthusiastic guy manning the Pollen Ranch booth—which features hand-harvested pollen—got me hooked on their dill pollen. This stuff is so fragrant (my purse smelled like the small sample they gave me all day), and they have a whole line of fennel-based products, rubs, and salts.
  • I love kefir, and Sierra Nevada Cheese Company has added this new release to their line of grass-fed milk products, plus there’s grass-fed Greek yogurt too.
  • Also on the yogurt side, I tried savory yogurts (tomato, sweet potato, butternut squash) from Blue Hill. I dislike sugary fruity yogurts, so these were kind of rad.
  • No one let me have the Red Clay containers of pimento cheese in my house, they’d barely last a day. I’d spread it on everything. DANGEROUS. Bonus: they use rBGH-/rBST-free cheeses.
  • Of course had to taste some of the products in the new Nancy’s Fancy line: gelati and sorbetti from LA’s Nancy Silverton. Sadly they weren’t sampling the trademark butterscotch budino flavor, but the coconut stracciatella was mighty tasty, ditto the chunky salted peanut butter—both had great mouthfeel.
  • The show was totally dominated with ice creams. Additional shout-outs to the Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso from Jeni’s, and strawberry balsamic sorbetto from the Maine-based Gelato Fiasco (their espresso chip was also notable). The inventive flavors from Brooklyn-based Phin & Phebes were awesome (ginger ice cream with ginger cookies with lemon icing filling, and banana pudding ice cream with vanilla wafers, whut?). Oh yeah, and St. Benoit (of the fantastic yogurt) is now making boxed ice milk.
  • These tins from Grady’s contain tea bags of cold-brew coffee that you can just throw into a pitcher of water and have New Orleans-style cold brew 12 hours later! So ingenious. Great flavor. I’m all over it!