Winter Fancy Food Show – Specialty Foods Association

I love attending the Winter Fancy Food Show, held every January at Moscone Center by the Specialty Foods Association.  Taking up Moscone’s North AND South Halls, there’s so much to see and eat.   There’s over 80,000 food items and more than 1300 exhibitors over the three-day show.  You have to be a member of the food industry to get in.  Being a writer costs you $100, but being your niece’s bookkeeper at her restaurant costs $35.

It seems like every year, there’s a theme or a trend that emerges.  This year’s trends are gluten-free and healthy snacks.   People can be SO creative with food.  Rhythm Superfoods makes Kale Chips, available at Whole Foods.  Ocean Beauty makes Salmon Jerky that is REALLY good.  Simply 7 Chips makes wholesome chips out of lentils, hummus, quinoa – even pomegranate.

Yogurt is trending away from the Greeks with dairy free concepts and a French variety of Creme Fraiche by Stonyfield Organic.  Pickled foods are hot as are foods with seaweed.  Gold Mine Natural Food Co. had these bases covered with sauerkraut, kimchi and kelp noodles to name a few.  Way Better Snacks specializes in sprouted foods, like barley.

Sustainability is a hot topic as well with companies like Sea Fare Pacific offering wild, troll caught fish in some really good packaged soups and albacore in foil pouches.

There’s funny ones like Pig’s Ass Rub and KC Butt Sauce by BBQ Spot.  And, seriously, their stuff is ranked by many BBQ aficionados as some of the top 100 rubs and sauces in the world!!

I did venture from the health scene long enough to try some meats.  Zoe’s Meats is some of the finest around, and I even get to sit next to owner George Gavros at one of my favorite dive bars, Zeke’s, before Giants games.  He named the company after his daughter, and now Daphne’s Creamery joins the mix, named after George’s other daughter.  Lone Mountain Wagyu – omg.   You can order it online.  One 16 oz. boneless rib eye is $63, but the shipping is free!! Nueske’s makes awesome sausage and bacon, but I like Zoe’s more, and besides, George is a local.

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