Now that we’ve got the trends out of the way, here are my top 10 favorite bites from this week’s winter Fancy Foods Show. These are products that I will seek out over the next 12 months.
1. Samai Vegetable Crisps from Ecuador. With their crunchy bite and light seasoning, these delicious chips (made from plantains, sweet potatoes, yucca, and cassava root) were absolutely addictive. They taste much healthier than their North American counterpart, the potato chip, and reminded me of these amazing plantain chips I enjoyed while vacationing in Costa Rica.
2. Blue Monkey Drinks Coconut Chips. The coconut table was incredibly crowded when I cruised by, so I just grabbed a plastic cup full of coconut chips. Little did I know that these babies would be so darn tasty! They were perfectly sweetened and oh-so-crisp.
3. Fra’Mani Ham. Hand crafted salumi is always delectable and their ham melted in my mouth. The next time I make a warm ham and cheese sandwich, I’m using Fra’Mani.
4. Stu’s Bloody Mary. Normally I stay away from premade cocktail mixers, but my one exception is bloody Mary mixers. Especially the high quality, good kind of Bloody Mary mixers like Stu’s. It has just the right amount of spice.
5. California Olive Ranch Olive Oil Truffles. Ok, so this wasn’t a product, it was a dish made by pastry chef Alice Medrich, but these truffles were uniquely scrumptious. They were smooth and chocolatey, but not sinfully rich like a truffle can sometimes be. I got the recipe, so I’m going to make them. Maybe as an edible Valentine’s Day gift?
6. Sucre Chocolate. I’ve been a fan of the macaroons and King Cake from New Orleans pastry shop, Sucre, for years and now I officially love their chocolate bars. They come in fascinating flavors like candied violet, strawberry amaretti crunch, and pecan brittle with caramelized cocoa nibs.
7. Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost. This super gingery beverage was hands down the best ginger ale I’ve ever drunken. It was light and refreshing and tasted like the pure essence of fresh ginger.
8. Fiorello’s Pistachio Gelato. I really don’t have to say much more. The words pistachio gelato just sound good. The only way this gelato could have been better is if I was eating it while walking down the streets of Florence rather than the aisles of the show!
9. Eat Well Enjoy Life Black Bean Hummus. Genius! Why don’t more people make black bean hummus?! This tasted bomb.
10. Kikkoman Whole Wheat Panko. The dryness from the whole wheat makes this panko super extra crunchy. I definitely can’t wait to cook with it!