The Winter Fancy Food Show took place in San Francisco from February 22 - 24 this year. Happening twice a year (the summer one is in New York City), this show is packed with specialty food companies from the US and the world. From Italian cheeses, to granola, to chocolates, it's a place where vendors connect with distributors and retailers, and also - obviously - a food lover's heaven, where you can sample all the deliciousness to your heart's content. Here are my top picks from the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show that you just can't miss!
Like Freddo frogs to an Australian, most Americans experienced Girl Scouts Cookies growing up. However, with gluten intolerances on the rise, many are no longer able to enjoy these delicious little treats. Enter Goodie Girl Cookies. They make a range of many deliciously gluten free cookies, like their Mint Slims which are a gluten free version of the famous Thin Mint. I actually prefer the texture of Goodie Girl to Thin Mints - it is more crumbly and has just the right amount of sweetness! They also make a gluten free versions of other classic crowd favorites, the oatmeal-raisin cookie.
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the sweatshirt their founder, Shira Berk, pictured above was wearing at the show?
I've heard many remark that Harmless Harvest is the best-tasting coconut water; additionally, it was the first organic, fair-for-life coconut water to hit the market. The organic ingredients really shine through from the first sip - it just tastes so much more flavorful. Fair for Life is a certification that combines strict standards for social accountability and fair trade for socially responsible companies. It ensures that Harmless Harvest is committed to paying fair prices for goods like our coconut water, as well as supporting the wellbeing of local communities.
Also debuting at the show was their delicious probiotic cultured coconut beverage line, combining their organic coconut water with delicious organic coconut meat, organic fruits and active probiotic cultures. Probiotics are vital for maintaining digestive health, and this new line also reflects Harmless Harvest's testament towards a zero product waste ingredient model, by using the whole coconut!
You are probably familiar with their avocado oil and avocado mayonnaise, but Primal Kitchen makes a range of delicious nutrition bars, with grass-fed collagen added. Collagen is all the rage these days - it does wonders to your skin, hair, nails and joints. There is more collagen in one Primal Kitchen bar than in a cup of bone broth - that's a lot! They also contain macadamia nuts to make them just that extra bit more indulgent. Still, with only 3 grams of sugar in each bar, you don't need to feel guilty about eating them at all.
I am used to vegan eggs made using ground chia seeds, Bob's Red Mill's version has potato starch, tapioca flour, baking soda, and psyllium husk fiber. There are no grains, no soy, no gluten, and no beans. Just combine the right portion with water, stir, and add to your baking mix in place of eggs!
They also recently introduced a line of protein powder with added probiotics, so you receive a boost of gut-friendly bacteria while getting your daily dose of protein. And, since this line is made with pea protein, it's vegan-friendly.
Lorissa's Kitchen stood out because of their chicken jerky. It was my first time trying jerky made from chicken meat, and it was absolutely delicious. The ginger teriyaki flavor used in this recipe is absolutely divine. The freshness of the ginger really comes through, and the sweet brown sugar and toasted sesame seeds take the jerky to a whole new level. This would be great eaten as a snack or paired with a Japanese beer! Most recently, former professional basketball player Lisa Leslie and Lorissa’s Kitchen kicked off a year-long partnership to support strong women in both business and in life. How cool is this?
That's It. makes delicious fruit bars made with...fruit(s), that's it! There is 2 whole servings of fruits in each bar, and I love how they're 100 calories, which make them ideal for a light snack or a pre-workout boost, as opposed to a heavier meal-replacement bar. They all have apple as the base, and have various other fruits/spices added, like mango, blueberries, strawberries, cinnamon, and even coconut! Because they're made with whole fruits, they're also very high in dietary fiber.
Chosen Foods makes avocado oil and spray, as well as various quinoa and chia seed products. But I have to say, their new flavors of avocado mayonnaise were the the stars of the show: black garlic, harissa and the newest flavor, wasabi. The black garlic mayo has an avocado mayo base, with black garlic puree added, which gives it an intensely earthy aroma. The harissa has great lil' kick, which is perfect to spice up your next sandwich or burger. The wasabi is my personal favorite - I actually used to mix wasabi paste with mayonnaise to make a Japanese-inspired potato salad. Chosen Food's version is well-balanced: you can taste the wasabi, but it is not overpowering. Because of no-added sugar and the use of avocado oil, these spreads are also Whole30 and Paleo friendly.
Ocean's Halo makes a range of seaweed products - from seaweed sheets for sushi making to small snack packs of roasted seaweed snacks. What caught my eye (and tastebuds), though, were their seaweed strips: two thin layers of crunchy seaweed, filled with coconut and chocolate. The combo is certainly interesting but works surprisingly well.
I took one bite of these Organic Coconut Snacks at the show and immediately fell in love. They're crunchy, coconuty, and oh-so-addictive. While I've always been a fan of toasted coconut chips, these coconut snacks are a whole new level: you get the aromatic coconut flavor, as well as bits of nuts (sunflower and pumpkin seeds in one flavor and almonds and cashews in the other), chia seeds, and cranberries. The minimal dried fruits make these keep their crunch, unlike many other coconut and dried fruit snacks. The nuts balance the flavors without overpowering, keeping the coconut the star of the snack. Warning: it's hard to stop once you open a bag, even for someone who's been sampling every booth at the Fancy Food Show!
Yep, it's so new that it's not even for sale in the USA yet. But this rice granola from Japan blew my hat off with its delicious flavor(s), textures, and uniqueness. As a kid we probably all grew up eating cereal, but this is nothing like frosted flakes, Cheerios, Nutri Grains or Weet Bix (if you're British or Aussie). In addition to puffed rice and nuts, there are unique Japanese ingredients like soy bean powder, and more. They even make a "savory" one that's completely unsweetened and delicious with soy milk. Hope they come to the USA soon - definitely a breakfast game changer.
So, what are you waiting for? Let's get snacking!