The Winter Fancy Food Show was, as usual, enormous—it covers both the North and South Halls of Moscone, plus the Gateway Ballroom, which showcases new products. Uncle Steve was there himself, offering tastes of his delicious marinara sauce. I am waiting to be able to buy it locally.
Pitaya Plus was offering samples of sorbet made with its frozen pitaya product. I am looking forward to being able to buy this product, also. Only the white-inside pitayas are available in San Francisco. I love them, but I love the red-inside even more! I bought my first one in Chinatown because I had never seen one before and had no idea what it was, but its looks were intriguing. Fortunately a coworker who was familiar with it passed my desk, and taught me how to cut it open. It isn't difficult. The skin is very thin, and can be peeled once the original "incision" is made. The white flesh is much like kiwi fruit and the red is naturally sweeter.
As I passed the Japan aisle, a demo of gluten-free noodles was just ending, and I was encouraged to take a sample. This recipe was a little too spicy for my taste, but so good that I finished it anyway!
My attention was snagged by the enormous bumps on the Madeleines at the Bridor de France booth. Everything they bake is magnificent, but I have never seen such huge Madeleine bumps anywhere else! I think it's the fresh eggs. (Maybe I can convince my landlord to put a chicken coop in the back yard.) A slice of one of these huge cakelets proved that they are as tasty as they are gorgeous.
In the Italy aisle, a demonstrator was making fresh Baci. My first one wasn't set, but was much too enticing to wait for. I gobbled it almost immediately—I had to take its picture first. The next time I passed by, I got one that was on its way to being set. No gloss, but still nice and soft.
The absolute highlight of my day was meeting Bob Moore of Bob's Red Mill. Although I buy most of my grain products in bulk, I always buy Bob's Flax Meal, which is a superior product in a sealed package. As I waited in line to meet Bob and get a photo and signed cookbook, a woman passing by said "There really is a Bob. I thought he was an actor!" Well, I didn't check his ID, but I am convinced this is the real Bob.
Tea Forté has created an ingenious new infuser. The "string" is attached to the bottom half, and exits the top half, with a "tea leaf" blocking the string from being pulled out. There is no chance of losing one of of the pieces.
Fannie Mae Chocolates had a chocolatier dipping humongous fresh strawberries in dark chocolate.
The Perky Jerky man plucked samples off his costume to hand out to passers-by.
Another visit to the Japan aisle gave me a demo of cookie baking and a sample of the ice cream dessert constructed around the cookie.
Churchill's Confectionary, whose cookies and candies need no embellishment, nonetheless pack them in the best tins. Here's a sample of some of the newest ones. Nijiya Market in Japan Town carries a few of Churchill's products, but I think I'll be searching online for some of these special tins.
I could go on and on, but I want to make sure you all stay awake. Did anybody else attend the show? What were your highlights?