Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco Roundup

By: Irene Yang

In the wake of CES in Las Vegas comes the CES of culinary delight—the Specialty Food Association's 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show! Companies big and small, from multinational health food companies, to mom-and-pop popcorn makers, to Brazilian Cheese Bread makers trying to make in the USA gather to showcase their unique take on taste.

Here’s some of the more innovative products we saw:

Clio Greek Yogurt Bars

Clio Bars
Have you ever wanted to eat a healthy ice cream bar? The ladies behind the Clio Greek Yogurt Bar saw a way to provide a kick of protein, flavor, and nutrients in one small chocolate-covered bar. The texture is just like an ice cream bar, but it doesn’t need to be frozen! The slight sourness of the yogurt goes great with the subtle hint of sweetness. With a gamut of flavors like Hazelnut, Strawberry, Blueberry, Espresso, and more, there’s a taste for every palate. Seriously one of the best things I tried at the Winter Fancy Food Show!

Zero-Calorie Beer

All-Free (photo courtesy: Suntory)
Have you ever wanted to drink beer that tastes exactly like beer, provides the fizzy refreshing feeling, and was completely calorie-free? Well that exists now, except it doesn’t contain alcohol (can’t win them all). All-Free from Suntory, one of Japan’s top beer manufacturers, is bound to either make you love it or hate it. I personally loved it—the light wheaty taste reminded me of a light pale ale, with none of the guilt. The drink derives it’s flavor from wheat and hops same as traditional beer, except there’s no fermentation process, and no alcohol. I would definitely buy this to drink casually.

Vegan Cheese Just Gets Better and Better

kotatsu vegan cheese
As people trend towards more eco-conscious behaviors, the biggest impact one can make is changing their diet. But I’ll be honest, that is hard. For me, cheese is a big deal and something I’m sad to cut down on. However, with the power of culinary technology from companies like Miyoko’s Creamery and kotatsu, the taste difference between animal cheese and nut milk cheese is indistinguishable. Gone are the days of suffering through slices of daiya pizza. Now there’s gourmet vegan cheeses in all different flavors and textures. It’s easy to make a change when the change tastes so damn good. Some of the best vegan cheese I’ve ever had at the Winter Fancy Food Show!

Fish-Free… Tuna?!

Good Catch Fish-Free Tuna
I picked up a sample of Good Catch Fish-Free Tuna without realizing it was completely vegan and had a bite. It was literally some of the best tuna salad I’ve ever had. I asked the persona manning the booth what kind of tuna it was, and he responded, “legumes!” Cue my very pleasant surprise. The “tuna” itself has the perfect flaky canned tuna texture, and breaks apart in your mouth is what I think is a more satisfying and firm way than actual canned tuna. This is a fantastic product and I hope more people get the chance to try it.

Gourmet Pudding Mix

South & Spoon Pudding
Goodbye Jello pudding mix boxes of my youth. Hello South & Spoon Pudding Company’s gourmet pudding mix of my bougie 20’s. Made with all-natural ingredients, and perfectly customizable to be vegan, vegetarian, full-carnivore, or what have you, this pudding mix is a win and very easy to prepare.

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