The 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show took place January 13-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The Daily Meal’s cheese expert Raymond Hook spent the show perusing over 80,000 products from 1,400 international exhibitors. Here are his 5 favorite finds.
Founded in 1936, Rodelle is one of the largest authentic vanilla extract manufacturers in America, but being a sizable company hasn’t stopped them from maintaining top-quality flavor profiles – their Organic Vanilla Extract is particularly outstanding – or upholding their streamlined, farmer-focused philosophy of vertical integration. Dedicated to more than just crafting excellent vanilla, Rodelle has implemented social programs for medical care, food security, water access, and reliable education in the communities of their farmers around the globe.
Kimino Drinks (“kimino” means “for you”) is a Japanese craft beverage company that is committed bringing healthy, authentic Japanese flavors into the beverage market. Their first offering is a sparkling soda made from ethically farmed, seasonal freshly squeezed Yuzu juice, sparkling water from the Aichi prefecture, and a touch of organic cane sugar. This recipe strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart, showcasing the aromatic Yuzu fruit that’s been used for centuries in Japanese cuisine.
As a lover of both cheese and “guilty pleasure” snack foods, I was delighted to discover Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery’s All-Natural Cheddar Cheese Curds, made in Wisconsin from certified rBST free milk that’s sourced from the Cooperative’s 400 family farm owners. The curds come in Buttermilk, Hot Buffalo, and Beer Battered varieties, and are sold frozen and ready to be deep-fried. These are the ultimate side dish or Superbowl snack. Fair warning: they are seriously addictive.
Galateo & Friends is a specialty oil, vinegar, and spice producer established in 2002 in the north-western Italian region of Liguria by Marco Bonaldo,a devotee of both specialty foods and beautiful objects (check out their Instagram). He has combined his two passions to craft superlative olive oils made from Ligurian olives presented in gorgeous bottles, making for delicious gifts that surprisingly won’t break the bank. Unless you’d like the Swarovski-designed bottle, that is. While G & F products aren’t widely available in the US at present, keep your eyes peeled for them in the coming months.
A creamy, flavorful gouda that’s perfect as a snack, on a sandwich, or melted into a variety of dishes, Green Goddess Gouda also comes with a mission: a portion of all sales goes to funding grants for teachers, activists, and community leaders nationwide. The aim of the aptly named Goddess Project is to support trailblazers in the fields of environmental sustainability, education, ending hunger, and women’s equality; thinking of that mission while chomping on a slice of this delicious herbal cheese makes it taste that much sweeter.
Honorable Mention: Burn Probiotic Fermented Hot Sauce
I stumbled upon this mouthwatering condiment outside of the Fancy Food Show, but I’d be remiss not to mention it. Burn is the creation of Amanda Pargh, who started fermenting chilis in 2014 in her kitchen in Santa Cruz after losing her job at the celebrated restaurant Manresa due to a devastating fire. Her friends were so enthusiastic about her homemade sauces that she started selling them at the Santa Cruz farmers market and beyond. Burn hot sauces are organic, single-origin, and packed in reusable glass bottles. I particularly loved the Habanero-Escamillo and Thai Bird-Jalapeño varieties.
Additional reporting by Madeleine James.