In mid-January I had the pleasure of attending the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. This fancy food show is one of the largest marketplaces for specialty food and beverages. This year the show had 80,000 products on display from the United States and more than 32 countries, according to the press kit.
At every fancy food show, there is a prediction of what will be the latest craze in food.
To identify the fancy food trends for 2010, a panel of experts walked through the fancy food trade show venues on the first day of the fancy food show and determined which trends were most common among all 2000 vendors. The fancy food trends were announced, and they are (drum roll).
35th Winter Fancy Food Show’s Fancy Food Trends 2010
- Good-for-you foods
- Coconut (including coconut water)
- Exotic citrus
- Nostalgic foods
Other food trends identified included:
- Fermented foods
- Pickled foods
- Smoked foods
- New twists on bacon (did you hear about chicken fried bacon?)
- Spicy popcorn
- Baked potato chips with jalapeno
Attending a show like the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco was exciting because every food item was displayed so beautifully. I jotted down a few notes about which items were favorites, either because they were unusual or had outstanding flavor:
How about vegan/Kosher bacon-flavored microwave popcorn (huh?), applesauce in squeeze bags, chocolate-truffle foam (in a squirt can), Goji berry cookies, ginger-habernero barbecue sauce, impressive cheese displays (including a whole-milk ricotta cheese), elderflower soda, decadent chocolate (everywhere), spicy kimchi (Korean sauerkraut), and organic kombucha (lemon-ginger and berry-hibiscus flavored beverages).
I also saw a lot of “exotic” spices (especially cardamom), and salsas or hot sauces in all heat varieties vied for attention. European drinking chocolate seemed to be a big deal this year, too. The popping boba (flavored tapioca balls) in nice fruit flavors was also very interesting. And the black garlic (fermented) was different, to say the least.
Oh, did I tell you? Attendees were allowed to sample everything at the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Well worth the price of admission, although there is no way one can “finish” the tasting circuit in one day; you simply have to come back the next day. All in all, the Winter Fancy Food Show and its fancy food trends was a great inspiration for me to create some wild new recipes to include in my family cookbook.