There are many benefits to living in the San Francisco Bay Area – the sheer beauty of the City, the Golden Gate Bridge, truly remarkable food scene, being close to Wine Country, and of course some of the best weather in the world. But for those of us in the food industry, a highlight each January is the Winter Fancy Food Show.
The WFFS is the largest gathering of food producers on the West Coast with over 80,000 of the latest and greatest specialty foods and beverages. There are so many interesting things to see and people to meet that we are glad to have three days to take it all in.
Each year I go with a specific goal to help keep me on track – it is so easy to get distracted with all the fascinating people and food stuffs in every aisle! This year I focused on finding new-to-me gluten free products to share with all of you. And the show was packed with them!
One of my favorites is LaClare Family Creamery and their array of goat milk products. I am the first one to admit I do not like goat cheese – it is too strong my for my super sensitive taste buds. But these cheeses are smooth, creamy, and very delicately flavored. This is dairy that anyone would enjoy and especially helpful for those who cannot tolerate cow’s milk products but who can handle goat’s milk. You won’t know the difference!
Based in Wisconsin, this is a family-owned business with focused attention on every aspect of the business. This results in remarkable award winning cheeses, yogurts, and butters that would be a welcome addition to anyone’s home.
Another favorite new discovery is the chocolates from Artisan Kettle. Wonderful depth of flavor and smooth mouthfeel, these are chocolates that will likely show up in a future Chocolate Monday treat! I love finding new producers of products that I use all the time and as you know, I probably go through more chocolate than anyone else you know! Artisan Kettle makes both chips and bars so you can utilize them for many different applications.
Artisan Kettle makes organic chocolate that is not only delicious but also good for the planet and Fair Trade Certified. They source from small family farms in South America. They are gluten-free, kosher, allergen free, and non-GMO. Their peppermint white chocolate was as clean and pure as I’ve tasted, without a cloying sweetness so often present. Oh yeah, I can’t wait to play with these chocolates and you may see them in a starring roll in a future recipe here on The Heritage Cook!
I have followed Premium Gold Flax since discovering them at the Fancy Foods Show a few years ago. Their line of products have always been impressive and this year is no exception. In addition to their Flax & Ancient Grains All-Purpose Flour, I am intrigued by their Baking and Pizza Flour and am looking forward to seeing how it works in my recipes.
Finding good tasting and healthy gluten-free bouillon cubes can be challenging, but not with Bou for You! Their cubes are packed with flavor with less salt, contain no artificial ingredients, are non-GMO and gluten free! But possibly even more interesting are their Gravy Cubes! Talk about the perfect accompaniment to cooked meats – instant flavor boost with no hassle.
You also never know who you might run into while walking the aisles. This year I saw Chef David Burke, one of my culinary idols, cooking for the Himalayan Salt booth, creating delicious bites for everyone to try. It is always a treat to see famous chefs!
Edison Grainery offers a huge array of grains, cereals, pastas, seeds, legumes, and flours made from some of the most delicious grains on the market. Buckwheat, sorghum, millet, quinoa, amaranth, sunflower, etc. Something for everyone and if you are in Northern California, you are supporting a local business! I’ve got some of their sorghum cereal and quinoa pasta to try and both The Artist and I are excited to discover a new source of delicious gluten-free foods!
Did you know that Fig is the international flavor of 2018? Our friends at Valley Fig Growers are thrilled to be trending worldwide. Fruit doesn’t get much better than figs … high in fiber, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and potassium, they are a natural sweetener and a wonderful ingredient in all your cooking and baking.
This is a small sample of the creations and vendors I saw a the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last week. I hope you had fun wandering around with me and discovering some new and delicious products!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary press pass to the show but was not compensated in any way for this article. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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