Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Fancy Food Show Notes - Day 1

After skipping the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last year, I’m back again and it feels so much like home since this is my fifth year attending. Though the show is dedicated to gourmet products in all categories, they have over 250 confectionery exhibitors, making it one of the biggest candy shows in the country. (The biggest, naturally, is the Sweets & Snacks expo in Chicago in May.)

I’ll just be posting some tasting notes and observations over the next few days while I’m here.

New Tree Spread
New Tree Orange Chocolate Spread - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

I’ve tried plenty of New Tree‘s bars over the years. They use Belgian chocolate and create bars with both great taste and texture and usually some functional benefit. Their new chocolate spread is the first that doesn’t contain additional oils. Instead they just blend it with lots of milk and though the package was in French and wee tiny print, it looks like sugar as one of the first ingredients as well. It’s very smooth and not the slightest big grainy. There were three flavors, but I liked the orange dark chocolate best.

Gin Gins Ginger Gumdrops
Gin Gins Ginger Gumdrops - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

I love ginger candy and always swing by the Ginger People stand to see what’s new. In previous years it’s been about drinks and cookies, but they have a completely new candy this year: Ginger Gumdrops. Far spicier than something flavored with ginger, these are made with lots of the fresh stuff and are quite intense without being sweet.

JJs Cocomels
JJs Cocomels - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

I’ve had a few vegan caramels over the years and they kind of violate the essential definition of caramel in the first place, so it’s hard for me to appreciate them. JJ Raedemaker has created something that gets so close and is such a good product in its own right, I’m definitely going to find these again. His JJ’s Cocomels are made with coconut milk instead of butter and cream. They’re fully emulsified and smooth but with strong caramelized sugar notes. Right now they just come in classic and fleur de sel plus a dark chocolate covered version. Looks like a great option for both vegans and those sensitive to dairy.

Sanders Bars
Sanders Bars - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

Sanders Candy in Michigan has been around since 1875 and are known for their ice cream toppings. They’ve been expanding quite a bit so that now their comfort style of chocolates and candies are found in stores around the country. They had some new products and a new packaging design. Their new bars include combinations like milk chocolate and potato chips. I’m looking forward to trying them.

POP Candy
POP Candy Varieties - photo (c) by Manny Treeson

It’s funny to go to San Francisco to see a local brand. POP Candy makes nutty butter crunch toffees, when they’re based in Santa Monica. But with many small companies, it’s hard to find them in local stores. They sell at farmers markets and artisan shows right now. They have a great take on toffee barks with some sweet and savory flavor mixes and all of my favorite nuts.

My husband is doing all the photography, so if you want to see even more shots of what’s tasty or pretty, check out this photoset.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:11 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyFancy Food ShowNew Product AnnouncementHighlightFeatured News

Comments
  1. Hi Cybele.

    Wow .... looks like you are both having a sweet time!

    Been awhile that I’ve commented.

    Hubbie takes great photos! Another talent in the fam.

    The orange-chocolate dip or spread .... does this go on ice-creams/toast/plain bread? Love to try. Never heard of New Tree.

    Keep us educated!

    P.S. (I still do not know how you do it though ..... eating candy, etc…. amazing.)

    Comment by Marcee .... ILLINOIS on 1/18/12 at 6:34 am #
  2. Hi Cybele,

    I’m getting caught up on your posts here.  And as a Michigander, I really recommend taking a look at more of Sanders Candy offerings.  Their chocolate is delicious, it’s creamy and not overpowering.

    Comment by Heather on 1/31/12 at 10:01 pm #

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Next entry: 2012 Fancy Food Show Notes - Day 2

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