Monday, January 19, 2009
Fancy Food Show 2009 Notes - Day One
The 2009 Winter Fancy Food Show is back in San Francisco and huge. It takes up both halls of the Moscone Center and on Sunday, the opening day, I got through about one half of the floor.
Here are some random notes:
The star for me was their bar called Salty Dog Salty Dog (Dark Chocolate, Toffee Chips & Salt). The others are a Passion Fruit, Tangerine & Chocolate bar, Chile Limon Chocolate Bar and a Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate (40% cacao).
The actual molding of the bars is nice. It’s segmented and each is a little dome, so it’s easy to break apart for portioning. They come in cellophane sleeves and then inside a paperboard box. The design of the box is quite nice, a bit of a changeup from the usual design for McElrath, each is coded with a different pattern at the top of the box and then a picture of the bar on the front. It’s a nice effect when you see them all together on a shelf.
Other new bars that caught my attention were:
Scharffen Berger has a super dark milk chocolate bar. It’s 68% cacao. Add in some milk and some crushed cacao nibs and there’s not much room for sugar. It’s very mellow and not quite as malty as the Milk Nibby bar I’m so fond of.
I found two places out on the floor that were sampling KShocolat (website), a wonderful chocolate company I’ve tried before but can’t find a good source for in the United States. I’ve been looking for their dark chocolate and cardamom bar and have previewed it and can say, I love the combination. I’ll have more on that in a few weeks.
I stopped by Melville’s, which is always fun. I love their honey spoons (though they’re kind of expensive) so I love to get samples. They have so many new items. One is a new line of the spoons for drinks that are made with real cinnamon sticks instead of wooden sticks, so it will really give your cocoa or tea a flavor pop. Other items were beautiful new molded lollipops (the bees were so cute), a line of big fruit & vegetable pops (yes, a buttered popcorn pop like an ear of corn).
My favorite new item of the show though is probably the unique one. Impressions Fine Foods Hot Chocolate Mochi Krunch - spicy brown rice crackers covered in dark chocolate. It might not sound like much, but I can see being angry that these aren’t sold in bigger packages.
It’s a little disk, about the size of a quater of puffed brown rice. A little salty, it has a natural sweet and nutty flavor and then it’s covered in chocolate. There are plain milk & dark and of course the spicy one.
Other notable non-candy nibbles (because I try other things):
Fabrique Delices Artisnal Charcuterie had an awesome duck procsciutto that I really have to find for my next cheese plate.
Guittard has a few things for bakers & home chocolatiers. One that I thought really fills a need is the Guittard Extra Dark (63%) Chocolate Chips (no extra cocoa butter). Not at all chalky or bitter, but much less sweet than their semi-sweet, the “less cocoa butter” part will help them keep their shape ... and they’d probably make really good hot chocolate.
(All photos by Emanuel Treeson, (c) All Rights Reserved)
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.