Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Impressions from the Floor
I’m finally back in my hotel room and I’ve downloaded my photos and dumped out my sample bag for the day.
I’m dazed. Literally ... to the point where I’m slightly dizzy. I’m probably just tired. Probably? Definitely!
The show floor is huge and wonderfully colorful. The booths are in a great linear pattern that makes it relatively easy to navigate, but I got lost and I don’t think I did all the rows completely. But that’s why I’m here for three days.
I picked up a lot of samples but tried to focus on a few things that I’d read about or wanted to try. I tried not to eat too much on the show floor, but I did a terrible job of eating properly.
In all fairness, I did try to start the day right (as suggested by desertwind). I met my husband for breakfast (as he is also in town for work) but my eggs arrived at the table so salty that I wanted to spit them out upon the first bite. I sent them back, but there was no way they’d be remade in time, so I just downed a little yogurt smoothie (more sugar than I wanted with my protein) and some toast.
I went to a marvelous session this morning about high end chocolate and the health benefits which I’ll post more about later.
Out on the show floor I did my best to seek out nut products for sampling in the first hour, finding some excellent cashews and then some panned peanuts.
Here are a few things that I tried (and I’ll try to get photos later on):
Golden BonBon Soft Nougat - yes, it’s turrones or French nougat ... whatever country it is that’s making it, I’m in love with it. They had a great selection of flavors and I loved the Orange and Maple. A good honey hit. Not as good as the Nougat de Montelimar, but hey, if I could get this stuff on a regular basis, I’d be a happy candy blogger.
Dreamers - high milk content candy chews that provide 8% of your calcium. Sweet and chewy, they don’t taste at all like a calcium supplement - more like an extra creamy Tootsie Roll.
Hershey’s Peanut Butter Kisses - yes, they’ve been on the market for a while, but I hadn’t tried them. And apparently they’re so successful they’re going to stay. I wasn’t as fond of them as I was of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (the little football ones) for Easter. The center of these Kisses is more emulsified than a Reese’s cup. Wonderful smooth quality with a satisfying hit of salt ... but lacking in that crumbly thing that I dig.
Bubble Chocolate - I’m going to have lots more to post about these guys, but this looks like it may be a big hit. I’ve written about quite a few aerated chocolates before, but this is by far the highest quality stuff. The cocoa content on the dark chocolate is satisfyingly high and of course the aeration gives it a light texture that allows the flavors to come through. There’s even a coffee version that I think might be my favorite.
Koppers - amazing booth (I hope I can go back and photograph it). I got to try so many different morsels. My favorites at the moment are the “savouries” line that incorporates herbs and florals. The very spicy cayenne that I got in NY is part of this line but they had black pepper (awesome), orange blossom, lavender, rosemary, and salt. I hope I can spend more time there tomorrow with the woman who is the next generation of the company. Fascinating stuff.
Yummy Earth - organic lollipops. Simplicity itself. Really flavorful lollipops. I had an orange one and chatted for quite a while with one of the sales guys and have an array of samples for later tasting. I’m hoping these will be available at Whole Foods soon.
Chocolate Dipped Pirouline - it’s about time! Pirouline has come out with several varieties of their filled wafer sticks dipped in chocolate. They’ll give those Nestle Stixx a run for their money!
I picked up lots of samples, including some other kinds of popping candies, different flavor versions of Mike & Ikes, more Rockaletas (what was I thinking?), the new Snickers Xtreme and some Jelly Belly.
The sad thing is that I tucked some candies into my bag and they’re not well marked and I have no clue where they were from at this point. Maybe reconstructing my path and looking at my photos will help.
(I’ll try to link up some of these items a bit later on when I get home.)