I can’t keep up! I tried about 100 new products last month, attended a “Healthy Flavors” conference and managed to get myself invited to an Australian Food and Wine party that served lamb “T-Zers” (a brand-new lamb cut, just for foodservice) macadamia nuts and Tasmanian Rain. I also got to attend my first Food Fête event, a food function that brings together invited writers and select food companies (i.e., those that pay to have a booth) to spend quality time together.

I want to write about it all and share with whoever is reading this site all the interesting, unique, ethnic, organic, free-range, authentic, scientific, irradiation-free, single-sourced, multi-sourced, already well known, not very well known, “hey I wish I thought of that first” food and beverage items that I encountered this month.

Unfortunately, last month I moved, took a new job, and stayed in a few not-so-great hotels in St. Helena, CA without Internet service. All of these writing inhibitors have prevented me from doing what I want to do: climb to the top of my building and shout from the rooftop all the items that I feel are an essential part of human life.

So, now I am going to backtrack, so no one misses out on what I believe are the up-and-coming food products for 2009.

The Fancy Food Show had the usual cheese, chocolate, olive oil, artisan dark chocolate, BBQ sauce, salsas and Paul Prudhomme, who probably attends more food shows then I do. Most people know Magic Seasonings as a retail product, but he also sells his stuff in 50-lb. bags so any manufacturing plant can liven up their products with his “magic”!

I wandered around for hours trying to find things that would surprise me, impress me and prove that I really have not seen it all and done it all. As it turns out, I never heard of Sprouted Almonds, Black Beluga lentils, which have been dubbed “the caviar of lentils,” and Guittard 90% dark chocolate. I didn’t see the 90% on the Guittard website, but when it comes to 72%, Guittard is my favorite brand (they are also located right by my place in Burlingame, CA, and the town often smells like chocolate on production day—which I have not been able to nail down yet!). Fage yogurt was at the show, showcasing a full 5% fat yogurt with a side of cherries (I always liked the 2%, but once you try 5%, you can’t go back). Savory Creations demo’d their demi (restaurant-quality demi-glace in minutes, not hours!). The new fusion sea salt from SaltWorks, and, of course, that Tasmanian bottled rainwater.

More soon on Food Fête…

About Rachel Zemser