About a year ago I was notified on linked in that there was a food event in my area that might interest me. I went to the site and learned all about Food Fete an event that takes place right after the fancy food show, that allows food manufacturers and food writers to spend quality time together and give the writers an opportunity to learn more about the products without the massive crowds that are found on the fancy food show floor.
I went last year, (see my review here) had a great time, and tried some amazing products. I also went this year and tried MORE amazing products. I already wrote about some of the items I saw on the Culinology Online Magazine website, but that magazine is more about industrial products, so I was limited. Here, on my own site I can go on and on about whatever I want and no one will mind!
Before I dive into the product endorsement section, I have to say.. The Food Fete Party is really fun! It’s all pink lights and cocktail tables and open bar, it’s like being on the guest list of an exclusive food event.. which I guess, you basically are! Anyway I am glad that I get to go and hope that I can help spread the word on the exciting and creative food products on display!
I have to admit though, after eating at the Fancy Food Show all day, my taste buds were shot. I of course continued eating but it was the take home Shwag Bag that really gave me the opportunity to taste the different products in a natural setting with family and friends. I tried each product under different circumstances and just to make the blog more interesting, will include the eating scenario as well!!
BUT before I begin, there is one food fete product that gets a first and special mention, RoundRock Honey showed their product at the last food fete I attended in San francisco. The owner Konrad gets some of his bees by saving them from exterminators and offering a free bee removal service. His honey is unique, due to the diversity of the plants in central Texas.
Senior Sangria -I had a glass at the show but then smuggled my take home bottle over the Canadian Border and had it with my good friend Ellen who works at Giraffe Food and Beverages. We caught up on old times while drinking the Sangria that we jacked up with fruit pieces and ice. Great product, I didn’t get very strong buzz, but have been advised by the Senor Sangria team that I can always add some extra brandy to increase potency!
Anolon Spatula Nice heavy duty great quality item. I was excited to bring it back to California but my mom stole it from my bag and now she has it.
Antoine Amrani Chocolate It sounds like an exotic import, but actually it’s made in Philly. Which is fine because I prefer to be local these days (local being the “in” thing to be). I almost didn’t get to stop by the booth at the show because it was so mobbed and when I saw the chocolates I could understand why. They are so shiny and glamorous and beautiful! I couldn’t wait to eat them. I carried them around with me for awhile and while in Tivoli, NY visiting my sister she spotted them in my handbag. “What’s that” she eyed the chocolate suspiciously. Are you holding out on me? My sister lives out in the Tivoli boonies so they don’t get to see shiny beautiful chocolates very often. Plus she recently had a baby so gourmet anything is not on her agenda. The baby spotted the candy as well… end result, they were gone in five minutes. Delicious flavors, too good for my sister, I want to have them at my next cocktail party!
Fage Yogurt no one needs to tell me to eat Fage yogurt, it’s the only yogurt that I eat. I prefer to mix it with Greek honey, if I can find it. I am happy that Fage is now made in the U.S. and even happier that it is slowly showing up in lots of supermarkets. Will it catch on over here? Only time will tell!
Gourmet Mist A few days before the fancy food show I attended an olive oil conference. So I am all about the EVO these days. I thought the pump idea was great because it evenly distributes the oil all over the salad. It’s healthier that way. Non aerosol, this product needs to be manually pumped before spraying!
Guayaki Yerba Mate I have tried Yerba Mate before, years ago, in an old farmhouse in Argentina. I even have a picture. I think its nice that a mass produced bottle is available, not everyone gets to try the real deal in Argentina! Research indicates that the yerba plant contains practially all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life” -and it can help you loose weight. As the story goes, David Karr and Alex Pryor met, became friends, sipped mate together and started this company.
Kernel Seasoning I loved this product and grabbed a few extra mini containers at the foodfete tabletop display. I can take my regular popcorn and make it nice and cheesy now with this powder. I also put it on corn, vegetables, and anything else that needs cheese. I also watched all the promotional videos that they gave me, saw the whole story of the guy who invented it right out of college. I wish I had thought of it first!
Landrin USA What do beautiful people and chocolates have in common? Not sure but the chocolates are from Russia and so were the two beautiful people manning the booth. The chocolate was crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside (just like a ferrer roche) I took a lot of samples and gave a few to my friends. We all agreed that the chocolate was very fashionable and glamorous, so was the packaging.
Lipton Tea I was dying of thirst after walking the Fancy Food Show all day. The Lipton booth at Food Fete was passing out BIG glasses of tea with ice and lots of liquid. I was grateful they were there and featuring their white tea and black pearl. I used to work at Lipton, back in 1996. They are owned by Unilever.
The cheese Ambassador -I received my trio of American artisanal cheeses compliments of “The Cheese Ambassador” . I am going to be pairing them with beer in two days with another food writer. They sent me a gouda, cheddar and cave aged blue. They included information on how to pair the two together. How fun!
Lastly, Where’s the Beef?! The Oliver Ranch Company taught food fete attendees all about quality beef. They have a tasting guide that is designed to help you compare different beef styles, describe experiences and identify preferences. This was an interesting scientific approach to meat , fitting in with my approach to food. A few buzz words that you can use to describe meat (know as meat-speak) are
Texture-Mushy, bouncy, tough
Mouthfeel-oily, crusty, crispy
Personality/Character-complex, round, balanced
Flavor Notes-roqueford, baked apple, umami
Its just like tasting wine, but with meat.
And that concludes my summary of retail products shown at this years food fete. I don’t normally promote or recommend retail products since I come more from the industrial world and prefer to recommend items like stabilizers, gums, spray dried flavors and texturized starches, but foodfete is my one chance to reconnect with the new and innovative retail products on the market.