Best of: Fancy Food Show

Fancy Food Show Although Sunday was a lovely warm day filled with sunshine, I spent the entire afternoon indoors at the Fancy Food Show. With hundreds of booths distributing endless samples of artisanal cheeses, specialty spreads, pastas with gourmet sauces, rich chocolates, assorted teas and other goodies, food quickly took the place of sun.  I was practically glowing as I walked from isle to isle perusing all of the wonderful new foods and products I had yet to try. I had my work cut out for me.

The Fancy Food Show attracts over 20,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors representing 81 countries. Now that’s a lot of people AND a lot of food in one place. And with a sampling of 250,000 products including confections, cheeses, coffees, snacks, spices some even ethnic, natural, or organic. One would think you’d be satisfied in every culinary area with the vast amount of vendors. But to my surprise, the Fancy Food show seemed to be dominated by cheeses and antipasti such as cured olives, artichokes, and roasted red peppers. Although cheese happens to be one of my all time favorite foods, after a while my palette was completely desensitized to flavor and all I could grasp were textures. Clearly I had reached my capacity for sampling but at the same time I couldn’t help but think how these products differentiate themselves in the marketplace?

Cupcake Haribo

Fancy Food Show Cheese Fancy Food Show Funky Popcorn

As I strolled through countless rows of similar products I began to be more discerning of which samples I chose to try. The two things I judged each product by were:

1. Packaging

2. Sales Pitch/Customer Service

As a marketing and advertising professional, I’ve learned that its all about the packaging and presentation. Innovative designs draw the eye and a consumer’s curiosity. And a friendly and knowledgeable presentation can go a very long way in the marketplace.

And after four hours and approximately 40 samples later, I managed to escape with some great take away items. Some of my favorite and most innovative products from the Fancy Food Show are listed below, in preferential order. And be sure to check back over the next few weeks for my new Hot Product features.

Smart SpiceSmart Spice

“Every cook has a chef inside”. These pre-packaged single-serving spices are ideal for new cooks, moms, and even experienced chefs. Smart Spice was my favorite product at the show because of their innovative presentation of spices as well as their attractive packaging and staff.

LT BlendersLT Blender’s Frozen Concoctions (in a Bag)

Add liquor and water, shake freeze, and squeeze! LT Blender provides nearly instant frozen cocktails without the hassle of using a blender AND the ability to take your cocktail on-the-go. With over 10 varieties including margaritas, mudslides, and peach bellinis, there’s a flavor to suit your every mood. Check out their website for easy recipes to spice up your mix.

Prepara "Herb-Savor"

Prepara “Herb-Savor”

Prepara herb-savor will prolong the life of your fresh herbs for up to 3 weeks so you can enjoy fresh, flavorful meals every time you cook. And it comes in two sizes!

Au Printemps Gourmet Caramelized Onion and Blood Orange Confit

Though it’s not yet out on the market this outstanding condiment was just awarded the Sofi Gold Award for one of the most outstanding foods this year. This sweet yet savory marmalade pairs especially well with cheese and crackers. The onion and blood orange really bring out the flavors in the cheese its paired with.

Mozzarella CompanyMozzarella Company

Out of all the cheeses I’d sampled, the Mozzarella Company was my favorite. I tried so many gourmet varieties that I can’t remember which were which. But what I do remember was the creamy cottage cheese created especially for Kent Rathman’s Blue Plate Kitchen in Dallas.

Betsy's Cheese Straws Betsy’s Cheese Straws

This all natural southern snack was introduced to me by a family from Alabama. They were nice enough to give me a small bag to try at home and suggested pairing it with a cold glass of white wine. Similar in taste to Cheese-itz these straws have more body and crunch and are available in seven flavors, sweet and savory.

Kitchen Table Bakers Cheese Crisps

Kitchen Table Bakers Gourmet Cheese Crisps

Their low-fat gluten & sugar free cheese crisps are pretty tasty and are a well-developed niche snack.

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