Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feasting My Way Through the Fancy Food Show 2011


I have decided on my new career.  I want to be a person who visits food shows, eating the samples, taking pictures of cool food, eating the samples, meeting fun food personalities, and you guessed it, eating the samples.  Wait, what do you mean such a job doesn't exist?

Such a job totally exists!  I'm convinced the vendors who exhibited their food products at the Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco have my dream job.  The show was divided into two giant areas with the North side of the Center featuring more organic, natural products and the South side focusing on more traditionally packaged products.  Overall, the show featured everything from unique, new food products to old favorites.


Cookies shaped like mushrooms covered in chocolate?  What's not to love about that?  A giant assortment of veggie and fruit purees designed to make sauce and smoothie making easier.  Ingenious.  And Tabasco-flavored chocolate.  Interesting.


Everything I read about the show beforehand said to pace myself.  What did I do as soon as I entered the exhibit hall?  Kicked that advice to the curb.  Within the first hour, I sampled everything from pizza and pasta to cheese and crackers to chocolate galore.  Needless to say, I felt pretty sick for the second and third hour.

I used that time to chat with the millions of vendors who showcased their products, spoke knowledgeably and passionately about them, and um, provided samples.  On display were large spreads of antipasta, a giant amount of black truffles, and a huge spread of flavored salt.


I also met not one, but two celebrities.  I'm still trying to figure out whether it was cooler meeting Ina Garten (who was gracious and lovely in person) or the giant Jelly Belly Bean (who was cuddly and gave jelly bean samples).  Oh, and I ate lots of pasta.  See that glazed look in my eyes?  That's because I'm holding bowls four and five on my pasta eating spree.  Not because I'm physically incapable of turning down pasta but because my journalistic integrity means I have to be thorough in my pasta research.


And when I got tired of sampling (gasp!), there was so much to see and do until I got hungry again (ten minutes later).  And yes, that is Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Mona Lisa made entirely out of jelly beans.


The best part about it all is coming home and sampling treats in the comfort of your home because let's face it, all of the chocolate started tasting the same after the fifteenth chocolate sample.  Here are some of the most unique (and delicious!) products I tried (and loved!):

1) Turbano Plantain Chips - Crunchy and tasty without that oily feel of potato chips.  I was partial (super partial) to the Chile Lime flavor.  Ingredients:  fresh plaintain, vegetable oil, salt, and chile lime flavor.  Four ingredients?!?  How can you not love that?

2) Gold Rush Kettle Corn - I have no idea how they make packaged kettle corn taste like it just came out of well, a kettle, but these people have perfected that art.

3) Krave Beef Jerky - I thought I didn't like beef jerky because I associated it with those tough sticks sold in gas stations but this beef jerky was so tender and flavorful.  I was a fan!

4) Materne GoGo Squeez - Applesauce in a squeezable pouch.  No sugar added, 100% fruit, no spoon needed.  This stuff is so convenient and delicious, I don't even feel bad that I'm an adult eating applesauce out of a squeezie pouch.

36 comments :

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

You met Ina Garten??!! I'm moving to SF asap!
The food show sounds like so much fun! can't wait to move back to lovely CA and enjoy such fun events which is not very common in the country side :-)

Celia said...

Ina Garten?? Awesome! Though the Jelly Bean is pretty adorable...

Jennifurla said...

I am so jealous! I love Ina, and now I am off to research shows! Super cool

lequan said...

Mushroom shaped chocolate covered cookies? Yes please! No, I'm not easily sold, not at all ;-) And jelly bean art? How cool is that? Ms. Mona Lisa's lucky I wasn't there or she may not have an arm right now...teehee. Sounded like you had a great time, Azmina. Sorry you you got sick though :(
Thanks for sharing this experience!

The Mom Chef said...

Ok, that jelly bean art was amazing. To me THOSE people need jobs. Who seriously takes the time to arrange jelly beans like that?

What a cool experience though. They have so many expos and shows like that here but I never bother to check them. I'm going to have to change that. It looks like you had too much fun and came home with too much cool stuff (all of which I'd collect for Dudette, you understand) Ha.

Happy Cook said...

I want to hav ethe same job too, i love going to food show, no that i have gone to one latley.

Ameena said...

I want to join you in your new career. I can be your sidekick, holding the bowls of pasta for you. As long as the job pays in gluten-free snacks, no task is too menial for me!

I love Ina Garten! I never thought I'd say that about someone who wears collared denim shirts on a daily basis, but that lady can cook!

Jean said...

Azmina, I'm sure you're a wonderful attorney but I can also totally see you rocking a food show personality gig. :-)

So cool that you met Ina and to come home with all those goodies. Thanks for sharing a fun time with us. Great pictures of you, too. :-)

Chef Dennis said...

wow, what a great show!! I wanted so badly to go!!
Thank you so much for taking us along with you! It looks like you had such a great time!
Cheers
Dennis

Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy said...

I am so J of you! You met Ina Garten??? WoW! I think this job is cool ...no kicking the ass and slogging in kitchen to cook food and wash dishes..I am ready to be your assistant even if u dont need one :)

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

My kids tell me I'm an Ina poser. Just love her. That show looked like it was a blast. Enjoyed my visit today.

SaraOneTribeGourmet said...

Oh wow you met Ina!!!! I love her! I would have loved this food event!

chandana said...

That would be a great job. those chocolate mushroom cookies look great. tabasco flavored choclate sounds interesting.
i am going to google for food shows in our place immediately. it's so much fun.
you look lovely with the gaint jelly bean. all excited like a lil kid:)

Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams said...

I would love a career like this too. It would be a lot of fun and I'd be looking forward to going to work every morning.

Andra@FrenchPressMemos said...

Hmmmm. How should I say this?? I'm green with envy. I have a couple of friends who were there and loved it! Thanks for sharing.

~Lisa~ said...

I say we create such a job. I'll gladly join you. What a fun event, and you most definitely would have a invite if you were on this coast (=

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Oh, you think your Fancy now huh! He He How fun, wish I could of be there with you!
-Gina-

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said...

I want that job too :-D Let's see what we can do to make that happen shall we? I once went to a Chocolate show that was a blast, a whole day of sampling chocolate! So much good stuff!

Ang said...

I'm so jealous.....in a good way:) I love Ina and I would love to try and make a food show. Never have I been and I know I'm missing out. Looks like you had a great time and learned tons and ate tons.....of samples:) Thanks for sharing! I love posts like this because it inspires me to get out there and just do it! :)

Nina said...

I want that job too! It sounds like the dream job. What did you think of the tabasco chocolate? I have eaten chilli chocolate and thought it was pretty good.

Nadia said...

I want to join you on this new career venture!

and look at you schmoozing with some more celebs, excuse me, Miss Big Shot ;)

Monet said...

I'm so happy to hear that you met Ina! How fun is that! I used to have to go to home security conventions with my dad (He's in the security business). I would love to go to conference dedicated to food! Thank you for sharing yet another engaging post. I hope you have a wonderful weekend...enjoy yourself and eat well!

Just a French Girl... said...

I can attest...those shrooms are DELISH. I'm so surprised Meiji went there... That's pretty cool, and who wouldn't love a job like what you just described?

Jessie said...

The Mona Lisa in jellybeans?? No way! I can't even draw that, much less make it out of jellybeans :P

I'm glad you had a great time! It looks like so much fun - I mean, with bowls and bowls of pasta, how could it not be awesome? Those chocolate mushroom things are too cute (and delicious I'm sure). Where can I apply for this job?? :)

Ellen (La Pure Mama) said...

what a fun adventure! Thanks for sharing... I'm sure I would have gained a couple extra pounds from all those amazing samples :)

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

So fun! I'm so jealous - what an amazing event! That applesauce stuff sounds awesome.

GB said...

Dream job!!--the perks are so good, who needs a paycheck, right? Where do I sign up? :)

sara @ CaffeIna said...

If you get that job, can I be your assistant? I'm fine even with just carrying your bag around...it would be a bag full of food after all :)
Too bad my stomach bug hit me just the week of this festival. I will have to go next time.

Charmaine @ Speakeasy Kitchen said...

Please tell me you nabbed some chocolate mushrooms for me...

Jackie said...

You literally should've seen my face just now when I read that you met my FOOD HERO Ina Garten! ARGH! My jaw dropped, my shoulders tensed and a great look of incredulous jealousy came over my entire being. Officially hate you now*.

What fun! So glad you took lots of photos!

Jax x

*Of course I don't hate you, quite the opposite, but I am uber-jealous!

Juliana said...

Wow, what a fun event...thank you so much for sharing the photos :-)

The Duo Dishes said...

If you find someone hiring for a job like that, please let us know. After you are hired of course. :) Meeting Ina is the best part!

Joanne said...

You and I need to start a company that sells food so that we can have a booth at one of these events...and then take turns meandering around and eating all the samples. yeah?

petite hermine said...

That IS a cool job. So happy to hear about SF again. I miss that city!

Anonymous said...

LOL Mona Lisa ain't from Picasso! Leonardo da Vinci made that picture...

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Solid catch! I'll leave the error up to remind myself of the folly of posting on a stomach full of delicious snacks. Any chance you'd be willing to proofread the rest of my posts? :)

Post a Comment