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    SF’s Winter Fancy Food Show

    By Elaine Viegas

    food

    For professional foodies, San Francisco’s Winter Fancy Food Show is like Christmas, Chanukah and birthdays all rolled into one. Since the countdown is now on for the January 19-21 event at the Moscone Center, attendees are already tweeting things like “getting excited!!!” and “can’t wait!”

    A team of us from the Bay Times went last year, and let’s just say that we happily spotted more LGBT people than are probably on Castro Street right now. It’s a sign of literal and figurative good taste! Food truck folks, caterers, food artisans, entrepreneurs and more all religiously come to this annual event, now in its 39th year.


    The show is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages on the West Coast. It features 13,000 exhibitors from across the U.S. and around the world.

    California boasts the largest state showing, including 40 specialty food producers making their show debut. The state brings nearly four times the exhibitors as the next largest showing from New York, followed by New Jersey, Washington and Illinois. More than 18,000 buyers from top names in retailing and restaurants are expected to attend the event to discover the new products and trends for their menus and stores from both domestic and international exhibitors.

    “California food makers continue to pave the way with distinctive food products crafted with premium ingredients and flavor profiles,” says Ann Daw, president of the Specialty Food Association, which owns and produces the Winter Fancy Food Show. “Their culinary creativity will be evident throughout.”

    The show is very influential, and largely helps to decide what new products you’ll see in the months to come at grocery stores, restaurants and practically anyplace else where food and beverages are served.

    Among the California exhibitors are:

    Bucha Live Kombucha, Torrance – flavored kombucha teas

    Califia Farms, Bakersfield – almond milks

    Fresh Origins, San Marcos – micro-greens, herb and flower crystals

    The Good Bean, Berkeley – roasted chickpea snacks

    Heidi’s Salsa, Los Angeles – artisan salsas

    Laughing Giraffe Organics, Lafayette –cookies, granola

    Praline Patisseries, San Diego – artisan caramel sauces

    Taste Nirvana, Walnut – coconut water

    Three Twins Ice Cream, Petaluma – organic ice cream

    Wallaby Organic Yogurt, American Canyon – organic low-fat kefir

    Savor California, a show exhibitor, will bring together 30 niche producers to offer a statewide sampling of specialty foods, including from these show newcomers:

    Cocoa Parlor/Tonic Scene, Dana Point – organic raw chocolate bars

    Fava Life, San Francisco – fava bean hummus

    Meyenberg Goat Milk Products, Turlock – milk, butter, cheese

    P*de*Q, Fresno – tapioca cheese bread

    Silk Road Soda, Roseville – flavored sodas

    Tapioca cheese bread? I’m curious about that! But even more funky and fabulous foods will be offered at the event, which showcases some 80,000 products. Additional information is at specialtyfood.com.