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Highlights from San Francisco NASFT Fancy Food Show

I’ve been attending the NASFT Fancy Food Show since I was a child. My great Uncle was in the candy business (we called it the candy show back then) and always got my family in for a day of total indulgence!  

Now, we attend the Fancy Food Show with a different agenda. Though I always enjoy checking out all the new products in every category, my focus is finding new products to offer our clients.

Many of the wonderful products shown at the Fancy Food Show don’t really fit our product line of luxury and French foods; however, there were a few worth considering.  

More Than Gourmet offers high quality stock and demi-glace that assists chefs and home cooks in making delicious sauces. Stocks are available in veal, venison, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, seafood, vegetable and mushroom. Though I frequently make my own stock (even those that take 48 hours), there are times when it would be so convenient to be able to start my sauce with a high quality, ready-made stock that only needs to be reconstituted. From there, I can add my shallots, garlic, wine, or whatever, to make the final sauce.  We are waiting for samples, to make sure we like the taste and quality of the stocks and demi-glace, but we are hopeful about this product line!

One of the most innovative products we tasted at the show was a line of savory macaroons. The macaroons were in three flavors, goat cheese, black truffle, and porcini mushroom. These scrumpti0us morsels are not yet on the market, and we hope to be the first to carry them.  

Some additional products we might introduce to our line include escargot, marron glace (candied chestnuts), truffle honey, and French chocolate.  We’d love to hear from you if you have other ideas or requests!  

Somewhat surprisingly, there were no producers of top quality caviar at the show.  There were several “affordable” alternatives, but nothing that we thought measured up to the two brands we currently carry, Tsar Nicoulai Caviar and Black River Caviar.

There were more booths than I remember seeing in past years marketing fresh truffle mushrooms and truffle products.  Since white truffles are no longer in season, and black truffles are at the height of their season, there were several companies with a basket full of beautiful, fragrant black truffles from the Perigord in France.  There were also truffle producers from Oregon and other regions (Oregon truffles are not the same species as Perigord truffles).  Though North Carolina has a growing number of farms cultivated the Perigord variety of black truffles, there were no producers at the show from this region.  

There were only three or four producers featuring foie gras or foie gras products, most of which we already carry on our site.  Notably, Hudson Valley Foie Gras was at the show (they don’t usually exhibit at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, only in New York), serving up fresh seared foie gras, foie gras torchon, duck proscuitto and magret de canard.  They were clearly there to not only sample their wonderful products, but also to reach out to the food community regarding the pending legislation in California, banning the sale of foie gras in the state, beginning in July 2012.  

One of Hudson Valley Foie Gras’ founders, Izzy, was there collecting signatures from those who wanted to help keep Hudson Valley Foie Gras available in California.  Hudson Valley Foie Gras raises their ducks free range, and hand feeds the ducks when it’s time for gavage. The company believes they should be excluded from the ban, based on the measures they have taken to keep the birds healthy, comfortable and stress free.  

A general observation about the 2010 San Francisco Fancy Food Show was the large number of gluten free foods being offered.  I don’t remember ever seeing so many foods marketed as being gluten free, but this year they were everywhere!  As always, there were a host of olive oils, dressings, salsas, chocolate and candy and of course cheese.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the show as we always do, and hope to soon be featuring some of the newly found French food and luxury products on our website.

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