The 45th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco this past weekend was an incredible display of more than 80,000 products from 1,400 exhibitors. It was my first time at this event, and I was bewildered by the sheer vastness of this show, occupying the entire South Hall of the Moscone Center, as well as the North Hall.
Since there is so much to cover, I will be breaking this into several posts. I had no expectations going in, relying on my palate to be pleased and tantalized as I walked through the aisles and aisles of specialty food products on display. As we strolled and stopped to taste various offerings, I quickly found myself honing in on an array of snacks and beverages that lured me in. Overall, I found many favorites — and a few duds — among everything I tasted. I’m going to start with one of my favorite things to write about: SNACKS!
Chum Fruit Bites — the story behind this company is one that warms the heart. I sat down with Chum founder, Benjamin Bartley, who was more than happy to tell us more about these natural fruit bites.
Fruit snacks on the market today are not always natural, and often, diluted with preservatives, concentrates, added sugars and gumming agents. Unlike other fruit snacks which are boiled at high temperatures — quicker and easier to make, but much harder to digest — Chum bites are high in fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, ensuring a more gradual release of energy.
Chum Bites also have vitamins, minerals and plant proteins, making it something you’ll feel comfortable offering to your kids. At Chum, they are dedicated to using the simplest, purest ingredients, with no additives. It is just fruit that is dried slowly for 12-hours. One bite and you’ll see what I’m talking about. My son devoured this snack so quickly, stating it tastes exactly like the fruit itself.
But what’s even better is that the company is dedicated to celebrating, and saving beautiful endangered species. That’s why, 15% of Chum’s profits are donated to WildAid, ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy their splendor. You can purchase these delightful fruit bites directly from Chum’s website
Goodlife Sea Stick — I love seaweed and these Sea Sticks are hand-made rolled-up seaweed snacks that’s fat free, gluten free, vegan, and MSG-free. There is no coloring or preservatives, using 100% natural ingredients. This seaweed is sourced from South Korea and manufactured in Thailand, with a shelf-life of 18 months. They are crispy and totally delicious, offered in three flavors: Original, Spicy and Wasabi. Currently only available through Amazon.
Good Roots Lotus Chips — this was positively one of my favorite snacks from the show. Using lotus root as its base, the crispy,crunchy chips are high in fiber, iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins B and C. Naturally gluten-free, this healthy snack is offered in Original, Seaweed and Wasabi flavors. Good Roots is based in San Francisco, and is available across the Bay Area, with a select few stores in the LA area. You can also purchase directly from their website.
Nature Nate’s Popped Sorghum — long been a staple in China, this grain is touted to be the grain of the future. I was intrigued because I’d never seen it used in this format before. This popped sorghum looks like small bits of popcorn, tastes like popcorn, but is non-GMO, gluten-free, and is high in antioxidants. A Kickstarter program is currently running for three new flavors: masala, cheesy habanero, and gheesy. Sorghum is also one of the top 12 non-allergen foods and easy to digest. If you’re interested in trying, you can order it from Amazon.
Pescavore Tuna Jerky Strips — this hand-crafted ahi tuna jerky starts off with a high quality, whole cuts of responsibly-caught ahi tuna. Premium marinades are used to season, and then, the age-old tradition of natural wood smoking is applied to the fish. This small batch process maintains flavor, texture, protein, and nutrients, with less residual salt and sugar than traditional jerky. I love the fact that it’s fish and not beef, and the jerky isn’t overly hard or salty like regular jerky. The product comes in three flavors: Island Teriyaki, Caribbean Jerk, and Smokey Poke. Visit Pescavore’s website to find a store, or purchase online.
Stay tuned for more from the Fancy Food Show in the coming weeks.