I told you about some of this year’s trends in food preparation and packaging here, but now I will tell you about the flavor trends my foodie friends and I observed when we attended the 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show.
Exotic citrus fruits were well-represented throughout the show. We, and everyone else who hovered around the booth like bees in a beehive, all loved the 100% fresh squeezed blood orange juice by Aliseo Foods. No big surprise that this won the gold Sofi Award for best cold beverage.
The grapefruit gelato by PreGel America was our hands-down favorite frozen dessert of the day.
Stephanie loved all the products she tasted in the Yakami Orchard booth but she was especially partial to the marmalade featuring the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu.
Last year I wrote about meeting the Baconnaise boys, this year bacon is popping up in more
places. Linda found bacon-flavored chapstick, bacon popcorn, and even bacon-flavored glue on the flaps of envelopes. Another unusual, and surprisingly delicious, bacon offering was the bacon peanut brittle by Sir Francis Bacon.
Peanuts, butter, sugar, salt, and now bacon. Why not deep-fry it and make it a forbidden-food homerun? On the other hand, peanuts are protein, butter gives us calcium, this has zero trans fats and all ingredients are natural. If I have it with a glass of red wine to protect my heart, I might call it a health food.
A very welcome trend I observed was the increased use of coconut across many products. My favorites were the toasted coconut salt and the coconut curry ice cream (though I still keep hoping that I’ll have another scoop of the coconut lemongrass gelato that Ciao Bella served at the San Francisco Ferry Building one day). I failed to make a note of the booth number for the gold Sofi winner for Outstanding New Product Danielle Fruit Chips so I missed the chance to taste their Roasted Coconut Chips.
Just from the description of it, this sounds like something I would like to sprinkle over coconut gelato or just eat by the handful.
Now that tea has been proven to be powerful antioxidant, it is showing up in more and more products every year. It seems that every self-respecting chocolatier must have a green-tea chocolate. In fact, The Tea Room won a silver Sofi Award for their Green Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Bar.
The most unique tea product I found was tea seed oil made by Arette, think flax seed oil but made with tea seeds. This oil is expressed from the cousin of the tea plant (Camillia Oleifera instead of Camellia Sinensis). Not only do these oils taste delicious, they are loaded with enough monounsaturated oils, unsaturated fatty acids, poly phenols, and vitamin E to make me live to a hundred. But wait, there’s more. It is very desirable for cooking because it has a high smoke point ( 485˚ F).
Bottled tea drinks are not new but new flavor combinations continue to pop up. China Mist creates a beautiful and delicious line of organic teas with flavors like Tangerine Black Tea with Pomegranate Juice, Blackberry Jasmine Green Tea with Lemonade, or Dragon Fruit Black Tea. They are offered in a glass hourglass-shaped bottle that is attractive and comfortable to hold.
Next time, our favorites!