2017 Winter Fancy Food Show: Holy Shit, That’s a Lot of Cheese

It sounds magical to be able to browse miles of food companies stuffing samples into your gullet. And it is, if you like ham and cheese.

Reviewed by Jonny

January 27, 2017

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This Monday, I went to the Fancy Food Show here in rainy San Francisco.  I’d been once before with Matty, but now that we’re worldwide mega stars from the outrageous success of this site (we’ve made almost $10 in affiliate fees & counting!), I thought I’d check it out again.  I’ll try to tell the story in photos, as words can be so wordy sometimes.

First, let’s take a look at my sample haul.  Keep in mind, I was trying to only take candy-if allowed, I easily could have had 5 times this amount:

Yikes.  But let’s focus on the actual show.  The first thing you need to know is this isn’t a candy show: like the name implies, it’s way more about savory foods.  Cheese, cured meats, crackers, all were out in full force.  Keep in mind, the show is at our largest conference halls here, the Moscone Center-2 buildings, both jam packed with vendors hocking their wares.  I had 4 hours to be there, so I methodically started to go down every.  Single.  Aisle.  I needed to make sure I didn’t miss any good candies-at least I got in my 10K steps.

Ahh yes.  Epic pork rinds, out of Texas.  Amazing, perfect pork rinds.  I loved them, but I was on a mission, so I couldn’t dilly dally.

The oldest of the old OG candies: The Idaho Spud.  I’m STILL not sure I’ver ever had one, but I sampled the Old Faithful bar.  Really tasty, middle of the road candy bar I’m pretty sure everyone would like.  As for the Huckleberry Gem next to it….that one’s a little more polarizing.

Lots of this kind of thing: chocolate “thins”.  Hey, they’re for “sharing”!  The mocha taste on the one on the top right was really quite excellent, but it’s hard for me to get excited about this kind of thing.

Ahh, Dorval.  You can always count on them for sour fun.  They have new double sided sours in the bowl on the right, but my thing is: I can’t taste everything at the show.  First, I already had a half pound of italian cheese and meats before I saw any candy, so I was feeling a bit …bloated.  But also, I don’t need to pretend I like everything in front of the candy makers.  So if they don’t have wrapped samples for me to take & try at home, I’m out.  The lollies on the top left are great though-chewy, hard deliciousness.

Honestly?  This was my favorite product of the show.  Beer Salt.  Differently seasoned tiny packages of salty goodness that you rim your beer glass with OR just put on the mouth of your beer bottle.  I tasted the chile lime, and the lime flavor is huge and legit.  Why the hell didn’t I think of this first?  Really excited to try these this weekend whenI get down with some Dad beer®.

Sooooo many dried & cured meats.

The fine people at Gerrit Verburg & Co. with some classics.  New flavor of licorice-like chewy thing on the top right, the pink one.  It’s pink lemonade, and it’s wonderful.

This stuff was a trip.  It’s flavor infused sugar crystals.  Nothing is in them but the flavor source and sugar.  So for instance, the rose one is just roses and sugar.  Some really interesting things could be done with this, and even cooler, they’re not artificially colored.

Just as I needed a pick me up, I was handed a Guru energy drink.  Felt right.

Made me giggle.  Didn’t try though, as beets are on my extremely short list of foods that suck.

Top secret, so I can’t tell you what company is releasing this new line of chocolate bars, but they’re some of our favorite people who make some of our favorite things.  They should be released in a few months.

Umm….Guiness makes candy?

It was about at this point, right around 4pm that I decided to throw in the towel.  I was over it, I was tired, and frankly, I was a little bummed.  I just didn’t see a lot of interesting new things in the candy world, and was wondering if perhaps I’d wasted my time.  Then I saw the Reed’s Ginger Beer booth, and as I passed by, the savior working the booth handed me this:

A large Moscow Mule.  And suddenly, I was revived.  I continued to walk the remainder of the show floor, now with a delightful mild buzz, and a little giddyup to my step.
Certainly, there was some good candy on display, but it’s very clear to me now that the yearly candy show in Chicago is the only place to go to get the real skinny on wacky new candies.  It’s unlikely that Matty & my hectic work schedules will allow us to go in the near future, but it’s the dream.  For now though, I leave you with this:

Brittle toffee.  Cause why not?

Zolli Candy


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