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Tuesday, January 23, 2007 

Oh..my..what a weekend!

Well...I can safely say that the major trend evident at the Fancy Food Trade Show was Tea. It was everywhere. Green Tea especially...but the one thing that companies were flaunting...the blooming teas; the little buds that flower in your tea pot. There were TONS being showcased at the Trade Show. Not alot of coffee except in food itself.

The other seemingly overflowing item...flavored infused and fortified bubbly water. Lite. Refreshing. Packed with herbs and vitamins for everything that supposedly ails you. These companies have their sights on soda pop and they're going for broke.

Another big thing...Licorice. Go figure. Not the the American type of plastic/anise flavored stuff...this was the chewy, salty European/Scandanavian type of licorice. And, wow...is it flavorful and terrific!

Olive Oil was in abundance. Everyone had their own blends/brands of olive oil. Nuts were in abundance, too. Saw our local Pistachio company there...stopped and said "howdee."

Lots of spices. In everything...even chocolate. One of my favorite "bites" was from a company called "Pretty Mean Snacks". It is geared toward women...hence they are marketing themselves as the PMS brand...and it has some terrific and unusual flavor blending. Chocolate and Basil? It was tasty!

Lots of salts! From all over the globe...even Utah.

I had the honor to meet and chat with Ina Garten and Paula Deen. Terrific women. Inspirational. (And, keep your eyes out....Paula's got a book coming out later this year and some tasty new products marketed via The Peanut Shop!) Tom Douglas was there with his terrific rubs for seafood and meat. No sign of Paul P...but plenty of his rubs. Bobby Flay was reportedly there, but I didn't care to try to hunt him down.

Just a brief glimpse into the show. The big "buzz" of the show, though, seems to be the move of next year's Winter Fancy Food Trade Show to San Diego. The Show has been in San Francisco for years and years. It almost seems sacreligious to not have it at the Moscone. What sort of taxbreaks did the "City Shamu Built" offer the Show folks? Gavin...how could you let this happen?

One word to some up the show other than "Wow!"...Varietal. Think varietal.

Metromint Lemonmint and Metromint Orangemint

Exotic Flowering Tea Line
Numi Organic Tea

Vitamin Fiber Water
Sugar Bowl Bakery

Vignette Wine Country Soda
Savor California

More later. I'm still digesting the samples.

Sounds like big fun!

I am so incredibly jealous. I'm glad you had such a fantastic time!

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