Memorable Eats from the Fancy Food Show

Fancy Food Show!

Connie and I went to the Fancy Food Show yesterday–she’s an experienced attendee and as we prepared for a drive to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, she advised newbie me, “Pace yourself, there’s a lot of ground to cover,” and “Don’t forget to bring some water to drink.” Hrm. It felt like we were going to the Himalayas. Awesome.

The Fancy Food Show covers both the north and south wings of the Moscone Center, no small feat. Every inch of space is taken up by exhibitors–and they ranged from the ubiquitous olive oils, cheese, chocolate (some of the most heavenly purveyors!) and drinks…to collagen marshmallows and goat milk ice cream. Everyone’s offering samples (including the collagen marshmallow people), so we paced ourselves (even so, the food stands were doing a screaming level of business–who has the room and time to eat after noshing on samples all day?).

In five hours, we made quick work of the place, except for the hour “rest” at the Sardinia cooking demonstration where we got to watch the chef make 3 dishes out of pane carasau (a crispy flatbread thing) and then EAT the 3 dishes.

at the sardinia food tasting booth

The chef was quite a character, just to note. He loved the following analogy the best: “It’s like pizza…” I guess we Americans are known for equating pizza as The Italian Food.

Ah, but I am writing this post to talk about one facet of the Fancy Food Show: the standouts, at least for me. When Connie and I stopped by a British cheese stand in the last hour of our stomping around perusing, the cheesemonger asked us, “I haven’t been able to get out of here. What do you think is notable out there?”

I was at a loss for words, and at a loss for memory. We’d just tasted some FANTASTIC fruit, but I couldn’t recall them (carica and yumberry). Yet Connie had a GREAT answer, “Collagen marshmallows!”

marshmallows with collagen for your skin!

Yes, these collagen marshmallows were the oddest, yet most intriguing (to two women obsessed about skin care anyway) food artifact we’d seen all day. Apparently, you don’t need botox injections, you can eat yourself to firm-faced beauty with these suckers. They come in various flavors, as the vendor handed us a bag each (Connie got strawberry, I got…uh…yogurt flavor) of this “functional food.”

collagen marshmallows

Each marshmallow contains 3000 mg of collagen, and can be toasted, too–the vendor stated eating them will have the same effect as a collagen injection (where?). And the cheesemonger’s reaction to Connie’s proclamation? “Oh! I wonder if they will lift ALL FOUR CHEEKS!”

(Cheeky monkey!).

Connie had the press packet for the product, which had the following testimonies for the product:

what consumers are saying about collagen marshmallows

The last one had us bowling over with laughter.

If and when one of us starts eating the marshmallows, we’ll let you know the progress.

The other products that pierced my psyche were some of the “new fruits” on the market, and I mentioned them earlier: yumberries and carica.

These days, there are some fruits coming out of the deep recesses of other countries, and they are a true fad (pomegranate was BIG this year, even though I have been eating them since I was a child off the numerous trees in our Southern California backyard). Where have these fruits BEEN all these years? First off? The yumberry.

yumberry

They weren’t feeding us the yumberry fruit, though the vendor did have a handful on display. They look like rambutan, and reminded us of lychees, just like rambutan. What they were selling was the juice of the yumberry, and the juice felt like a sip of the tropical–not quite like mango, but a lot milder. (They also had mangosteen juice at the show–and sipping the juice is the closest I’ve gotten to tasting the fruit that I have been looking for for YEARS).

My favorite? The carica fruit.

BEST discovery ever!

We ran into the carica fruit late into the show, our bellies distended from all the snacks and the visit to the Sardinia cooking demo. (We had moved on from the Italy section to the “other countries” section, which really was the most interesting). The booth was lit up by all the bottles of this golden fruit, and we were drawn into the golden color of the fruit jars.

“Do you want a taste?” asked the vendor. We had been asked this a kazillion times, and after awhile, we would just nod our heads in a haze, but here in this Chilean booth, we nodded our heads with fervor. She cut the fruit into small pieces, pierced the golden yellow fruit with a small fork and handed them to us.

We bit into something that was really tropical heaven–especially considering the fact that we were not eating FRESH fruit but something out of a jar.

“It tastes like a combination of mango and pineapple!” she chirped.

Connie and I nodded our heads in agreement, in revelation. All throughout the show, we had been in search of sorbet stands, in need of palate cleansers, and here we were, feeling that same sensation from a piece of fruit. Connie’s eye was quick, and she pointed to a pitcher, “Is that the juice?” Yes it was. And we had a sip of that, too.

Carica is a rare boutique fruit, grown in the semi desert valleys of Northern Chile on trees that only live five years (ack!)–and as far as the literature tells us, it is a gourmet product over there that can be used with savory dishes and with desserts, hot or cold. This particular vendor was Tamaya Gourmet, which claims the previous uses for the fruit…and that the juice can be used to make things like martinis. I’m not the only one who found this fruit a revelation; Sam over at Becks n Posh made a note about carica from the fancy food show on her food blog, too.

The Fancy Food Show is still going on at the Moscone Center in SF, through tomorrow. More pictures on my flickr set. (See if you can spot the food celebs at the food show).

Next Up from C(h)ristine: Memorable sights at the Fancy Food Show

schwag from the fancy food show

16 responses to “Memorable Eats from the Fancy Food Show

  1. darn – i onlymanaged to get a small cornflake ritter sport – looks like you landed a big one too!

    i totally missed the collagen marshmallows.

  2. ah yes, we made friends with the vendor (I loooove the cornflake ritter sport and for some reason they are HARDER to find in stores) and told him how much I LOOOOVED cornflake ritter sports and he scored us each Big Bars! Maybe it was the “2 chick” ratio of me and Connie?

    you must check out the collagen marshmallows if you get anywhere near the show this week.

  3. btw – i thought the yyumberry and the magosteen completely paled into insignificance after the carica.

  4. sam: i would agree–the carica was a real gem!

  5. Great reportback, fantastic photos! The collagen marshmallows are just unbelievable.

  6. You are so lucky. Nothing like that ever comes to New Hampshire – so I’m lucky that I get to live through your pictures. Those collagen marshmallows sound like at the very least they taste good.

  7. thanks for blogging this! I think I enjoy things like this almost as much through your eyes as I would have if I’d gotten to go myself — and the photos really tell a great story!

  8. This looks amazing! And yeah, I’d prefer the collagen marshmallows over injections.

  9. I can’t believe I missed the marshmallows! Did you see the chocolate lipstick that they said could be used as real lipstick? I’m dubious on whether or not it would work. Seems like you would lick it all off. Also, I’ll definitely second the carica find. That stuff was delicious! Maybe a hint of apricot as well?

  10. I read in “Food and Wine” that it’s just become legal to import mangosteens and rambutans into the U.S.! So maybe we’ll be seeing a lot more, um, yumberry.

  11. Can someone tell me what a small cornflake ritter is? Perhaps I should know but I don’t. I’m fascinated about everything on this post please let me know.

  12. cookingandrecipereviews: ah “small cornflake ritter” broken down is:
    ritter=brand of chocolate
    small cornflake=the stuff that is in the chocolate, so that the chocolate is crispy and wonderful.

    Elizabeth: i can’t wait for the mangosteens! bring them on. thanks for the happy news.

    sabrina: i did NOT see the chocolate lipstick! that is FABULOUS. and i agree, the carica did have a hint of apricot–it just did not occur to me because alas, i am allergic to stone fruit.

    lucy and mel: thanks!

  13. Pingback: Memorable Sights at the Fancy Food Show « Muffin Top

  14. Pingback: Bye-Bye to BOTOX? Beauty Foods Serve Up Anti-Aging Solutions « Cosmetic Surgery Today

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