Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fancy Food!

It's been a while.
Lets not make this awkward, ok? These goats are not food, they are friends of mine.
My adventures have taken me on a plane to San Francisco, stalking a legend, snowshoeing in the WILD forest of Wenatchee, goat cheesery, a visit from a little brother, and many many jellybeans.
I will first enlighten you on my trip to:
San Francisco Fancy Food Show 2010!!

It all started out with a simple phone call to one of my favorite cheese shops; Quel Fromage! Long story short, we got to talking, as girls tend to do….and the owner of the store casually inquires if I would be interested in attending the 2010 Fancy Food Show in San Francisco…a mere 2 days away. Would I be interested? Let me think about it….
25,000 Alaska Airline miles + many minutes pacing the room, muttering, drinking wine + a late night phone call to my AMAZINGly generous friend Elizabeth = one impromptu trip to San Fran!
Thank You Eli, Margot and other Eli!!!

Here is a summary of my travels and some highlights;
  • Arrival to SFO…greeted with a Tartine Ham and Cheese Croissant! I own this cookbook and I cannot wait to try the recipe soon! Eli? Sara?
  • Show registration and introduction to my lovely foodie host, Rachel Riggs. She and her husband were very gracious with their time, and allowed me to independently peruse the entire show at my leisure. Thank you Rachel!!
  • The first day was spend ambling through the south side of the arena and the second say was spent in the far superior north side…here are some of my delicious finds:
  • Savannah Bee Company. The display of the full frame of honey was divine! They even have a line of "tea" honeys, "cheese" honeys, and "grill" honeys. Marketing team was working overtime on that one…I do love their Riesling style bottle though.
  • TEA overload. Look at these loose teas that entice the senses and calm the mind!
  • Salts, so many salts. I talked for a while with the owners of a Seattle based company called Secret Stash Salts. I gazed over large boulders of Himalayan Pink Salts. A crane was probably used to haul them in. Obvioulsy truffle salts are high on my list of idea things in life. Total Salt Ingestion: 4,000 mg. FML

  • Gummies! Haribo gummies are my preferred gummy of choice and I seek them out whenever I can. I love twin cherries, fresh berries, colas (fizzy and flat), licorice wheels, and of course the standard gold bear. I was delighted to see an oversized backlit display of gummies and take home a freshly picked bag of berries
  • Black Garlic. Fermented garlic that has a umami roasted taste…but its aged. And Black.

  • Smoked Olive Oil. I would imagine I could eat an entire meal of this oil and a baguette. I shudder at the caloric thought.
  • Siggi's Icelandic Style Skyr: Better than Fage?! It's fat free and comes in some really delicious flavors. Plus, I feel worldly when I eat it and imagine people thinking to themselves "skyr? Is that some sort of Icelandic Yak's blood?" BAHAHAHAHA.
  • Happy Goat Caramels. Carmel makes ME happy. Goat's milk caramels make me double-ly happy. These are made in the traditional way, in a copper pot. Oh how I desire a whole set of copper cookwares….I digress.
  • Rogue Creamery Cheeses. I talked with David Gremmels for a while and he told me his grandmother's name was Nelle! Then I stuffed my face with cheeses in the order in which they were displayed. I liked the Caveman Blue! Aged in a limestone cave, man.

  • Coach Farm Goat Cheese and Snow Goat Triple Cream Brie….2 of my favorites! Coach Goat also had this really "grate" hard goat cheese that you could shave with a micro-plane. I ate a hunk of it and the soft flavors coated my mouth with a sort of velvet mouthfeel. Except it was cheese.
Pause For Inspirational Quote:
"I'm on this new diet. Well, I don't eat anything and when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese"
-The Devil Wears Prada
  • Cypress Grove Cheese Wedding Cake Cypress Grove Cheese Wedding Cake Cypress Grove Cheese Wedding Cake Cypress Grove Cheese Wedding Cake Cypress Grove Cheese Wedding Cake:

  • OH. Did I mention that I actually stalked Ina Garten AKA The Barefoot Contessa? Ina was there in the FLESH and I got to meet her and awkwardly lean in near her personal space for a picture!!! Rachel was kind enough to let me know when she was going to be back to her display (featuring her Barefoot brand), and she was there, with her pal Frank Newbold, socializing with the non-Hamptonites. I don't know if you remember Frank, but she is one of Ina's DEAREST friends and business partners. Frank and his BF Stephen were just on the show….I don't know about you, but I found this website depicting Ina's fag hag status pretty frickin hilarious:
  • Lillie Belle's Smokey Chocolate Blue Cheese Truffle. A truffle….with CHEESE inside, folks. Milk chocolate meets sharp blue cheese with a dusting of almond on the outside and hint of smoke on the inside.
  • I dare say the next item out loud, internet. OOT. An Olive Oil Truffle by Bissinger. TODD, I WANT THESE FOR VALENTINES DAY. Shit, was that last part all in caps? Sorry man, didn't mean to yell. eh. I mean it's like your mouth is visited with a tongue coating flood of the finest Grecian olive oil, only to be matched with the melting-ly smooth quality of a hand crafted chocolate shell.

Well, I really could go on about all the other things I want to gush over….the vinegars, friendly nut ladies, the mass of other cheeses I got to taste, gourmet spritzers, bacon salt/mayo/popcorn, truffle everything, kimchi, caramel sauce made with AOC Isigny butter…. That is, butter that is protected by the French Government. GAH! Can I please start a specialty food store now?

Thank you all for reading and indulging in my humble accounts of the Fancy Food Show!
Love, Nelle
HAHAHAHAH. Just kidding, this is me.
Boccalone Meat Cone
OH! And btw, I finally got to taste the elusive Nduja. An excellent spreadable salami made in house by Boccalone in the Calabrian style.

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