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Saturday, January 29, 2011

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By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri KrasovYou know you are in San Francisco when your restaurant menu reads like a dictionary in Esperanto. Elsewhere, chefs might remain unaware of the very existence of finger lime caviar, olive oil sea salt chocolate, or falafel chips. At the Winter Fancy Food Show presented by NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) these and other new and exciting products were among 80,000 specialty foods. Here’s an amuse-bouche of this reporter’s personal faves, old, new, and trendy:
Espresso from Caffe Barbera USA. No, it’s not just the angelic looking barista. Remember a picky espresso-spitting mobster in Mulholland Drive movie by David Lynch? Slow roasted Barbera with sturdy crema would surely pass the test.
Shanley Farms Finger Limes. Come from an Australian bush, imagine that! Grown at Venice Hill Ranch in Visalia, California. This fruit's interior palp looks like shiny golden-green caviar, has a lime taste, and pops in your mouth.Handmade cheeses, yogurts and sour cream from Karoun Dairies. Mediterranean style Kefir Cheese Labne fits right in with other healthy diet staples. Spreadable, but not as fatty as cream cheese, it is great on sandwiches, in dips and soups. Village Cheese is light and creamy and good with toppings like berries, nuts, and honey. Braided String Cheese can be plain, or with olive oil, garlic, and herbs. No matter how you slice it, it’s delicious and suitable for grilling. Sulguni is a Georgian tradition, plain or smoked. A wonderful snack or cocktail appetizer, it can also be used on pizza, quesadillas, or sandwiches.
Seasoned nuts from Sahale Snacks. I am not a big fan of sugar-coated nuts, so Barbeque Almonds with mild chipotle and ranch, and Tuscan Almonds with parmesan and herbs became my instant preference in the area of light nutritious snacks on the go.
Ready-to-eat meals from GoPicnic. Compactly pre-packaged picnic fair that requires no refrigeration and can be taken for a hike in the mountains or through TSA screeners. Tuna + Crackers, with lemon pepper tuna spread, multi-seed crackers, unsweetened applesauce, fruit & nut mix and an organic dark chocolate square. Steak Nuggets + Cheese, with beef steak nuggets, parmesan peppercorn cheese spread, multi-seed crackers, fruit & nut mix and Almond Roca toffee candy. Hummus + Crackers, with hummus dip, multi-seed crackers, dry roasted edamame, fruit & nut mix and an organic dark chocolate square. All meals are less than 500 calories and contain no trans fats, high fructose corn syrup or added MSG, and no artificial colors or flavors.Rum cakes from Tortuga Rum Cake Company. Soaked in a specially blended and aged in oak Tortuga Gold Rum, small spongy cakes can be embellished with walnuts, like the Original Golden with Walnuts, or with freshly shredded coconut, like the Florida Coconut Rum Cake. Light, delicious, and exotic, these cakes are hand glazed and vacuum sealed, and are now shipped to 70 countries from their native Cayman Islands.Pomegranate juice from Azerbaijan. Presented by WestCoast Connections, an array of juices, marinades, and preserves, all made from various exotic fruit, is a powerhouse of wellness.
Anastasia tea from Kusmi Tea. A fragrant blend of Earl Grey, lemon, and orange blossom. Kusmi Tea of Paris was founded by a Russian master blender Pavel Kousmichoff some 140 years ago. It produces a variety of black teas from India and China flavored with herbs and spices, as well as green and herbal teas in endless combinations.More information at:,,,,,,,
Tortuga rum cake image courtesy Tortuga Rum Company Ltd.


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