Posts Tagged ‘NASFT’

Cupcakes are mainstream, whoopie pies are last year and decorated cookies are EVERYWHERE.

So what are ahead of the pack brides-to-be, fashionistas and fans of indulgent sweet treats meant to go for now?

Step forward the petits fours. Part fondant fancy, part mini cake, this new indulgence is waiting in the wings, ready to take the cupcake crown.

Admittedly, these aren’t particularly new: my mother’s Hamlyn All Colour Recipe book from the 70s has a recipe for these fondant covered mini cakes, while Konditor & Cook have offered Magic Cakes for years.

Where the potential is (like cupcakes) lies in the decoration and the flavour combinations of the sponge and fondant.

Dragonfly Cakes is a bakery located in Sausalito, California just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Their website illustrates a wealth of colours, flavours and themes – the stuff of women and gay men’s dreams.

It’s surely only a matter of time before they cross the water and head for our waistlines.


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In a pickle

One of the joys of summer is a glut of produce.  In times gone buy, people would lay down an excess of produce in various forms depending on environment and weather.  Luckily, the humble pickle doesn’t require hot sunshine, dry winds or moist atmospheres – just good vinegar, sugar and a key choice of spices.

Pickles seem to be cropping up on restaurant menus both in the UK and the US of late, and at the Fancy Food Show, two great brands were showcasing their wares:

Unbound Pickling

Based in Portland, Oregon, Unbound uses locally sourced vegetables and herbs in order to ensure production is the highest quality and made when produce is at its peak.  Unusual additions include their Bread & Butter pickles sweetened with blueberries and pear, as well as their Beatnik Pickled Beets with pomegranate and chai spice.

McClure’s Pickles

In 2006, using their great grandmother Lala’s recipe, Bob and Joe started McClure’s Pickles after years of making pickles in their tiny Michigan kitchen. Their pickles, relish, mustard and other McClure’s products are produced just outside of Detroit, Michigan and in Brooklyn, New York.  

They use as much local produce as possible when it is in season and when it’s not, they call up the farms and speak directly with the growers to know where produce is coming from and how it is being grown, making sure they are getting some of the best, freshest produce available. Every jar is hand packed, the cucumbers hand sliced, and their labels, printed by Rolling Press, use soy and vegetables inks with chemical-free plating and  wind-powered electricity.

The last brand featured was found at a new concept store at 331 Cortland Market Place (more on this later).

Paulie’s Pickling

Paul and Liz Ashby’s pickle obsession began one Sunday afternoon.  While waiting for Liz to finish her shift at a restaurant near Civic Center, Paul  decided to kill some time at the nearby farmer’s market. Drawn to the tiny cucumbers, he decided to pick up a couple of bags and try his hand at making pickles. …

Together, for months afterward, the couple tried many different recipes and techniques, striving for the perfect pickle. And the dedication paid off, resulting in a briny, spicy, crunchy, delicious pickle that pays homage to the traditional Jewish foods that Liz grew up with.

Apart from offering an array of seasonal specials that use the best of in season produce, favourite pickles include their Spicy Green Beans, made with jalapenos for an extra kick, as well as Paulie’s Zesty Originals – zesty and crunchy small cucumbers.

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Water water everywhere..

..but in this case, there was plenty to drink.

The Winter Fancy Food Show here in San Francisco has revealed a huge number of waters: functional, flavoured with herbs, artisan..the list is extensive, but these were my top 3 in terms of interesting ideas:


A new premium water, blk. is pure Canadian spring water infused with Fulvic Acid, which is considered to be the most powerful organic anti oxidant. blk. has a low acidity level and contains 77 trace minerals. The infomation sheets says that it contains no dyes, yet the water is jet black.


SanTasti is a new beverage that is just like a lightly sparkling water. Invented in San Luis Obibspo, California, it refreshes your taste by moderating sweetness, acidity and astringency. The two variations are made from all natural ingredients, have only ten calories, and work to restore your palate so you can experience more flavours from more foods. Perfect for wine tasting, after coffee or as a low calorie special treat to enjoy with your meal.

SanTásti is available in two refreshing flavours… Classic and Cucumber.


Sourced from one of the deepest aquifers in New Zealand, this creates a natural filtration process that has lead

to it being classed as the deepest and highest quality artesian water in New Zealand.

This is a carbon neutral water, bottled at source in a pristine environment where no human contact comes between the water and the bottle.  The bottle itself uses local recycled glass.

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Wine & Food

Following on from the last few Fancy Food Shows, where there were a number of attempts at trying to match wine with chocolate (a notoriously hard thing to get right I believe), as well as producing chocolate with wine in it, it would appear that producers have now moved on to biscuits, cookies and jellies.

While the latter are nothing new, I just wanted to add it as a recent find at today’s San Francisco Winter Fancy Food Show.

Two interesting producers of the cookie phenomenon were Cookies and Corks and the Napa Cookie Company.  Both have slightly different approaches.

Cookies and Corks provides a unique tasting experience: they offer selections of cookies designed to match Sparkling, Red or White wines.

On their website, they provide suggested pairing charts, so their Iced lemon cookie is more suited to Brut, Prosecco and Demi Sec, as opposed to their Sea Salt Chocolate Oatmeal cookie, which is better suited to a Rose.

Napa Cookie Company have two sweet and spicy shortbread biscuits infused with premium wine and black pepper.  They were created by founder Melissa Teaff, who set out to develop the perfect small bite of food that would pair magically with Napa’s world-famous red wines. 

After numerous testing and tasting trials, Melissa and her team found the ideal combination of sweet, salt and savory—the Wine Snap.

Each delicious Wine Snap is handmade in small batches in her Napa Valley kitchen using all-natural, preservative-free ingredients.

A little more conventional, are the excellent wine jellies from Tishbi Winery.

The Tishbi familys romance with grapes and wine began in 1882 when the present generations great-grandparents were commissioned by Baron Edmond de Rothschild to plant the first modern wine grape vineyards in Israel. After more than a Century of grape growing tradition, Jonathan Tishbi founded the Tishbi Estate in1984, which produces four series of wines, as well as the wine jellies which have been developed by Oshra Tishbi.

Each of the preserves is cooked in small batches. Unusual flavours include Apple Cabernet, Mango Chardonnay as well as Sangria and Fig Cabernet.

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