The 37th NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show once again filled the Moscone Center in San Francisco. There were more than 1,300 companies from 35 countries showcasing over 80,000 Specialty Food and Beverage items. Attendance was strong with nearly 20,000 Food Industry participants who wanted to see what was new, exciting and could help them grow their businesses. This year we particularly enjoyed the foods from around the world including cheese and charcuterie from Italy and France, as well as some pre-prepared items. Specialty Salts were also a hot item from The Spice Lab and SaltWorks We tried to stay away from the sweets but eventually gave in the Belgium chocolates and the Snapple Jelly Belly candy .

The European Meat Producers (UPEMI) make the biggest impression, as they showcased and offered delicious tastes of their high quality European Beef and Pork which they prepared using traditional European recipes. Their efforts will surely help them increase their U.S. market share. Our favorite pre-prepared food was the authentic Indian Chicken Tikka Masala which is made with all natural ingredients by Tandoor Chef

We also enjoyed the high end European baked goods from Le Chef Bakery . Our favorite seasoning was from The Dirt Man . We enjoyed chatting with Iron Chef Restaurateur Kent Rathbun and learned that he defeated Bobby Flay by using elk as a secret ingredient. The Caviar from Plaza Pacific Imports and the excellent Hudson Valley Foie Gras also impressed us. We found it quite interesting that PanaPesca sold both seafood and bait! We opted to attend for two hours each day of the show as there is so much to see….the focused approach was perfect!

Iron Chef Restaurateur Kent Rathbun

The Summer Fancy Food Show, which is even larger, will be held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. July 17-19, 2012.