Wow, was that a good food show! The NASFT’s Winter Fancy Food Show was held Jan 17-19 in San Francisco, CA. This food show highlights specialty foods, snacks and beverages from better name brands like Jelly Belly and Annie Chun’s to Coco Chocolates from the UK and 479º Popcorn from San Francisco. One of the big trends is definitely gluten-free which is excellent news for anyone on a gluten-free diet. It was great being able to sample so many delicious gluten-free products from dips, crackers and pizza to cookies, cakes and granola.
Well, there’s nothing like starting with dessert. And speaking of “Wow”, check out the cookies from the Wow Baking Company. The peanut butter was really tasty. Look for these at Whole Foods, Nordstroms Ebar’s and Lilah Belle’s on 18th St in San Francisco. Another wow factor was the gluten-free (but not dairy free) NY-style cheesecake from Pamela’s Products. You can find this in the freezer section of the grocery store. Pamela’s also sells a wide range of products including bread and excellent cake mixes as well as cookies. If you like macaroons, try Jennie’s Coconut Macaroons. Jennie’s is an all natural cookie and just plain good. Another worthy new product is Zix cookies from just up the road in West Sonoma County. Glenn produces “Ravioli Cookies” for their look. They make a gluten-free almond raspberry that is just delicious. Another benefit is that the cookies are sold frozen and unbaked. You can either make the whole box (yes, it’s in a ravioli-style box!) or just bake what you need for yourself or guests. Zix cookies are available in the Sebastopol area or can be shipped. One of the best new products to hit the gf market is called the No Bake Cookie company from Bend, OR . Hopefully some of the local stores will start carrying them or you can contact them for shipping info. The chocolate macadamia coconut was out of this world. If you want to try some baking at home, try Dowd & Rogers; they make cake and brownie mixes. One benefit of this mix is that the sugar is in a separate package. You can add as much as you like or even substitute it with another sweetener like agave nectar. What a great concept!
Gluten-Free Breads, Pizza and Pastas
Patty’s Presto Pizza makes both regular and gf pizza. The gluten-free variety is made with a combo of rice, tapioca and potato flours. The crust was thin, crispy and satisfying. Another Italian specialty is Conte’s Pasta Company. They make pizza but they also make absolutely, can’t-tell-the-difference-from-regular ravioli. Look for it in the freezer section of Whole Foods.
Another reason to like Gourmet Mom’s Sauces, besides the fact that the sauces are so flavorful is that they are all natural. There are no gluten products used, however, one would need to make sure it’s officially gluten-free. If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, try the sauces from Curry Tree. These sauces are gluten-free, vegan and 100% vegetarian. Look for them in a store near you.
The good news is that gluten-free products are on the rise. Manufacturers and retailers are recognizing the need to provide good products to a growing market. You can get more information about the NASFT’s Winter Fancy Food Show here as well as a list of the exhibitors. Check out the list of gluten-free products to get more information.