Mar 19, 2007
Annual specialty-food trade show: a smorgasbord from simple to sublimeBy Maureen

SAN FRANCISCO – There were lavender honey truffles and cloudlike marshmallows with names like Caramel Swirl and Kona Coffee Crunch. There were extra-virgin olive oils from famed estates and bottled water from the lava rock of Iceland. There was elegant gelato and tacky Chocolate Passion Body Powder “For Discreet Dusting.”

For three days recently, San Francisco’s enormous Moscone Convention Center was turned into a food-lover’s paradise as the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade staged its 32nd annual Fancy Food Show. The show, open only to people in the industry, featured more than 80,000 specialty food products from more than 30 countries.

Aisles were lined with Indian simmer sauces, artisanal crackers, pasta shaped like cheerleaders and megaphones, chocolates galore and cheese from Italy’s Sud-Tirol region, where a “herd” of cows means two – all hoping to be discovered by retail store buyers and morphed into the hot nosh of 2007.

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