Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fancy Food Show Pt 1: A miss and random thoughts

After a short haitus to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, I'm back and way backlogged with great posts! I hope you all missed me ;)

I'm going to share some random thoughts from the trip and one product "miss" just because it kind of set me off, and as I mentally process the rest of the fantastic and tiring trip, I'll get some more comments out there.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the show, the Fancy Food Show is the premier gathering of shops like ours where distributors and producers hawk their goods to folks like us. We like to think of it as the weeding out process so our customers don't have to waste their time. The reality is that every product at the show is the "right" product for some store. Our standards tend to be very high, and so 90% of the show is not relevant, but we enjoy the freebies!

What you see at these shows will start hitting local store shelves within weeks (sometimes much longer), and a poorly displayed product could mean death to a business. Please realize that we wish every company the best, but each year there is one or two items that really repel me. Welcome to this year's unfortunate product:

Again, I don't want to be cruel, but the water industry is already in trouble due to its environmental impact. Then consider that if you aren't improving on the current field of products, why are you doing this. I found this water to be comparable to your every-store brand, and not at the level of a Tynant or other high end water. And then there's the bottle. Why?! I don't get it. Why the deco look? Sure it gives me a more stable base to stand the water on, but that hasn't really been a problem for me. What is a problem is that water gets trapped in the base when you try and drink it, making for increased waste. I'm sorry, but this is not an improvement, and is actually a step back for bottled waters. I hope the company finds ways to improve on its product so it can survive.

And speaking of surviving...I had my first mooncake! I have my own mooncake molds, and in fact, have made mooncake-like pastries (its my icon when I comment in this blog), but this is the first time I had the real deal.

These were a gift from our tea supplier. The first was a red bean single yolk, and the second a lotus paste.

Truth be told there were three (I'm such a pig!). I didn't expect to like them as much as I did. And, now that I have a reference point for the texture I'll be playing around more with these.

While we were in Chinatown we had dinner at this restaurant. It was a recommendation of our supplier after we insisted on "cheap" to which he kept saying, "affordable."

We were so bloated on samples from the show, tea samples and mooncake that the meal wasn't fully appreciated, but what we did eat we really enjoyed. And talk about a line out the door on a Monday night!

We did have one meal miss (the things I do for my jumanggy!). We ate at a place called Jollibee. The only reason that bee is jolly is because of suckers like us giving our hard earned money. This Filipino fast food joint has found its way across the ocean to San Fran, and set roots right across from the Moscone Center. We had breakfast of beef and sweet pork tapa on garlic rice. What got to me most was the constantly running video of bouncy gelatinous food - really guys, this isn't making me like your food more. Hamburgers don't really bounce...do they?

And finally, right before we flew to San Fran, I received a little box from San Fran!

For anyone who has shared a drink with me you know I always recommend Keller Wines in San Fran if you need good wine at a great price. I have been buying from them for about 7 or 8 years. I always start my shopping in their clearance bin and go from there. And I have yet to have a wine that I didn't think was well worth the price paid. This batch ranged from $1.99 to $5.99 a bottle on clearance. With the shipping my average cost for 12 bottles was $6.25. Try to find four good $6 wines at your local store!

So stay tuned because I have an amazing post coming up on Japanese salts, Korean vinegars and all of the products that I enjoyed (most of which we ordered!)


Manggy said...

Yes, yes, Uncle Rob, I did miss you :) (... though you were on eG anyway, so, you weren't really gone.) I'm not a HUUUUGE fan of Jollibee but I do appreciate it (and not just out of national pride!). Truth be told I prefer McDonald's, which gives you an idea of how un-special it is. (My fave out of these hamburger chains is Carl's Jr.) If I could mail you some high-quality tocino (my guess on what the "sweet pork tapa" you ate actually was), I would, just to set you straight on our food :)

Tyler said...

I actually enjoyed the Jollibee breakfast. I had the beef, and the garlic rice was yum-my. Of course, Jollibee is like McD's, so it doesn't actually qualify as real food -- Philippino or otherwise.