Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fancy Food Show Pt 2: Hits & Trends

Chocolate and teas, chocolate and teas...and sometimes chocolate with teas! That describes a huge chunk of the Fancy Food Show. If you don't like those two items then you should just go find a cheese booth and hunker down. We were on the lookout for a couple more chocolates to add to our store collection. One which was good, but not our style was this:

This company is trying to jump on the chocolate and wine pairing bandwagon. Their chocolate was pretty good, but we would prefer to be a bit more sophisticated in the pairings department with our customers so we passed on this, but thanked them for the samples.

Then we found TCHO Chocolates. Not to lazily shlep their work, here's a tidbit from their site, "TCHO is direct, transparent connection between the farmers and the consumers, from the pod to the palate, from high concept to sensual experience." We found the chocolate pure and tasty and the packaging and price appealing. With those characteristics we can take it from there and sell it to our picky customers.

And then we found the chocolate Ferrari! Claudio Corallo chocolates. This is Rob's type of chocolate. No bullshit. No foo foo. No marketing blah blah blah. Just perfect flavor, texture and experience. If I had to rate my top chocolates right now they would be in order:

1. Patric
2. Corallo
3. Cluizel Mangaro Noir
4. Askinosie (although its unfair to include them since I mostly like their nib bars)

A cool, unexpected feature is that a friend of ours, Kevin Knox, apparently worked with them on this bar. Kevin is a founding leader at Starbucks back in the day. Kevin has never led us astray and didn't here either.

Another little surprise was meeting eG chocolateer, Chocolate/Ruth Kendrick. She shared a bit of her creations with us (ahem, I mean me since I scarfed the whole box). The sheen she gets on her chocolates is intimidating! Great stuff and well worth a purchase. Not to mention great packaging.

And switching gears slightly, we were on the hunt for the best peanut butter at the show. After mouth smacking our way down the aisles, we ended up with this great company. Its one of the few orders that we placed at the show because it was so good and purely flavored. That will be on our shelves within days.

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