The Fancy Food Show put on by the Specialty Food Association is a trade event that happens twice a year, once in summer and again in winter. It’s a place to showcase new items and for vendors and merchants to connect. For media, such as myself, it’s a great place to get exposed to up and coming trends. Of all the conferences I’ve been to, the WFFS16 is huge. Moscone Center in San Francisco is a large expo center consisting of multiple halls. WFFS occupied North and South Halls.
Thanks to the Consulate of Japan, I was able to get a press pass to cover the Japan Pavilion. That alone could occupy me for half a day. Here are a few highlights.Chef Sho Kamio of Berkeley’s Iyasare Restaurant ran several demos that day including Kagoshima wagyu beef rolls and Japanese style poke.
Kagoshima wagyu beef costs $90-$100 per pound and is not available in the US yet. It is higher grade than kobe beef. Chef Kamio sliced open a cut to show the marbling inside. Then he used it to make the semi-shabu style rolls which were buttery soft and delicious.
Goma sauce (sesame sauce) to dip the rolls in
I recorded his demonstration of the Japanese style poke which included pickled gobo root (burdock), ginger flower, seaweed, tobiko, and ponzu sauce.
Pickled burdock root
Here are some other highlights from the Japan Pavilion.
Real wasabi root, the biggest ones I’ve ever seen. I think this was from Banjo Foods.
Yugeta’s organic shoyu made from traditional methods of fermentation, no additives. They told me to come back later to try their soy sauce ice cream but I was too busy eating poke! Ah I missed out.
A freezer full of premium Hanatsuru wagyu cuts
fun kids cakes that can be molded into any shape and decorated
Imported mountain yam
Below are some other vendors throughout the rest of the show
Pecorino Romano from Italy
Sadaf Saffron spray on jasmine rice
Sadaf black garlic
Republic of Tea: teas made from wine grapes (does not taste like alcohol)
Alo juice in different flavors
Rick’s award winning pickles. They were good!
The Jelly Belly Company’s Batman artwork made of jelly beans.