Each January, gourmet food buyers, famous chefs and even supermarket managers push and shove their way to get the first look and taste at the latest “fancy foods.” Over 15,000 food professionals packed Moscone Center in San Francisco, earlier this week, to sample the offerings from 1200 exhibits, which showcased over 50,000 products. We were there to pick our own “best of show”:
This new line of peanut butters is both tasty and healthy! These contain no cholesterol and are 5 to 20 percent lower in fat and calories as well as being certified organic. 12 flavors include Mixed Nuts, Smoked Hickory, Onion Parsley, Peanut Praline, Thai Ginger & red Pepper and Vanilla Cranberry. peanutbetter.com
Father’s Country Pepper & Cinnamon Bacons
Father’s Country peppered bacon is sugar cured and hickory smoked. This dry cured bacon will not shrink like packing house bacon, and you can certainly tell the difference in taste. Hand rubbed with either a course black pepper or cinnamon and sugar mixture, before smoked, give these bacons a wonderful unique taste. fatherscountryhams.com
The safety of consuming farm-raised salmon is in question with new studies recommending that this type of fish only be eaten infrequently due to the higher levels of PCBs, dioxin and other cancer-causing contaminants. Reports say that approximately 90 percent of the salmon consumed in the U.S. is farm-raised.
Here are some Alaskan Wild Salmon alternatives:King — or Chinook are the largest salmon species and weigh from 5-40 pounds — a succulent, red flesh that contains high amounts of health-enhancing omega-3 oils.
Coho — or Silvers are the second largest salmon, averaging about 12 pounds; with orange-red flesh with a firm texture, and are prized for their excellent appearance and flavor.
Sockeye — or Red salmon are known for their beautiful, deep crimson color that is retained after cooking, and high omega-3 oil content.
Other wild salmon are Chum (or Keta) and Pink (or Humpy) that are often canned and widely available, an especially good buy, containing healthy protein, nutrients and omega-3 oils.
-Taku Wild Products: takuwild.com
-Echo Falls Salmon: oceanbeauty.com
-Pride of Alaska 1-800-386-0008
Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
This aged goat milk cheese is named for California’s foggy, north coast weather. With a central layer and outer coving of ash, this cheese ripens with a soft white exterior mold and is perfect with a glass of red wine, crusty bread and fruit. It's the winner of four major awards, including the Best in Show Goat Milk Cheese. A one-ounce serving contains only 100 calories and 7 grams of fat, lower than many traditional soft ripened cows’ milk cheeses — and a lot better tasting! cypressgrovechevre.com
Alexia Mashed Potatoes
Country Reds, Yukon Gold and Northwest Russet are the three varieties of very flavorful, all natural, and easy to prepare microwaveable mashed potatoes. No hydrogenated oils, these potatoes are made with real butter and extra virgin olive oil. They come frozen and heat in 8 minutes. alexiafoods.com
Fizzy Lizzy Sparkling Juices
A great alternative to sodas laden with high fructose corn syrup, this drink is a blend of all-natural fruit juice and sparkling water (with an average of 65% juice) in six flavors: cranberry, pineapple, orange, concord grape, lemon and ruby red grapefruit. No added sugar, no corn syrup and no preservatives, these drinks are high in vitamin C. Calories are 110 as compared with sodas that contain between 135 and 150. fizzylizzy.com
Pomegranate juice is hot — and to take advantage of one of the fastest growing juice flavors, two companies have extended the flavorful and healthy fruit as an everyday ingredient. Sonoma Syrup introduces its Pomegranate simple syrup to be used for cooking, marinades, ice cream topping and to add to your favorite cocktail. Restaurant Lulu gives us it’s Pomegranate Grilling Sauce which combines the sweetness of pomegranate with the fiery flavor of red chilies to brush on chicken, duck, squab or lamb for a moist and juicy inside, with a crisp outside.-Sonoma Syrup sonomasyrup.com
-Pomegranate Grilling Sauce restaurantlulu.com
Palapa Azul Mexican Style Frozen Fruit Bars
All-natural with intense flavors and a high fruit content these 70 to 90 calorie fruit bars come in delicious flavors including: Cucumber-Chile, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Mango-Chile, and Mexican Papaya. No artificial colors, preservatives or flavors. palapaazul.com
Jelly Belly’s JB Gum
America’s favorite mini jellybean company now brings their intense flavors to chewing gum balls. Five flavors in every package. jellybelly.com
Sterling Truffle Bar
Pure indulgence for chocolate lovers! Triangular shaped bars (6 and 12 ounce sizes) that are hand painted and perfect for slicing into individual servings. A fabulous presentation as well as scrumptious taste. Seven flavors and special limited edition holiday presentations. sterlingtrufflebar.com
Hope you enjoy our picks (I know we did!)
Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru®, analyzes the food marketing industry to keep consumers up-to-date about cutting-edge marketing trends. He is a regular “Today” show contributor, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and host of Shopping Smart of the WOR Radio Network. For more food and health information, you can check out Phil’s Web site at: . You can also contact Phil by e-mail at: