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Good Enough to Eat in San Francisco

Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to attend to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco with my friend, Georgia, who owns a specialty Food and Beverage Market in Ada, Michigan.  She was there to search out and to buy yummy new items for her store.  I went to gawk and to taste and to savor.

It was a totally different experience for me after years of being involved in the worlds of fashion or home furnishings in a variety of capacities.

Instead of looking at and reporting on stuff to wear or to sit on, I was totally focused on food—250,000 products at this show. This is where any kind of food stuff that can be nibbled, dipped, baked, grilled or slathered are presented to buyers from all over the country and beyond.

We meandered up and down the isles of two huge halls, approximately equal to a couple of Costco’s, tasting cheeses, savoring chocolates, dipping olive oils, munching on chips, popcorn, salsas, meats, pate, nuts, soups, jams, honey, salts, marinades,  pastries, caramel and on and on and on. Salad dressings, brownies on a stick, ice cream wrapped in bean dough.

We saw lots of gluten-free food, organic products and amazing displays of food from around the world.

I, of course, kept my eyes open for foods/displays that looked visually pleasing, evoking a Wow, for DesignDestinations.  Not hard to find.

Probably most dramatic visually was this wedding cake made from cheeses.  Truly a cheesecake.  I also loved the little filled treats called Bubbies, made from ice cream surrounded by sweetened rice flour in a rainbow of delicious hues.

The Lavash turned into a flower arrangement caught my eye. Wrapped and tied and cut.  Could be dried and saved for a long time, I was told.

And what about these cute little ice cream cones?

Aren’t they sweet? No, they are savory and are what Georgia calls “the new cracker.”  Designed to be filled with Salmon mousse or other hors doeurve type filling and passed at fancy cocktail parties.

I loved some of the marketing gimmicks like Hot Lips Fruit Juices.   And who couldn’t select bettah buttah.  Butter already seasoned to make sautéing fast and easy.   What would Julia think?

I’m hoping Plush Puffs, Gourmet Marshmallows, will make its way on to Georgia’s shelf.  Would love to bring these out at a campfire on the beach next summer.   I’m sure they will be a hit.

Some of the people were creatively dressed as well.   Here’s the team from Grand Rapids based Koeze Nuts, hawking their products.

And how about this gal?  She’s promoting crackers made from wine skins from Blackmarket Bakery.

If tramping through miles of food displays at the show wasn’t enough, when the booths closed we headed to the Ferry Market, famous Foodie destination in S.F. This marvelous old building is open to the public and filled with food related stalls.  It’s worth a visit.

And at the end of the day? What did we choose for dinner? A yummy tray of Oysters at the Ferry Market.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Tina Bain
    Jan 27, 2010 Reply

    now I’m really jealous – what a wonderful experience!

  2. posted by
    Margaret Cheff
    Jan 29, 2010 Reply

    Love those Victorian houses on Union Street…And the Hot Lips Soda at the food show? Now that’s my kind of beverage!

  3. posted by
    Georgia Gietzen
    Feb 14, 2010 Reply

    Lots and lots of GREAT food! I just brought in an absolutely fabulous line of California olive oils. Dewey Lucero, 4th generation grower in California is making spectacular oils! I’ve got a nice arbequina, a fruity ascolono, a spicy and peppery ‘Anthony’s Blend’ and their amazing lemon and orange olive oils – all gold medal winners!! And from California!! Very exciting. Hot Lips will be arriving this spring – super yummy fruit soda’s – all natural – seriously good.

  4. posted by
    New York City: Have a Foodie Holiday | DesignDestinations
    Dec 17, 2010 Reply

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