By: JESSICA YADEGARAN
Imagine 220,000 square feet devoted to specialty food items, and you get to sample them all.
That was our challenge this weekend at the annual Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, where more than 1,400 gourmet food purveyors from around the world brought their cheeses, oils, chocolates, sauces, crackers, ice creams, teas and everything else you can fathom in the hopes of landing their products in a grocery store or restaurant near you.
The trade-industry show, now in its 43rd year, runs through Jan. 23. We sipped, crunched and savored our way through the gourmet food spectacle to find out what’s hot and trending. Here’s what we found.
The ultimate protein bar: One of this year’s fastest growing specialty-food categories is the protein or wellness bar, and the new one to try is Redd Superfood Energy Bar. A 2.2 ounce bar features about 10 grams of protein; 11 super foods including quinoa, acai, chia seeds and mangosteen; 19 vitamins and minerals and — wait for it — about 35 milligrams of natural caffeine, equivalent to a third of a cup of coffee. The mint chocolate was gooey and full of mint aromatics. $2.50 per bar or 12 for $30 on Amazon; www.reddbar.com