The Trendspotter Panel has plowed through the 90,000 products at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in order to identify the new flavor profiles and emerging trends in the growing specialty foods market.
Among the top trends were plant-based foods, from vegan jerky to walnut butters; mushroom-based snacks, from jerky to chips; sweets made with alternative sweeteners, such as organic coconut sugar and honeys; and a deeper penetration of Middle Eastern flavors, especially products made with harissa.
Among the emerging trends, panel members noticed an uptick in the use of moringa, a superfood native to India often used in tea; the use of antioxidant-rich black rice in beverages and sweet treats; and nut and vegetable snack puffs as an alternative to cheese puffs.
Innovations involving local products include a new, 1-ounce package of Cypress Grove fresh goat cheese; and a new flavor of Krave Jerky made with pink peppercorns and pink Himalayan salt.
The Winter Fancy Food Show is produced by the Specialty Food Association, a community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. For more information, go to specialtyfood.com.
Wine and cookies
Meadowcroft has come up with a new spring pairing: four of their wines paired with four different flavors of Girl Scout Cookies, including Samoas, Thin Mints and Trefoils.
“They’re even tastier when paired with wine,” said Tom Meadowcroft, owner and grower of Meadowcroft Wines.
Each flight of four wines and four cookies is $20. No reservations are required.
The tasting room is located in Cornerstone Sonoma Marketplace and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. meadowcroftwines.com. 707-934-4090.
Taste of Place
In honor of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Chef Perry Hoffman will create a four-course dinner from produce coming from the OAEC garden at 6:30 p.m. March 15 at the Healdsburg Shed.
The center, which has been at the forefront of the organic agriculture movement, has served as a demonstration farm, educational retreat, intentional community and eco-think-tank since the early ‘70s.
The dinner includes the OAEC’s “Mother Garden” Biodiversity Salad, a Celebration of Brassicas, Egg and Cardoon sprouts with Grains and Poultry Broth and a dessert of Yogurt, Geranium Sugar, Citrus Flowers and Olive Oil.
Cost is $115 to $145. To reserve, go to healdsburgshed.com/gather/events.
Corned beef benefit
Volunteer chefs will serve up a delicious St. Paddy’s Day feed of Corned Beef and Cabbage from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at the Penngrove Community Clubhouse.
The benefit dinner for the Penngrove Social Firemen Clubhouse and Park costs $15 for adults, $7.50 for under age 12. Tickets available at the door, 385 Woodward Ave. penngrovesocialfiremen.org.
Olive Press awards
The Olive Press has won Best of Show in the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition for its Jalapeno Olive Oil.
The Olive Press also took home a Best in Class for their Heritage Mission Extra Virgin Olive Oil, two silver medals for the Sevillano Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Limonato Olive Oil, and two bronze medals for the Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Grapefruit Olive Oil.