by Natalie Shmulik
A few weeks ago I was sent an article entitled “Surviving a Food Festival Without Getting a Tummy Ache” by Eliza Barclay. Unfortunately, I read this article after returning from Washington D.C. to see the Fancy Food Show.
This year, thanks to show director, Heather Paul, seven lucky Gastronomy students attended the 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show. Entering the Goliath of all food events, we were intimidated, overwhelmed and most of all — hungry!
With thousands of exhibitors and two floors of irresistible delicacies ranging from Iranian caviar to Truffle Argon oil, it was easy to be lured into every colorful booth. Gastronomy students quickly dispersed into this sea of edibles. A portion of our group sped ahead to the “What’s New, What’s Hot” trends station, where futuristic packaging and unusual ingredients were featured in glass cabinets. Some skipped over to the limitless cheese tables on the second floor, and others — well, let’s just say the alcohol stations had a fair bit of company.
For me, it was all about the international products, along with a short but sentimental stop in the Canadian fare zone. I needed to try everything. Plates of Italian pastas, pastries from top bakeries in France, and every kind of chocolate imaginable made their way into my anxious hands. No, thank yous were rare words indeed…probably because my mouth was full. In fact, for a few special products, such as Callie’s phenomenal cheddar and chive biscuits, I came back for seconds. For the record, Barclay strongly discourages this behavior in her trade show survival guide.
Even after spending nearly eight hours eating our way through the show, we still had not reached the end point. Clearly, next year will have to be a two-day affair.
- Chia: in cereal, pudding and beverages
- Coconut water
- Greek Yogurt: as ice cream and on granola bars
- Popcorn: a rise in salty and sweet combinations, such as cheddar and caramel
- Energy Drinks: caffeinated water, carbonated beverages, and specialty drinks made from the Coca Leaf