It’s been a long weekend of delicious discoveries, with the Good Food Awards and the Fancy Food Show in town. (More about the Fancy Food Show in another post.) The Good Food Awards celebrates “the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced.” They’re awarded every year in the categories of beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil and pantry. The winning products are described as offering consumers “something exceptionally delicious which also supports sustainability and social good.”
Past winners have included Full Sail Brewing Company, Fra’ Mani salami, Bellwether Farms cheese, Marin French Cheese, Dandelion Chocolate, Guittard Chocolate, Blue Bottle Coffee, Four Barrel Coffee and other prominent names. A complete list of this year’s winners can be found at http://www.goodfoodawards.org/2016-winners/.
In previous years, the public could go to a showcase of the winners, but retail sales weren’t necessarily available. This year, they organized a Winners Marketplace, where you could both sample and buy. Below are some photos and comments about my favorites.
Decadence Gourmet Colorado-style Southern Chow Chow:
This is a sweet-hot relish that is really good on grilled cheese sandwiches, and would also be very good in the old-school spread “recipe” of salsa over a block of cream cheese.
They have some retail stores in Colorado that carry the product; you can also order online. Enter the code “cheesecake” in the Discount Coupon field on the Checkout Page for 15% off your order.
Jacobs & Brichford Grass-fed Cheese & Meat – Ameribella cheese:
This is a lovely, soft, mild cheese that would be a great presentation for a party. This is a semi-soft, washed rind cheese, “inspired by the cheeses of Northern Italy”. In San Francisco, it’s carried at Bi-Rite as well as Cheese Plus.
Nosh This Almond Crack:
A lovely butter toffee, chock full o’ almonds. This is described as the “vegetarian” version of their “signature toffee”, Bacon Crack. Available at Bi-Rite and other stores in California, or online. (My favorite touch – true to the name of the product, they sell the product in Dime Bags…)
Girl Meets Dirt’s Shiro Plum Preserves with Mint:
This is a tasty, chunky savory jam, which would be wonderful paired with roast lamb, or spooned over goat cheese on crackers. Their other products sound equally enticing – Pear Balsamic, Rhubarb Lavender… Sold online.
Kansas City Canning Co. – Apple Caraway Shrub:
I’m so excited to see shrubs (drinks created with a base of fruit vinegar added to water, fizzy water or alcohol) finally coming to Northern California. I first encountered them in the Pacific Northwest, where I enjoyed them paired with Chinese food. Sipping vinegars are available at the SF Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and make a refreshing, festive, yet non-alcoholic drink that quenches thirst much better than plain water.
This particular product is the syrup version (also called a shrub) described as a “preserved cocktail & soda syrup”, so it’s sweeter than the sipping vinegars. The company has retailers primarily in the Midwest, as well as online sales.
Amour Black Currant Blackberry Jam:
This is an old-school jam – made in copper pans, using only fresh fruit, organic cane sugar and organic lemon juice. They sell in markets in Utah as well as online.
McCrea’s Black Lava Sea Salt Caramels:
Sea salt caramels are so 2008, but these are sooo good! A nice balance between too soft and too chewy, with a nice sea salt crunch. They’re available online and in stores in Massachusetts as well as several other states.
Bees & Beans Reserve Honey Bar:
This is a handmade candy bar with honey caramel and hazelnut nougat dipped in dark chocolate…basically a grown-up Snickers bar. They’re available at their own store in Portland (OR), several markets in the Portland area, as well as Bi-Rite in San Francisco. They also sell online, of course.
Nathan Miller Gingerbread Chocolate Bar:
“Sweet and salty” chocolate bar with a touch of gingerbread spice. This is a bean-to-bar production, “made with love in our factory in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania”. They’re stocked at Fog City News in San Francisco, as well random stores from Colorado to Florida. They’re also currently running an online special for Valentine’s Day… send them an email with a custom gift message, order delivery date and your order number and they’ll include your message with the order.
Olympia Provisions Saucisson Sec:
Classic French salami with garlic and black pepper, studded with tasty fat. Available in more than 25 states; in the San Francisco area, it’s available at Mollie Stone’s and Bi-Rite.
Mt. Hope Farms’ Spiced Marionberry spread:
Tasty small-batch jam, spicy and sweet. Some of the more unusual suggested pairings were to spoon over ice cream or cinnamon rolls. Available online.
Tomales Farmstead Creamery Teleeka cheese:
Soft-ripened cheese made of a mixture of goat, sheep and cow milk (the name means “three”). The farm and creamery, located in Tomales (Marin County), also hosts tours and events. Their website doesn’t show online sales, but the product is available at various markets and restaurants around Northern California.