The Fancy Food Show may have wrapped up last month in San Diego, but sights, smells, and tastes remain embedded in attendees’ sense memories.
Put on by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, the Fancy Food Show is a bacchanal of chocolate, hot sauces, olive oils, cheeses, olives, and all manner of high-end packaged food products. Generally held in a convention center the size of several football fields, it boasts hundreds of exhibitors, most ready and willing to give out free samples to the members of the press and trade lucky enough to score entrance.
Filmmaker Keva Rosenfeld produced a particularly nice stream-of-consciousness report on the Fancy Food Show for yesterday’s NPR show Day to Day. In it, he created a montage of exhibitors summing up their products that sounded like an aural snapshot of all the food industry’s current trends smashed together:
Goji berries, antioxidants, truffle oil, ‘pomegranate is this year’s key lime’ ... chipotle, dark chocolate almond, green tea smoothie, kumquat marmalade, flavonols, polyphenols, white Stilton with mango and ginger, ‘water is the new wine.’
Whew. In the end, though, Rosenfeld said about his experience: “After two days of this, I couldn’t remember a single taste. But I am left with something else—the idea that the pleasure we get from food is elusive. It’s about the people who create it, who prepare it, and who present it. And more importantly, it’s about sharing.”
How many trade shows can produce this kind of insight?