I was excited to see so many gluten-free products at this week’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. And better yet, these booths had standing room only crowds around them!
Although I wasn’t able to make it to every booth in the convention center, I did have the opportunity to talk with a number of gluten-free producers and sample their wares. Here are my favorite gluten-free products from the show.
Frozen Gluten-Free Treats
Ice cream, oh how I love you! Although not all of Humphry Slocombe‘s flavors are gluten-free, that’s OK. Because the Blueberry Boy Bait is gluten-free, and it is AMAZING. I wanted to distract the lovely booth staffers and run off with the entire tub of it. Since I didn’t do that, I’ll just keep refreshing their Caviar delivery page until I see pints of it available for delivery. If you’re not lucky enough to live in San Francisco, where Humphry Slocombe is based, look for their pints in the freezer section of your local Whole Foods grocery store.
Given our notoriously cold summer weather, you wouldn’t think San Francisco would be a hotbed of gourmet ice cream and frozen treat producers, but we are. I’ve picked up gelato bars from Bar Gelato at the grocery store in the past but had no idea how many delicious San Francisco-centric flavors they made. There’s Recchiuti burnt carmel, Guittard dark chocolate sorbetto, Tcho chocolate, Blue Bottle coffee, and St. George single malt whiskey. It’s a serious who’s who of local foodie faves. It was hard to pick a favorite here, but if forced to do so, I’d have to go with the Tcho chocolate. Seriously tasty.
It’s hard to believe that most of Arctic Zero‘s flavors are deliciously gluten-free. When was the last time YOU had gluten-free cookie ice cream? The banana pudding and cake batter flavors were amazing. I wish I’d been able to sample the salted chocolate ice cream bar‚I suspect they’d have become a new fave for our overflowing freezer.
Last but not least, I enjoyed the coconut and banana frozen dessert from Southern California’s Mr. E’s Freeze. I’ve long been a fan of frozen banana n’ice cream, and coconut frozen desserts. The combination of both together was delicious. I hope they get some Northern Califnornia distribution soon!
Savory Gluten-Free Snacks
I was introduced to Dang‘s coconut chips through a well-stocked snack pantry at a former employer’s office. I was immediately hooked. That’s why their booth was one of my first stops at the show to see what was new. Turns out they were launching sticky rice chips at the show. This was another case of immediate snack and appetizer recipe ideas inspiration. I hope we get them in one of my local markets soon so I can start playing with them.
There was a ton of cured meat sticks and jerky snacks at the show, including my local faves Field Trip jerky, whose maple BBQ pork jerky was so good. The standout provider in the meat stick category for me was Vermont Smoke & Cure with their chipotle beef & pork, ancho pepper turkey, and honey mustard turkey meat sticks.
Sweet Gluten-Free Treats
Although I’m not an everyday sweets kind of a gal, I did find a number of sweet treats I loved at the show:
- Laughing Giraffe‘s Chocolate Snackaroons are just the perfect blend of coconut and chocolate.
- Chimes toasted coconut hard toffee. It’s gluten-free and vegan, and a perfect portable pick-me-up.
- Money on Honey caramel-filled chocolates made with honey instead of corn syrup would make an excellent Valentine’s Day gift. Just ‘sayin.
- Olivier Napa Valley was a dangerous pit stop to make at the show. They had over a dozen seriously delicious sweet sauces on offer. It was so tempting to give in and taste them all, and just deal with the inevitable sugar crash afterward. Instead, I tried the bourbon vanilla caramel sauce and the Highland Butterscotch Sauce. I’m still dreaming of drizzling these over some bread pudding fresh from the oven.
One of the most difficult parts of converting over to gluten-free baking, for me, has been pie crust. I’ve found some solid blends I’ve been using, but they haven’t had that same tender flake as their gluten-full counterparts. The new Cup4Cup gluten-free pie crust mix, pictured above in action, tastes like it might be the blend I’m looking for. Can’t wait for this to hit the shelves so I can try it out myself.
Hu Kitchen will be on my to-visit list the next time I’m in NYC. I was seriously impressed with their selection of paleo and vegan chocolate. The crunchy banana dark chocolate, almond butter + puffed quinoa dark chocolate, and crunchy mint dark chocolate were standouts for me. I started dreaming up cake and muffin recipes on the spot—that’s how good they were.
Other gluten-free baking standouts included:
- Dandies all natural vanilla marshmallows. These little morsels are gluten-free, vegan, gelatin-free, AND fat-free. Looking forward to getting my hands on some of these.
- Color Kitchen all-natural food coloring and sprinkles are gluten-free and vegan. They use plant colors instead of artificial dyes. Definitely worth checking out.
- Arnel’s Originals had a great moist cake mix that I’d love to try out. I love the idea of adding chai or pumpkin pie spices to it.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Options
Your breakfast sets the stage for the rest of the day. In a perfect world we’d always have time to sit down and eat a freshly prepared breakfast. My mornings seem to rarely afford me this luxury. Instead, I’m looking for something fast and healthy I can grab before my first meeting. With that in mind, here are my favorite grab-and-go breakfast foods from the show:
- Redd superfood energy bars (which I sampled at the Food Fete event during the show) somehow manage to pack 9 grams of protein, 11 super foods and 23 vitamins and minerals into a delicious, moist energy bar.
- Viki’s Granola is all gluten-free, and had a wide range of interesting flavors including blueberry almond and banan walnut. Although I initially was thinking about them just from a breakfast standpoint, they’d also make a nice addition to a muffin streudel topping. Filing away that thought for later…
I’ve already added Slinsgshot probiotic smoothies to my permanent grocery list. I’d had my first one a couple of days before the show, and got to try the rest of the flavors while I was there. Usually smotthies just aren’t filling enough for me at breakfast. But the addition of the “shot” of seeds and nuts gives it a boost that keeps me feeling full of energy until lunchtime. I can’t recommend these highly enough.
The aroma of hot cocoa drew me to the Crio Bru booth. But it turns out it wasn’t cocoa I was smelling—it was a hot beverage made from 100% ground cocoa beans and prepared like coffee. I’m in love. It smells and tastes like a rich cup of hot cocoa, but without any sugars or fats. This is one thing I absolutely have to track down in the next few weeks because I can’t stop talking to people about it.
When I could still eat conventional flour, taco salads were one of my favorite treats for lunch. The new Folios cheese sheets may make those memories a new reality. They’re intended to be used in the microwave, but I’m sure I will be able to figure out how to get them into a bowl shape in the convection oven.