Sunday, February 14, 2010


This is the cover of the current issue of Cosmo. When your magazine has basically the same content every month (SEX! DIET! STYLE!), you've got to be creative with your headlines. Maybe it's just me, but I literally burst out laughing when I saw this on the newsstand. Given that some version of this article leads nearly every issue, it almost makes you wonder if Cosmo is written by men.

This is a screengrab from the UPS tracking of a package I'm expecting. UPS is famous for its logistics, but this sequence of check-ins seems pretty odd. All the way to the west coast then back to Kentucky? Someone please explain how that gets the package to me in San Francisco faster.... Keep reading...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fancy Food Show 2010: Awesome

Over the MLK weekend I attended the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. It may rank among the best 10 days of my life. For five hours I did my best to taste as many products as possible, leading to a bad case of what is apparently called “sample stomach.”

The scale of the show was simply jawdropping (pun intended). Over 250,000 products spread out over 10 football fields of floorspace. Hundreds of hollowed out cheesewheels, thousands of dips, spreads and sauces, and all kinds of foods that defied easy classification (like Black Garlic, which I’ll explain in a moment).

I wandered around in awe, as vendors large and small hawked their wares to potential customers and distributors. Crowds gathered around the expected booths (Colorado beers) as well as trendy newcomers (wine infused soda). Some countries had their own exhibition areas, from the sprawling cheese and pasta displays to Australia’s lone booth of surprisingly tasty breads and dipping spices.

Out of the 100+ foods and drinks I tried, my personal favorites were as follows:

Black Garlic, marketed by a Korean company, was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. After being fermented for a month, the garlic emerges soft and mild, with hardly a hint of the pungent garlic flavor we all know and love. Sold as whole bulbs or as a puree, this unique product is sure to find a niche. Check out their impressively well designed site.

Avocado Oil, sold by Alos Cuisine from my hometown of Atlanta, was also quite good. Although avocados—with their high fat content—clearly have oil to give, I’d never thought of them as an oil source. But avocado oil is pleasantly mellow, and has a higher burn point than most other cooking oils.

Sweet Potato Crackers from Polka Dot Bakeshop, available in four flavors, were the best snack food I tried. I’m a diehard sweet potato lover, and finding one of my favorite vegetables in cracker form was very exciting.

Of all the beverages I tasted, Vignette Wine Country Soda was by far the best. It was a refreshing non-alcoholic carbonated drink, infused with California grape varietals. It made me think of another drink I bought recently at Safeway called First Blush, which is 100% California grape juice, also available mixed with tea.

Other products I enjoyed were the 9-Grain Beer Bread from Wholesome Classics, Ozery Bread’s tasty flat buns (a definite trend despite the dwindling influence of the low-carb diet), and Bestaste’s various frozen Filipino finger foods.
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