Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Snacks & Treats from the Winter 2015 Fancy Food Show

Are you a sweet snacker or a salty snacker? I like both and the Fancy Food Show is a snacker’s dream. Though it took place over a month ago I am still snacking on some samples I collected at the show. There was quite a range from healthy to indulgent, classic treats and new and innovative ones. This year more than a few made an impression on me that you might want to try too. 
On the sweet side I was impressed with two different ice creams. One was Choctal. Choctal makes single varietal chocolate ice creams from Costa Rica, Ghana, Dominican (from Hispaniola) and Kalimantan (from Borneo) that each taste very different and very good! My favorite was the Ghana. They also make vanilla ice creams, but I found them a bit too sweet for my taste. 
I’ve written about Magnolia ice cream before, they make wonderful Southeast Asian inspired flavors such as Thai tea, lychee and coconut. This year they introduced a new flavor that will remind you of Hawaii--Kona Chocodamia Nut. It’s coffee, chocolate and macadamia nut. It’s the perfect flavor for someone who can’t settle for just one flavor per scoop.
I’ve written about the coconut trend before and the highly addictive coconut chips being sold as a snack. Different brands pop up all the time, but this year I tried a flavor that blew my mind. It’s  chocolate crunchy coconut chips from Bare. Imagine crisp coconut flakes flavored with chocolate. Not covered in chocolate but magically flavored with it. These are just ridiculously good. 
Everyone I know who has tried Raincoast Crisps has loved them. They are sweet and savory thin crunchy toasted crackers with seeds, nuts and dried fruit. At the show I discovered Wild California Crisps, which are similar but a bit smaller in size. Like Rainforest Crisps, these are good with cheese or on their own as a snack. A touch of salt keeps them from being too sweet. They come in Fruit N’ Nut and Apricot Ginger. Look for Coconut Sesame and Apple Cinnamon Walnut coming soon. In a way, they remind me of Almondina cookies, but much more savory. 
If you’ve ever ordered fried chickpeas in a restaurant you know how tasty they are. Roasting them sadly never seems to produce quite the same result. But Biena is making roasted chickpeas in a variety of flavors that has the distinctive crunch. They taste fried even though they aren’t and so they are a healthy snack that tastes like a more indulgent one. I don’t know what their secret is, and they aren’t telling either. They come in flavors like barbeque, honey roasted and cinnamon maple. I liked all of the flavors. 
I’m kind of obsessed with pumpkin seeds right now. I keep dipping into a bag and toasting them up to add to salads. But I don’t typically just eat pumpkin seeds on their own. But Superseedz are good enough to munch on all by themselves. They come in a wide array of flavors including sea salt, coco joe (which is cocoa not coconut) cinnamon & sugar, tomato Italiano, curious curry, somewhat spicy and super spicy. This is a high protein snack great for taking on the go. 
Last but not least is Way Better Snacks. A lot of “better for you” snacks taste taste downright terrible. Not Way Better Snacks. Their crackers and chips are really a treat and come in a variety of intriguing flavors. The crackers come in flavors like mustard and cheddar, rosemary and olive oil and black bean and salsa and are made with sprouted barley. Their multigrain chips are available in flavors like sweet chili, sweet potato, sriracha, black bean and mustard and onion. The crackers are particularly light and crisp and the chips have a great hearty crunch and seedy texture thanks to the use of sprouted seeds including broccoli, daikon radish, flax, quinoa and chia. I would buy any of these as a snack or to go with dips, cheese or salsa.