This past weekend, I headed into the City (San Francisco) to check out the Foodbuzz Festival – a huge gathering of Food Bloggers. Due to time constraints and other commitments, I was only able to attend their Taste Pavillion, not the entire festival as originally planned. But, nonetheless, the Taste Pavillion was a great event. Basically three straight hours of meeting food vendors (and other bloggers) and tasting FOOD – always a great thing in my book. I brought a fellow food lover along for the ride and I am pretty sure we tasted everything in the Pavillion! I only brought my iphone to take pictures since I didn’t want to lug the DSLR all over with me, thankfully my girlfriend brought hers. Between the two of us, we got some good shots. (Clicking the pics will bring you directly to the vendors site for more information.) I loved that most of the vendors were somewhat local and as always, fresh ingredients are a big plus! Some of my favorite things:
House of Balsamic – Oh my dear Lord in Heaven, their white balsamic jelly was crazy good. I can’t even describe this to you. I am a lover of all things balsamic and this was just the perfect condiment. Can’t wait to place my order!
Frog Hollow Farms – Ahhh, the Warren Pear. I have been on a huge pear kick lately and this was a great one. So crisp and clean. They were nice enough to take the time to answer our questions and educate us about the pears.
479 (Degree) Popcorn – I just got done selling popcorn for my son (who is a Cub Scout) so popcorn is probably the last thing on earth I wanted to see or taste. BUT, their Black Truffle and White Cheddar Popcorn is the perfect snack. Thank goodness the sample bag was so small because I would have literally just kept eating this all day. Great accompaniment of flavors!
Sonoma Syrup Company – Meyer Lemon Cheese Drizzler. A. M. A. Z. I. N. G. They had this served over some ricotta cheese (more on that later) and I swear to you, it was the most simple, perfect dessert ever. Me and my sidekick went back for seconds (or was it thirds?) When it comes to desserts, I will almost always pick chocolate over fruit but this was so pleasing to my palate, I would be hard pressed not to pick this over most other desserts.
Bellwether Farms – Now, back to that ricotta…. Bellwether Farm’s Ricotta was so creamy and and delicious. I also loved their creme fraiche. Their products had such a fresh taste to them, a real quality product. The pairing of their ricotta with the Meyer Lemon Cheese Drizzle mentioned above was perfect.
Fentimans Botanically Brewed Beverages – I am not a soda drinker by any means but I really loved their Cherry Tree Cola. One of the reasons why I don’t care much for soda is the aftertaste and the thick feeling it leaves on your tongue but the Fentimans had none of that. It was not too sweet either. Yum!
The Chai Cart – The Masala Chai from here was definitely worth a try for Chai lovers. Heck, even if you aren’t a Chai lover, you might like this stuff. Honest to goodness spices and flavor. Our sample was warm but I imagine it would taste great cold too.
Vignette Wine Country Soda – I know, I know, liking TWO different soda type drinks when I’ve declared that I don’t care for soda. I swear these are different. Vignette’s drinks are based on the grapes used to make wine. I really enjoyed the Cabernet while my friend preferred the Chardonnay. You say tomato, I say tomahto, I suppose. Either way, they were tasty and refreshing.
Biscotti – There were two biscotti folks there giving samples – Biscotti Bari and Hottie Biscotti. I enjoyed both of them – not that I didn’t already know I would! From Biscotti Bari I really enjoyed their almond and chocolate pistachio varieties and from Hottie Biscotti, I loved their peppermint and white chocolate biscotti. Either of these would be a great sidekick for your coffee…or just to eat. Oink.
Ticings – Okay, so this isn’t so much a food tasting thing as it is a cake/dessert decorating thing…They basically make customizable dessert toppers. They had mounds of sprinkles out on the table is a sort of mix and match fashion. I thought this was such a fun idea – to just be able to customize your sprinkle color mixtures. But, I totally geek out on cake decorating type stuff so that was to be expected.
Sweet – Organic Creme Brulee? Ummmm, YES PLEASE. They had three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and coffee. All of them? Sooooooo good. Rich without being heavy and not overly sweet at all. I don’t suppose this would be a suitable replacement for my Greek yogurt but oh, how I would try.
Three Twins Ice Cream – How can you not like them just off their name alone? I tasted their chocolate and vanilla varieties and liked them both. They were really personable and let me take a picture as the third twin with them, quite funny.
The Girl and the Fig – I really liked their red onion confit. I tasted it both on the pork and crostini (with cream cheese) and enjoyed it. I make a similar thing for appetizers and I thought theirs was really yummy.
Lest I do a write up on every single vendor and morsel I put in my mouth, I better quit while I’m ahead. If you’re a food blogger, I highly recommend becoming a part of Foodbuzz’ Tastemaker Program and heading out to next year’s festival. Hoping I can hit up the entire weekend next time. Thanks to Foodbuzz for putting on a great event!