The highlight of Foodbuzz Festival for me last year was the Tasting Pavilion. Three hours of tasting decadent foods produced (mostly) locally to the Bay Area and learning about the companies, their stories and the product. So Saturday, when it came time for the Tasting Pavillion, I put on my big girl stretchy pants (jeans + spandex), and got ready to let my taste buds go insane.
Though there were a ton of products I truly enjoyed, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorites:
Perhaps the best thing I’ve eaten in my life: Honey Walnut Spread served over goat cheese, provided by California Walnuts. It’s a great appetizers piece – expect to see it make an appearance at my holiday meals! (The recipe can be found here.)
It was a serious food orgasm, no joke. I ate at least 4 of them. I stopped counting after 4.
Vignette. Wine Soda – alcohol free wine. All of the flavor, none of the alcohol.
21st Amendment Brewery – I sampled the Watermelon wheat beer – made with real watermelon, which would be a great summer drink. Though, lets be honest: I wanted to drink it for the can designs alone…
Sonoma Syrup. Hand crafted syrups, extracts and drizzlers that will make you drool. After trying their vanilla bean simple syrup, I was in love and wanted to lick my spoon until I could taste it no more. They also gave me a bottle of the vanilla bean to try at home – look for it on top of delicious recipes soon: I’m thinking drizzled on top of cinnamon rolls, apple crisp, vanilla soy icecream…
Culinary Twist all natural sauces. They were flavorful, but not over powerful and made with ingredients of which I could pronounce everything – and they even had some gluten free options! My favorite was Maya Bay, a Thai marinade, sauce and dip. Really awakened my tastebuds.
The station I fawned over for hours: Redwood Hill Farm Goat Cheese and yogurt (not pictured). I love their products, that it’s a small, organic farm that treats their goats with love and feeds them right, and provides a quality product to their consumers. Its one of two goat cheese/yogurt products I buy, and will remain so.
Fat Toad Farm Goat Cheese Carmel from Vermont. It’s a product currently being featured in the Foodzie cooking box, and one I recommend checking out if you’re looking for a new twist on carmels for the holiday season. I tried all four flavors, and my favorites were the Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean. Sooooo good. I tried to run away with a box of it, but they didn’t let me
I also really enjoyed the House of Balsamic vinegars. I was actually so in love with their product (though to be honest, I can’t really afford it), that I forgot to take photos. But their 6, 12, 25 year balsamic vinegars made me want to make love to the spoon it was on. And their white balsamic made me swoon – the flavor and price — and I actually was given a bottle to try at home, so I’ll hopefully be sharing recipes with you soon! .
The bbq sauce that stole the show was J. Lee Roy’s Dippin’ Sauce. It was true bbq flavors, with none of the preservatives or ‘bad stuff.’ Natural ingredients of which I could pronounce every single one of them!
And I also couldn’t help but be won over by the wonderful, cheerful owners!
And on the way out of the Pavillion, these TCHO bad boy’s caught my eye. Decadent chocolates – where the flavor comes from the type of cocoa, and no two batches taste exactly the same. LOVE it!
Julia and I, post-three-hour-eating-binge after the Pavillion. We had a great day.
There were so many other wonderful products at the Tasting Pavillion, but I don’t have photos of them all, so these are just a few of the most memorable. I had a great time networking with companies and trying new products, and I’m excited to use some of them that I just can’t live with out on a more regular basis to ‘spice’ up my meals!
Is there a product listed above that you would love to try?! What is your favorite ‘indulgent’ product to cook with or have around the house?