Meet Us In San Francisco…!

If you have been following our social media sites, you’ll realize that we have a crew in San Francisco for the 43rd Annual Winter Fancy Food Show. You can follow what’s going on by searching these tags (Twitter, Instagram): #WFFS18 and #WinterFancyFoodShow. We also cannot claim that we took that beautiful photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, that credit goes to user Walkerssk on Pixabay. And Pixabay, by the way, is an awesome site if you’re looking for images to use under the CC0 Creative Commons use. You can always help out any of the users by donating funds to them if they have one set up, it’s always nice to pay it forward!

But back to the Winter Fancy Food Show, hosted by the Specialty Food Association. The show started Sunday, January 21, and goes through Tuesday, January 23. While sadly, I am not in attendance myself, we do have staff from Gourmet International working the show. If you’re at the show, stop by and visit the team in Booth #3408!

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So what goes on at this Winter Fancy Food Show? Well, quite a bit! It is a place for foodies to gather and find out what’s new, what’s coming up and what’s trending! It’s also a time for educational seminars where you can hear from food industry leaders what’s going on in the world of specialty food.

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There are also special events, such as some different award ceremonies, food showcases, learning what new brands are out and about and more! If you’re wanting to learn more about what’s shaking in the specialty food industry world, this is one of the shows to attend!

This show is also filled with many exhibitors – people, products and more to meet and greet! Exhibitors come from across the globe to attend this event. Click here to find out more from the Specialty Food Association’s Fact Sheet.

So much happening in San Francisco these next few days! We hope to hear from our team about what’s hot, what’s new, what’s going on and more!

 

 

Hello 2018!

Happy New Year! Happy 2018! Let’s start off the New Year with a new name! As you can see, All Things Gourmet, sounds like a nice little fit! What you’ll find here won’t change at all! There still will be recipes shared, gourmet food items to be showcased and shared, along with the sharing of information and traditions and so forth! But don’t worry, there will be little Gourmet Nibbles to be had and I will make sure you can follow my crumb trail!

The month of January is busy and filled with lots of new things, recipes and adventures ahead! There are some sauces and soups to be made, special national days to celebrate – all of course – featured around FOOD! Then we have to face it and admit it – Valentine’s is right around the corner! Yes! I know! We just finished up the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and YES! We must move on to Valentine’s and do I dare bring up the Easter Bunny?! Well, I sort of have to, because we can’t avoid them! And here they are…!

Just a few to get you started!

Over the course of the next year I also plan to keep up on the latest health and food trends, and so far there are a few similar themes I keep seeing popping up! Tumeric  and other spices seems to be one trend. “Gut-friendly” fermented foods such as sauerkraut has hit the list and then don’t forget about your foods filled with probiotic! And as for gut-friendly foods, we have that and we’ve got you covered!

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There are a few things about coffee I may look into – I keep reading that coffee is good for your liver and there may also be other coffee trends that I am going to try to keep my eye on. Is coffee the key to prevent premature death?I don’t know, but there are reports to claim there may be an association to drinking coffee and longevity by reducing the risk of cancer, stroke, heart and liver disease!

And coffee… that’s in stock as well!

So there’s a lot to look forward to in 2018! And it’s time to get started!

 

 

We’ve Got Ourselves In a Pickle!

DSC_0001In case you were not aware, it’s National Pickle Appreciation Day! There are a vast variety of pickle facts we’d love to share with you! While our favorite brand at Gourmet International is Hengstenberg, you can see the many different brands of pickles, their origin and company all at the Pickle Packers International website, cutely named: ilovepickles.org.

We are sharing the following facts from that website and what better why to start by talking about the origin of “in a pickle” as stated in our title post today! Shakespeare first introduced that phrase in The Tempest. In the play the quote is read, “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle!”

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Consumption: How many Americans consume pickles within one year? Well, that answer is 2.5 billion pounds which is 20 billion pickles!  Even more random fact from the site: If you want to reach the moon, it would take 4 billion pickles. Do the math and the amount of pickles consumed in one year could get us to the moon and back more than 2 times! How crazy is that?

World War II Ties: During the days of the war, the United States Government tagged 40% of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.

Is it a fruit or a vegetable? The United States Government technically classifies pickles as a “fruit” of the vine – much like a tomato, but most people categorize pickles as a vegetable.

What are the more popular varieties of pickles? Dill is considered the most favored variety of cucumber pickle. Other variations and varieties include Sour/Half Sour and Sweet. Let’s explore these varieties a moment…

  • Dill. Herb dill or dill oil is added to impart a distinctive and refreshing flavor. The different types of dill pickles include:
    • Genuine Dill. These pickles are made by the slow “processed” method. Dill weed is added into the tanks during the last stage of fermentation or to the jar after fermentation. These pickles usually have a higher lactic acid flavor than other varieties.
    • Kosher Dill. True “Kosher” pickles are those that have been manufactured and certified in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, and made with dill and garlic added to the brine. The flavor is very popular, more robust than regular dill pickles, so much so, that the name has stuck and kosher dills are the ultimate accompaniment to an overstuffed deli sandwich.
    • Overnight Dill. Cukes are places fresh into brine (which may include a slight amount of vinegar) for a very short time — one to two days. The entire process takes place under refrigeration, and they stay refrigerated when stored and shipped. They bright green pickles taste like fresh cucumbers accented with dill flavor. They are the kind of pickle you usually find at a deli.
    • Other Dills: Include Polish and German Style.
  • Sour/Half Sour. Fresh cucumbers are first placed into a seasoned brine which doesn’t include vinegar. The containers are then refrigerated, and remain refrigerated when stored and shipped. The longer the cucumbers remain in the brine, the more sour they become. Half-sour pickles are extra crispy and keep their fresh cucumber color.
  • Sweet. Sweet pickles are packed in a sweet mixture of vinegar, sugar and spices. The variations include:
    • Bread & Butter. Sweet, thinly sliced pickles made from cucumbers, onions and chopped green or red peppers. They have a distinct, slightly tangy taste. Available in smooth or waffle cut chips or chunks.
    • Candied. These pickles are packed in an extra-heavily sweetened liquid.
    • No-Salt Sweet. These are a relatively new variety of sweet pickle to which no salt has been added. Usually available as chips.
    • Sweet/Hot. The are a “hot” new kind of pickle. They’re made by adding hot spices and seasonings to pickles for a delightful spark of piquant flavor.

Source: ilovepickles.org

You’re probably learning more about the pickle today than you thought you would! And did you know that pickles are identified as on the favorite vegetables of teens per a consumer study that was conducted for the pickle industry.

 

Now how about you? What’s your favorite type of pickle now that you’ve read through all the varieties? I have to say mine would have to be bread & butter. Nothing like the crunch of a nice crisp, bread & butter pickle! Nibble, nibble!

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Springing Forward, But Falling Backward.

Has today’s title confused you? I truly don’t want to get you in a panic, but I am going to have to discuss some upcoming holidays for next year! I am talking about Valentine’s Day and Easter! I know, I know! We *just* made it through Halloween! Thanksgiving is not far away, heck it’s not even Christmas yet, although Christmas music is already blaring on a local radio station as of yesterday! The next major event happening around here would be Daylight Savings for those of us who observe it, which means we will have to fall back one hour this weekend.

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Springing forward with holiday items, yet falling back an hour on the clocks!

Now that we have that out of the way… let me show you these spring products! Belfine is the maker of Fine Belgian Chocolate and they have these super cute chocolate pops and they all have super cute names! And while I am at it, I want to let any of our retailers know that the spring deadline is approaching! You know how to get a hold of us if you need any assistance with your order! You’ll find Belfine chocolate in the spring line up!

Let me first introduce you to Love Bear Arno, who is the perfect chocolate companion for your Valentine’s occasion! Per Belfine, “Each lollipop is individually wrapped in a transparent bag with clip and presented in a beautiful Belfine display.” Belfine’s chocolate figurines and lollipops are all hand crafted and it is really neat how they come to life.

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This is the process for the chocolate characters:

  1. Start with a sketch
  2. Add some color
  3. Play with clay
  4. Prepare the mold
  5. Personalize the prototype
  6. Welcome to the family!
  7. Name and release

When the figurine is created, it is actually named and then copyrighted before venturing out into the world. How awesome is that?

Next up we have Jenny Duck and Lamb Betty for Easter. These Easter designs are sure to please everyone, young and old!

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What makes Belfine so unique and special?

  • Premium Belgian Chocolate made in Belgium
  • Unique & cute chocolate figurines
  • Creativity & innovation
  • Long term partnerships
  • Highest quality standards
  • Dedicated customer focus
  • Worldwide presence
  • Family owned business
  • The perfect packaging
  • Flexible production capacity

Belfine is definitely “kid approved” – as you have seen the smile on my youngest’s face as he’s chomping on poor Love Bear Arno! I even I heard, “Mom, this chocolate is so yummy!” from that little 4-year-old munchkin!

And as a mom, I can appreciate that there aren’t any ingredients in these chocolates that I don’t approve of! Belfine’s products are free from any artificial flavors, colors and fats. The chocolate also is free of preservatives, vegetables fats and GMO-free. As for the coloring in any of the chocolates, European standards require that only E-approved colors are used.

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Belfine Belgian Chocolate Lollipops. Get yourself some! And as I wrap up this post, I’ll bring Mr. Ginger out to remind us of the Christmas season that is approaching. On that final note, don’t forget to fall back one hour this weekend for those of us observing Daylight Savings Time! (And submit your orders in for the spring deadline for our retailers!)

Dreamy Chocolate Cone Treats from Italy.

Looking for a tasty chocolate treat wrapped up in the cutest cone package? Look no further because we have it here for you! I was recently introduced to these delicious little cones not long ago and I have fallen in love with them! Messori, from Italy, makes these chocolate creations. They have many different innovative chocolate treats and today it’s the Messori Cono Snack that we are sharing with you!

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What is this Cono Snack and what’s inside it? The Cono Snacks come in three flavors: Hazelnut, Caramel Milk and Choco Parties. Today we have the hazelnut Cono Snack for you to check out. This cone is ALL chocolate, perfect for any chocolate lover!

Once unwrapped, you’ll find a puffed rice on top.

 

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Take your first bite and you’re chewing on some fine Italian hazelnut cream.

 

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Under that hazelnut creamy chocolate you will find some premium dark chocolate.

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Cross section of the Messori Hazelnut Cono Snack.

And how does the cone taste? So crunchy and perfect! It’s the perfect Belgian wafer cone to go along with this mix of hazelnut cream and dark chocolate! YUM! There is chocolate literally ALL THE WAY THROUGH the whole entire cone – with the very bottom of the cone being filled with chocolate as well!

The hazelnut cream is very smooth the puffed rice is a great compliment to that flavor. The Belgian cone is perfectly made and has the perfect crunch. Don’t believe me? Go try one for yourself! You will love this chocolate party in a cone! These are great for parties and holiday celebrations! The Messori Cono Snacks are on my list of treats that I approve for my family as it is GMO free, has no artificial coloring or dyes, free of artificial sweeteners and preservatives and more. Check out Messori’s quality information for more about their quality standards.

 

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If you find yourself snacking on this treat, please do let us know what you think! I, for one, can vouch that these are super dreamy! Nibble, nibble!

Anuga 2017 in Cologne, Germany.

We have our team at Anuga in Cologne, Germany! And we are awaiting for exciting news and updates from them to share with you! What exactly *is* Anuga? Anuga is an annual event that showcases around 7,200 exhibitors of the food and bevearge industry. Our team is in Cologne right now, gearing up to check out the current food trends and ready to find ways to grow our product line!

We hope to share some news and updates soon…!

But stay tuned here… we have a recipe posting and some tailgating fun to share with you as we wind up this week with you! As for myself, I’m still thinking of making more pretzels and dipping them in some sweet Bavarian style mustard… so good! So tasty!