More than 16,000 buyers jammed San Francisco’s Moscone Center in mid-January to taste new food products from all over the U.S. and three dozen nations around the world at the Fancy Food Show. "Despite near-historic economic challenges, our industry is showing resilience," noted Ann Daw, president of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, the show’s owner. "Consumers are eating at home more, and they are purchasing specialty items to liven up their meals."
The sold-out National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show supports Daw’s theory and from my observations, business is still strong in our sector. Harald Zoschke, owner of Germany’s largest online hot shop, Pepperworld.com, agrees, and notes: "January 2009 orders are up 50% from 2008 at the Pepperworld Hot Shop."
One of the more interesting displays at the Fancy Food Show continued the competition of who has the hottest hot sauce. Dave’s Gourmet introduced "Ghost Pepper" Jolokia Private Reserve, which Dave Hirschkop is calling the
world’s hottest sauce. It’s hand signed by Dave, numbered, vintage dated, and laid to rest in a wooden coffin wrapped in caution tape. A 5-ounce bottles are available for $35 each.
Blair Lazar, of Blair’s Sauces and Snacks, begs to differ and points out that he was first with a Jolokia Pure Death Sauce. The battle rages on.