July 6, 2011 -- Thousands of the world's top chefs, food manufacturers and retailers will gather in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the 57th Fancy Food Show, the annual expo that sets the trends for what you'll soon see on the aisles of your local grocery story, on the shelves of your favorite kitchen store and, retailers hope, on your kitchen table.
"Good Morning America" food editor Sara Moulton got a sneak peek inside this year's show, where more than 18,000 food buyers will trek more than 4.7 miles of exhibits to check out products offered by 2,400 exhibitors representing more than 80 countries. From cheeses to sweets to ethnic foods, organic items and more "Good Morning America" picked out a few viewers should keep an eye on.
Check out the links below to learn more about Moulton's picks for the best, new fancy foods, straight from her plate at the Fancy Food Show to yours.
A finger lime is a micro citrus but not technically part of the lemon or lime family. The interior provides individually contained juice vesicles commonly referred to as citrus caviar. The pulp looks like caviar, and has a very similar taste to a lemon or a lime.
First we fell in love with the Belgian Chocolate S'mores gelato and gelato squares. It's rich and creamy Belgian chocolate gelato swirled with fluffy marshmallow, sandwiched between two graham crackers. Indulgent doesn't begin to describe it.
If you're looking for something on the lighter side, the Blueberry Passion Sorbet Bars pack a wallop of fantastic fruity flavor into a delicious smooth dairy free pop. The best part: They're only 70 calories a piece.
Chocolate With Everything In It
It's hard to improve on one of the best things on earth, but we saw everything under the sun added to chocolate. There were tons of chocolate with chili and sea salt, bars like this one from Éclat with toasted corn in it, these KLA's from Recchiuti (that stands for "Key Lime Apples"), and these are the best darn peanut butter cups you've ever tasted. They're from Justin's and they're organic and fair trade.
The "Hot" New Chili
We saw chiles as flavoring agents in many things, and that included the usual jalapenos and chipotles, but the hot new chili pepper -- pardon the pun -- is the Ghost Pepper. And I loved the way it tasted in Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Salsa. Caution: it's "scary hot," as the label says. It's said to be the world's hottest chili pepper, 401 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.
Lots of pumpkin is going to hit the shelves of your supermarket, and I'm not talking just pie here. Two of my favorite uses of pumpkin: this Pumpkin Ketchup from Skillet, a food truck based in Seattle, and this delicious Chipotle Pumpkin Salsa from the kitchen of Rick Bayless and Frontera.
Popcorn was popping up around every corner and two of my favorites were this Black Truffle & White Cheddar Popcorn from 479 Degrees, and we even saw popcorn CHIPS. These are from Popcorn Indiana and are called Chip'ins.
57th Fancy Food Show
Fruit Snacks Fruit snacks, little Gummi-like treats geared toward kids, were all over the place. But my favorites were these because they actually tasted like the fruit they were supposed to and not some sugared version of them. Buddy Fruits Pure Fruit Bites are great because they have no artificial colors or flavors, are 100 percent fruit, and you can pronounce and recognize everything in the ingredient list. We have three of their four flavors here: orange, pomegranate /acai and raspberry.
Gluten Free isn't new, we've been seeing it for years at the Fancy Food Show. But what is new is how good it has gotten. When you take the gluten out of a baked good, you often have to sacrifice texture and flavor … and these gingersnaps by Lucy's really don't skimp on either of those.
You wouldn't even know they're gluten-free. Another delicious contender that really blew the entire judging panel away was the BASIL Pesto Parmesan Crisps by Kitchen Table Bakers. They are made entirely of cheese and, gosh, they're good.
Every year it seems as though there's a new "it" fruit. Pomegranate, blueberry and acai are all still going strong, but the most recent contender is an "oldie but a goodie." Cherry is back. I saw it in drinks, jams, syrups; everything.
I especially liked this cherry concentrate from Cherry Bay Orchards. This pouch has the juice of more than 60 tart cherries pressed into it. Mix it into lemonade, soda, smoothies. Try it on yogurt, ice cream, etc.
The spirit that has taken the cocktail world by storm is now invading food items from barbecue sauces, to marinades, to even sugar. This is Bourbon Smoked Sugar by Bourbon Barrel Foods in Kentucky (it can't be called "Bourbon" unless it's from Kentucky). And this is a raw sugar that is smoked using old bourbon barrels. It's a really interesting taste, and is a great finish to fruit crisps, pies, cookies and cocktails.