Scary Harry Potter Jelly Bellys: Fancy Food Show Report, San Francisco

The 32nd Winter Fancy Food Show has ended and, as promised, here’s part one of my report on the good, the bad and the downright scary food products that will “soon be coming to supermarkets near you.�? Most of these will be available at Whole Foods, Mollie Stones, or your favorite specialty food store. If not, then you can check the Website for retailers in your nabe.

The key themes this year were: pomegranate, teas, healthy beverages, insanely rich “quatre-crème�? cheeses, fun-flavored peanut butters, who has the highest percentage of cacao in a chocolate bar, specialty salts, oils-(talk about an oversaturated category), instant sauces to spice up whatever, and lots of snacks that were simultaneously sweet and salty.

The buzz words were the same old “Natural,�? “Antioxidants,�? “Exotica�? — particularly in the fruit flavors, but �?Organic�? was still holding at number one.

And actually, there weren’t that many horrible products — nothing like a few year’s ago, when a Japanese company felt the need to create a long square plastic container of overly-processed slice-and-serve hard-boiled eggs that came with square yolks. I was mildly grossed when I tasted the slimy new Vitamin-Fiber Water put out by Sugar Bowl, but it couldn’t begin to compare to the still reigning champ of yuck factor; the Harry Potter line of Jelly Bellys.

The flavor names say it all: EARWAX, BACON, DIRT, SPINACH, GRASS, BOOGER, SARDINE, BLACK PEPPER, ROTTEN EGG, EARTHWORM, SOAP, and SPAGHETTI. And, I can’t forget everyone’s favorite… VOMIT!

I’m trying to break them down by categories so stay tuned…. By the way, I hope you all appreciate the fact that I think I broke my stomach bringing you this cutting edge report!

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