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    Live From Fancy Food: A Taste of sofi

    Awards finalists offer a range of unforgettable flavors

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information

    Invited to sample the finalists for the 2014 sofi Awards at the Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show in New York (although not eligible to vote as a member of the press), I lost no time in trying out the items on display. Among the impressions that particularly tantalized my taste buds and left me wanting more:

    • The pleasant, not-too-hot kick of Rick's Picks' Smokra
    • The curdy creaminess of Bellwether Farms' Whole Milk Ricotta
    • The unexpected reward of Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery's Smoked Chocolate Chips
    • The smooth taste and spicy finish of Sir Kensington's Chipotle Mayonnaise
    • The satisfying richness of Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.'s Bourbon Nib Brittle
    • The zestiness of Ayara Thai Peanut Sauce
    • The utter perfection of Fromagerie Belle Chevre's Belle Chevre Goat Cheese Cheesecake
    • The feather-light crispness Greenwave Foods’ eda-zen cruncha ma-me Jalapeño
    • The frozen-gourmet-coffee-on-a-stick delight of Gelateria Naia’s Blue Bottle Coffee Bar Gelato
    • The cozy, fireside ambiance of Cocoaplanet's Cocoa Mint
    • The chunky deliciousness of Gary & Kit's Napa Valley Meyer Lemon Marmalade
    • The heartiness of Olympic Provisions' Loukanika
    • The full-bodied flavor of Sauces 'n Love Nut-Free Pesto
    • The refreshing zing of Haig’s Delicacies' Tzatziki
    • The well-judged pop of flavor offered by Pop! Gourmet Popcorn/Sriracha Popcorn
    • The filling, comfort-food vibe of Backyard Safari Co.'s Dinner Tonight White Bean Chili Seasoning
    • The excellent blend of ingredients served up in Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods' Mom's Limited Edition Tomato Basil Soup
    • The thirst-quenching fizz of Silk Road Soda Co.'s Cucumber Mint variety
    • The silkiness of Tonewood Maple Cream

    The winners are scheduled to be revealed on June 30, but, as was pointed out to me when I entered the tasting event, all of the finalists are good, since they've passed through so many evaluations to be where they are. Although I'll definitely be rooting for my personal favorites, there really are no losers when it comes to this killer lineup. I may never eat again, though.

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Bridget Goldschmidt In addition to serving as Progressive Grocer’s Managing Editor, Bridget writes many print and digital features encompassing a range of grocery and fresh categories across the store. Bridget also enjoys on-site reporting assignments at such key industry events as the New York Fancy Food Show and the International Boston Seafood Show, in addition to visiting stores for PG’s prestigious Store of the Month feature. In her years with the magazine, she has developed into a knowledgeable voice on grocery industry trends, sought by such distinguished publications as The New York Times.

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