The trepidation builds among the 2014 sofi™ Award Finalists who will soon learn if they’ve won this year’s Specialty Food Association competition. Just as an Oscar pumps up a film crew’s career, a sofi translates to more sales and more distribution for food makers.
This year’s finalists reveal delicious innovation and “good food” (including Bay Area fave Bar Gelato, featuring Blue Bottle Coffee), with beets are a clear trend. That undeniably fun color shows up diverse categories:
Given my confections obsession, it’s only “all natural” a few fruity, nutty, sweet products particularly speak to me:
- Hana Pate de Fruit from Hawaii – little gems of Hawaiian fruit captured as soft jellies. Pate de fruit is pretty rare in the U.S. and often imported. It’s
- Grace & I Fruit and Nut Press – full disclosure: ever since the first time I saw Grace & I’s impeccably pressed fruit loaves, their artistry 1) blew my mind 2) reminded me of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.
- Coop’s MicroCreamery: Handmade Hot Fudge – for their packaging than ingredients, the trademarked drippy lid is a fun and clever design for pure kid-appeal.
As a complete aside, whether or not Hernan wins for its Mole Poblano, you must try this authentic sauce. The flavor lingers from shows gone by.
Now back to pate de fruit, which has been on my “to make” list. For you DIYers, here are a few recipes to capture your local, organic harvest in soft jellies (much softer than the kind you buy in the bin). Writing this sparked a thought for a nationwide “flight” of such candy made from regional fruits. Hmm…
- Grapefruit pate de fruit (I’ve got a load of them, despite it being summer!)
- Strawberry pate de fruit, or Pate de Fruitta in the case of this Italian recipe. Here’s an especially great photo tutorial.
- Apricot Pâte de Fruit de Jacques Pepin – Neighbor’s tree, here I come!
Would love to hear if…
- you have a cookbook with pate de fruit recipes. None of my candy cookbooks have one!
- you try making some, on how it turned out
- that regional flight idea sounds fun
- …and of course your thoughts on the awards