The Fancy Food Show in San Francisco just wrapped up. Alison from Anglesey in Wales was there with these salt pyramids. They're inch square crystals that form on the top of the salt baths. They float like inverted icebergs, the tip facing down. They're considered defects because they're so big. The crew picks them off and they're discarded. I think they're totally cool. I have no idea what to do with them but I asked her to save some for us and we'll take them on our next import.
Another highlight of the show was La Quercia, where Herb had some of the grossest looking stuff I'd ever seen. He called it Iowa White. It's the ground up pork fat trimmings, spiked with herbs and spices. It was sealed in a plastic bag and looked like lumpy oatmeal. You don't want to see the picture so I'll save you from it. Put all that out of your head, though. It was damn good. Think spread, like pimento cheese, but made of meat. We'll get some later this year.
During the trip I visited Kermit Lynch—the shop, and the man. It was the first time I've met him, though I've been a fan of his wines and newsletter for ages. We got to taste some wines together with his right hand man, Dixon and when they went looking for something in the employee break room fridge this is what I saw.
Blue Bottle Coffee is doing some space age Japanese coffee brewing at their spot on Mint Street.
Four Barrel coffee on Valencia sells these mugs with drawings of their baristas. Each had a nickname, like "The Viking". I thought they were great.
I am posting this while flying on an airplane, which kind of blows my mind.