The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) has announced the winners of the 2012 sofi™ Awards, covering a wide variety of newly introduced specialty foods.
As with many such awards, we don’t really have the chance to personally sample the many winners (Golds in 35 categories, with even more Silver finalists.) So, based on the pictures and descriptions, here are the ones that really come to our attention—be they ones that we’d like to try, or ones that we suspect are really acquired tastes.
First, from the Golds:
Sullivan Harbor Farm Smokehouse (Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip)
Homer Simpson got it right: “Mmm…Bacon.” If the illustration is anything like the reality, looks like these guys have invented an all-but-no-fat version of a favorite processed meat.
Love of chocolate is a family tradition with me, and the idea of pairing it with lime sounds intriguing, not forced.
Always up for a new hot sauce, and Korean food is among my favorites, even among stiff competition from other parts of Asia. Would want to sample a small amount first, then let ‘er rip!
Sounds both refreshing and healthy, and especially appealing as I write this in July.
Since pasta sauce in a jar is one of those things that always seems to be pretty good, even when you’re getting the real bargain-basement house brands, it’s fun to find out what the award winners do to get to the next level.
Now, the Silvers:
I’ve encountered jams from American Spoon at Zingerman’s; this is the first I’ve heard of their mustard, but I’d bet it’s worth tasting.
Thoughts are similar to those on the other lycopene source, Pasta Sauce—the basic version is classic, but what are the results when artisans take it upscale?
OK, maybe the picture of the rare steak influenced me, but I’d still like to try this one.
Yes, I know it’s not good for me, but…it’s now on my bucket list.
Not exactly a penance for the previous choice, but it does sound far more salubrious. Some snob appeal, too—this one won’t be to everyone’s taste. (Make sure you’ve at least tried a Campari-and-soda before shelling out for this sorbet.)
My latest hope for coming close to kippered beef, discontinued by Oberto (you guys listening out there?) some decades ago.
Somewhere, somebody likes this stuff…
(Disclaimer—it’s always possible that really good food can change your mind, and you become a devotee of something people had to hold you down and force you to try.) That said, here are a few (no Golds, all Silver finalists) about which I’d need some convincing before trying:
Well, in food more than anything, personal taste is all that really counts. As the Romans said, “De gustibus non est disputandum.” On the other hand, I always had a sneaking admiration for S.J. Perelman’s rejoinder: “De gustibus ain’t what dey used to be.”
Finally, a word for those interested in nominating their favorite foods for next year’s sofi™ Awards: this page of the NASFT web site is the one containing the rules for the contest; as of late July, 2012, it still has information for the 2012 competition, so keep an eye on it for an update for the 2013 nominating window, likely to be in March through May, 2013. Most pages of the Foodspring website also contain links to Twitter and Facebook, for those of you who like to be up-to-the-minute.