Everyone wants to buy good food and feed it to their families; the challenge is figuring out what’s what when you’re in the crowded supermarket aisle. The Good Food Awards, happening on Jan. 18 and 19 in San Francisco, are designed to make it easier for you to find tasty and sustainable handcrafted foods being made in the U.S.
“It’s hard to … work out what is truly good food when Domino’s is talking about their artisan pizza,” says Sarah Weiner, the Bay Area food activist who established the awards. “The concept behind it is let’s find out who these people are and create a seal that people can really trust that means it’s going to taste great, and there’s really passion and values behind it.”
In its third year, the Good Food Awards recognize diverse foods, from salami to pickles and coffee to chocolate, that were made with sustainable ingredients and techniques. Foodies with discerning palates like chef Paul Bertolli (Olivetto Restaurant and Fra’ Mani Foods), Nell Newman (Newman’s Own Organics) and John Scharffenberger (Scharffenberger Chocolate co-founder) spent the better part of a day tasting and rating hundreds of entries to choose the winners.
Gourmet food lovers can sample and purchase the winning products at the Good Food Awards Marketplace on Jan. 19 at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Shop from 8 to 9 a.m. with a $15 early access pass; from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the suggested donation for admission is $5. While the winners are kept secret until Friday’s awards ceremony, these are the kinds of trend-setting foods you’ll find at the market:
Bean-to-bar chocolate: Sourcing cacao beans and then making them into chocolate is catching on nationally. Askinosie Chocolate from Springfield, Mo., is turning out dark chocolate and fleur de sel bars while Rogue Chocolatier from Three Rivers, Mass., starts with beans from Rio Caribe and Hispaniola for single-origin bars.
Goat products: The horned animal inspired everything from goat salami from Underground Meats in Madison, Wis., to salted bourbon goat milk caramel sauce from Fat Toad Farm in Vermont and goat cheddar by Basalt, Colo.’s Avalanche Cheese Company.
Creative pickles: Pickles don’t have to be made with cucumbers. Tarragon cherries are a standout from Coldwater Canyon Provisions in North Hollywood, while Sour Puss Pickles in Brooklyn crafts a plum drinking vinegar.
Super-local spirits: More distillers are sourcing grain to make spirits such as Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey from New York and Agua Libre California Agricole Rum by St. George Spirits based in Alameda, Calif.
For more information on the Good Food Awards and Marketplace, click here.
Photos Courtesy of Scott Owen, Gregory Goodman and Vicky