A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Hooked! My First Food Expo...

Kelley and I had the opportunity to go to the 2012 Southwest Food Service Expo here in Dallas, TX on Sunday.  It's a 2 day event with today, Monday, being the last day.  Sadly, I have to face reality and go back to the accounting world in an office.  Good job, great people, not my passion.

Yellow bags in hand and read for some Expo!
Although I'm not in the food service business, being a blogger, and therefore possible product promoter, I had my place at the event.  I didn't know what to expect, but most food businesses took an interest when I told them what I do.  Of course, the ones with the lack of healthy food choices didn't seem too willing to converse, but the feeling was mutual.
Have you seen black garlic? The taste is subtle with strong notes of balsamic and its texture is silky with a little chewiness.  I like it alone, but this could be smeared on a giant portabello or steak.

Oh wow! The event was more than I imagined.  Upon entering there was a giant section to try various beers from small, local, and far away breweries all distributed by Ben E. Keith.  I was shocked to see such a vast array of quality brews that they distribute; they were all so good! I even quoted Will Ferrell from "Old School" where he says "Once it hits your lips, it's so good....", classic.
Banana Bread Beer; nuff said.  It smelled strong of banana bread in the oven and tasted great too.  This would be perfect for beer bread....hmmmm

Since it wasn't a health food expo, I was selective in the samples I tried.  I even just walked away from one booth when, after asking several times what ingredients were in his product, he just kept saying "It's gluten-free." or "It's all natural."  Really? Please people; if you're going to sell something, give me more details!!!
After a few rounds of beer sampling....I was no better, just the lucky one behind the camera!

And geez, I know many people need to avoid gluten at all costs, but what's with so many businesses making it a point to tell everyone their product is gluten-free?  I'm surprised bottled water doesn't have a giant label proclaiming that it's "Gluten-free."  No offense, but I am quite sure many people choose gluten-free foods thinking that it's just something healthier.  Please, if you're going to make drastic food choices or changes in your diet, know the reasons why.  Because the mainstream media says it's good, is not a real reason.
I volunteered to help the barista make latte art; he basically held my hand and did the whole thing.  Still fun though!

"My" latte art....not as good as most since I was stubborn and didn't move my arm the right way.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, there were some very healthy and knowledgeable people with great products too.  One business I enjoyed was Slim Ritas, who makes margaritas and a few other mixes sweetened with stevia. I don't drink often, but haven't had a margarita in years since most mixes are loaded with sugar.  The taste was clean with refreshing lime and a hint of sweetness that doesn't coat your mouth like sugary drinks. This is  perfect for the summer heat.

The delightful lady behind the stevia margarita mix wanted to have me try some to write about.  So, look out for my review along with a recipe or two using the mix.  I'd like to make margarita muffins, or maybe put a little in a mango-lime salsa.  Do you have any ideas of what else a stevia margarita mix would be good in?

Zilks Foods, the business that makes top notch hummus, salsa, pesto, and salsa, was there with several goodies. It was a delight to meet some of their kind representatives, and to try more food! They make a Tzatziki with Greek yogurt that I could eat with a spoon.....and I did!  You really can't go wrong with Greek yogurt, cucumber, and dill for a refreshing , low-fat dip, spread, or marinade.

There's plenty to talk about, but I must cut it short today.  I will have pictures of the event throughout the week and hopefully have a few sample and review postings lined up.  I am grateful Kelley came along with me; we had a great time, but I think I stayed longer than she cared for.  Sorry, Kelley, I have no good excuses, just can't get away from food!

Lychee and Rambutan basket....with I could've brought them home!
Q: Have you ever been to a food expo?  Is it your line of work or were you just lucky enough to have the chance like me?

I hope to go to another one next time something is around, these things are fun!


  1. Hey there! Just to let you know that I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award! Really enjoy reading your blog and feel this is truly deserved!

    1. Hi Ellie! This is awesome, I'm very excited and honored to be nominated. I always see other awards on people's blogs, and never expect I would have something. This makes my day, thank you and I will be sure to pay it forward on my next post.

      By the way, your blog is very interesting and fun to follow as well. I love the message you have to get across!

  2. you and kelly are so cute and you look like you had a great time! i've never been to a food expo but i'm a sucker for anything new and free samples ... it's probably why i love costco so much! :)

    1. Thank you! Kelley will be glad to hear, she thinks she looks crazy in the pic. I told her that's how you're supposed to look after drinking.....then corrected to say "No you don't, you're beautiful!" Close call!

      I hear you on the free samples...good thing I don't have a CostCo membership or I'd be eating things I usually don't allow in the house. Have a great Monday....almost out of work!!

  3. omg, this looks amazing!!! always wanted to go to a food expo. I know over here on the east coast we have the natural foods expo- still DYING to go. The free samples are obviously a huge plus! The thing that caught my eye were those slim ritas. I love Bethenny Frankel's line, so I'm always looking for choices similar.

    1. I was pretty pumped to go and it was better than I imagined. Having said that, I can only imagine a natural foods expo would be worlds better since not everything was all the healthy at this one.

      The Skinny Girl line from Frankel has become a huge hit from what I've seen, but I just hate not being able to see the ingredients. I guess I know there's still some form of sugar from the agave used.

      Either way, I actually spoke with the maker of Slim Ritas and she is going to send me a few samples in a couple weeks for me to review. I'm hope to use the mixes in a cooking recipe too...margarita muffins sound good?