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S.F. Winter Fancy Food Show now in its 37th year

Other people may count down the days to Christmas but I cross them off for San Francisco’s annual Winter Fancy Food Show, January 19-21, 2014. Now in its 37th year, this is the West Coast's largest specialty food& beverage trade show. To give you a sense of how big it is, not only does it take over both sides of the Moscone Convention Center, but there is a mind-boggling 260,000 innovative gourmet food products, such as confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, and organic just begging to be sampled.

I’m going into serious training for this, similar to Rocky gearing up for his next fight, because working your way through 1,300 exhibitors representing the trendiest, and hopefully tastiest gourmet foods and beverages from over 35 countries is not for the faint-hearted (or those with delicate tummys).

Think of this as the Olympics of the food industry…except here they are called “The Sofi (specialty outstanding food innovation) Awards which honor the best of the best in specialty foods and beverages.

Last year, some of the red-carpet winners included a Hot Parmesan & Artichoke Dip Mix, Goat Cheese Cheesecake , Chocolate Tiffin with Biscuits, Roasted Almonds & Cherries, We Rub You - Spicy Korean BBQ Marinade among others.

But it’s all worth it as you mine the aisles looking for the next Cronut. Stay tuned for my report on some of the best new food finds.