Some people might consider the endless aisles at San Franciscos Winter Fancy Food Show a shopper's paradiseespecially if they want their paradise filled with rainforest teas, sea salts from around the globe and colorful silicone-coated gadgets like rolling pins and honey drippers. F&W's Lily Barberio discovered some trends that are worth following (stylishly packaged Australian artisan foods) and some that are not (wasabi-flavored cheese). The following are her favorite finds; look for them at specialty food stores or online.
Palapa Azul Sorbets and Ice Creams
Classic Mexican recipes and top-notch ingredients are make this fun new line from Los Angelesbased Palapa Azul so good. Ice cream flavors include cinnamon-laced Mexican chocolate and creamy sweet corn; sorbets range from pineapple to hibiscus flower ($4 for 1 pint at Whole Food Markets).Tiny Trapeze Simply Vanilla Marshmallow Creme
Packed in whimsical blue-and-white tubs from Boston-based Tiny Trapeze, this sweet fluffy cream is excellent when dolloped on hot cocoa, mixed into fudge or spread on peanut butter sandwiches for updated Fluffernutters ($5 for 7 oz; 800-844-8469 or tinytrapeze.com). Peter Howard Selection
Inspired by his country's fascination with barbecues and South Asian flavors, popular Australian chef Peter Howard developed a great line of relishes and sauces like wickedly hot red curry and a supertangy hickory barbecue relish ($6 for 8 oz at Whole Foods Markets).Big Island Cookies
Excellent local ingredients like macadamia nuts are key in these outrageously buttery, crisp shortbreads from Hilo, Hawaiibased Big Island Candies. The new mocha shortbreads include another island staple, Kona coffee ($16 for 20 oz; 800-935-5510 or bigislandcandies.com).