I head into the Winter Fancy Food Show (a trade show in San Francisco that showcases the latest and greatest in food trends) every year with comfortable walking shoes and fingers crossed that my stomach won't be too unhappy with what I'm about to put it through. Over the course of a few hours, I probably have at least a hundred tastes of various snacks, cheeses, drinks, and condiments. It's overwhelming but always fun to see what companies are launching and what surprising new products are on the horizon.
Jerky and meat-based snack products covered the aisles, as Paleo and Whole30 diets are still popular, but plant-based jerky has started popping up too. The previous year's show darling, Bak Kwa, is launching an eggplant jerky in addition to their popular meat-based line, and there were lots of soy-based options that had a chewy texture similar to Asian faux meats. My favorite was Pan's Mushroom Jerky, which is made from shiitake mushroom stems and has a pleasant chewiness and a slightly sweet, meaty flavor. One note: Not all plant-based jerkies are actually vegan, as Pan's Mushroom Jerky contains egg whites.
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