Just how yummy are those barrel-aged bourbon caramels? How about that local rocky road ice cream? Bone broth, anyone?
These foods and others made in California are in the running for the Fresno Food Expo's Consumer Choice Award and New Product Award. The public gets a chance to pick their favorite starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, July 7 and running through 11 p.m., Sunday, July 22.
See which companies and their foods are competing below.
The awards are a little different this year. The show is now open to food exhibitors from around the state, though most of the entries for the awards are from the central San Joaquin Valley.
The public will vote for the Consumer Choice Award and finalists will be submitted to a consumer panel that will choose the winner. The panel has 20 people chosen by Food Expo management to reflect California's demographics, including ethnicity, age, income, education and gender. The winners will be announced during the Expo’s breakfast event Thursday, July 26.
A panel of judges will pick the New Product Award winner. The judges include representatives from Albertsons/Vons/Safeway, Bristol Farms, Erewhon Markets, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, and special guest, the Supermarket Guru, Phil Lempert.
The Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award will also be given to a company that is a pioneer in innovation, a steward in its community, has a risk-taking mindset, extraordinary passion for California’s food industry and demonstrates outstanding leadership.
If you're going to vote on the Consumer Choice Awards, you'll want to sample them, right? We've listed where they're available below, but keep in mind that it sometimes can be a little tricky finding them as these are small companies and some are new products. If you can't find them, call the company that makes them and ask where to find them.
Here are the entries for the Consumer Choice awards that the public can vote on.
Organic peach papaya sweet potato energy drink, 51FIFTY Enterprises. Available: Food 4 Less, Save Mart, Fastrip, Food Source, Golden Gate and some Safeway and Vons stores.
Guacamole salsa, Bobby Salazar's Mexican Foods. Available: Save Mart, Vons.
Organic, whole, small-batch cow's milk with cream top, Burroughs Family Farms. Available: Fresno Lassen's, Village Market in Turlock, Sacramento Co-op, Davis Food Co-op, Berkeley Bowl, Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.
Rocky road ice cream, Producers Dairy. Available: Various supermarkets in California.
Taco Works tortilla chips, Taco Works, Inc. Available: FoodMaxx, 5671 E. Kings Canyon Road, Fresno; Smart & Final, 790 W. Shaw Ave. in Clovis and various Smart & Final locations in the central San Joaquin Valley.
Half Dome California wheat beer, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. Available: Save Mart, Total Wine & More, and various other liquor stores.