Yes, the ‘Oscars of Artisanal Foods’ Also Exist

Photo: Courtesy NASFT

Here are the sofi Awards, the “Oscars of artisanal foods,” given each year to emerging food producers at the trade-only Summer Fancy Food Show, where an approximate 150,000 products are peddled and grown men dress in zippered banana costumes. Products competing for top honors must taste good, of course, but are also judged for packaging and that elusive measure of “merchandisability.” In these self-congratulatory convention halls, writes David Sax, one might expect rote ceremony, but that’s not the case: At the sofis, tonic water vies against gluten-free rugelach and sriracha goes up against capicola. At the end of the day, food heroes are minted and it’s just like The Hunger Games, but with less archery and poison berries (hopefully). A vendor even filched a trophy to display at his booth and sell more pesto — it was recovered the next day, and presumably no one was hurt. [Businessweek]