Every year the Tastings and Testings team attends the Fancy Food Show, where producers from all over the country (and the world) showcase the latest and greatest in cheese, snacks, beverages, and more. This year, fellow editors Kate Shannon, Miye Bromberg, and I were tasked with the very hard job of eating our way through 1,400 booths at the winter show in San Francisco. By the end of the day, most of the samples are a blur, but a few bites stand out. Here are our six favorites from the 2018 show.

1. Yuzu Soda by Kimino

A fresh, tart, almost floral soda made from yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit hybrid that resembles a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. Perfectly balanced, with just enough sweetness to take the edge off its slight bitterness. —Miye Bromberg

2. Humming Bark from Carrigbyrne Farmhouse

This washed-rind semi-soft cheese by Carrigbyrne, an Irish producer, had funky, piney notes due to the use of milk from grass-fed cows and aging in spruce bark. It reminds me quite a bit of Winnimere, a similar washed-rind, spruce-aged Jasper Hill cheese. —Miye Bromberg

3. Cheese from Columbia Cheese

We had a number of great cheeses from the folks at Columbia Cheese, an importer. One standout was Salers, a firm French cheese made from the milk of “very difficult” cows. It starts mild but builds to a very ripe, animal-y finish—almost bitter. It's barnyard-y, vegetal, and complex: The cows kick back! Another favorite was Wrångebäck, an organic raw cow’s milk cheese from Sweden: tangy, mildly sweet; savory, wild, oniony; firm but pretty creamy. And finally, we loved Chällerhocker, a Swiss cow's milk cheese—dense, rich, and nutty, with caramel-like notes. —Miye Bromberg

4. Pots de crème from Petit Pot

Pots de crème is pudding’s more luxurious French cousin; it’s rich and creamy, with a slightly looser texture that makes the pudding almost sippable. These little custards from Petit Pot come in six different flavors and are packed in the cutest glass jars. My favorite was a toss up between the salted caramel pots de crème and the riz au lait (rice pudding). The salted caramel was sweet and spoonable, with just the right amount of salty tang, while the rice pudding was thick and milky, with a hint of sweetness. —Lauren Savoie

5. Bone Broth from Nona Lim

Bone broths—a name for meaty, gelatin-rich broth that appeals to the paleo crowd—have been big for years. Now they’re getting good. We saw creative flavors far beyond the standard chicken or beef. This year’s standout was the Thai Curry & Lime Bone Broth from California brand Nona Lim. It’s vibrant and rich with the flavors of coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger. It would make quick work of soup, and we also liked sipping it straight. —Kate Shannon

6. Condiments from Le Bon Magot

Want to elevate your cheese board or add serious punch to roasted meats or desserts? Look for the line of condiments from Le Bon Magot (French for “the hidden treasure”). They combine exceptional ingredients in creative ways. My favorite was the Lemon-Sultana Marmalada with Caraway and Saffron. The saffron lends an earthy flavor and gives the spread a lovely golden color. The base of lemon and sultana (a type of seedless grape) hit the perfect balance of fruity and sweet. I could eat this straight from the jar, but I recommend serving it alongside creamy goat cheese or a firm sheep’s milk gouda. —Kate Shannon

Photography by Forest Kelley.

Do you have a question for the Tastings and Testings team? Is there a new food you can't get enough of? Let us know on Twitter @testkitchen with #CooksIllustrated.

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