There has always been a thin line between natural and organic foods, and ethnic cuisine. Even if the product isn't the healthiest in the store, there's something about foreign tastes and menus that smack of authenticity, and that, we all know, is also a quality that is integral to the natural and organic category.
So, it was with little surprise that we found numerous imports at today's Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, the sort-of "show-before-the-show" held under a white tent in the parking lot of the Marriott hotel adjacent to the Anaheim convention center. Here, dozens of organic manufacturers and importers sample their products and discuss their services.
But German food? Really?
Apparently, that's a Jah! We found two companies offering tasty samples. One is a small company that makes artisan-batch sauerkrauts in flavors like smoked jalapeno and horseradish leek. Farmhouse Culture isn't based in Germany (Santa Cruz, Calif., to tell the truth), but the fermented cabbage these folks were offering wowed us with their attention to traditional fermentation methods.
Then there was the real deal - the German-speaking owner of Black Forest Breads. Yes, there really is a good pumpernickel to be had in Anaheim. The boxed mixes are easy to make, the ingredient label is clean and the finished product makes you want to remember where that beer sampling station was.