In case you didn't have a chance to check out the nearly 90 vendors at the Artisanal LA spring 2011 show (or even if you did and just want to revel in some food photography) here's a photo gallery of the show. From chocolate and chai to salumi and sexy aprons, there was plenty to ogle — and taste. Our top 5 picks after the jump.
We admit it: We have a sweet tooth the size of Texas, so this list is seriously dessert-centric.
5. Le Bon Garcon, caramels: Soft like butter and tender as Fitzgerald's night, Justin Chao's confections are bound to make very bad boys (and girls) out of all who eat them.
4. Creme Caramel LA, Bacon bread pudding: Finally, a dessert that successfully leverages the combo of smoky, savory bacon and sweet caramel. Bread pudding that's dense yet fluffy? It can be done.
3. Shortnin' Bread, brownies: We swear by Katharine Hepburn's brownie recipe (especially when combined with the Paula Deen trick of layering an industrial-size Hershey's bar in the middle), but these delicious squares, halfway between brownie and fudge, are easily their equal. Their short bread cookies, especially the dark chocolate ones sprinkled with sea salt, are also excellent.
2. Immaculate Confections, liquor cake: Eat up, teetotalers. Even Carrie Nation would be tempted by the Grand Marnier cake with orange glaze.
1. Fra' Mani Salumi, Fra Plani Picante: We tried several of former Chez Panisse chef Paul Bertolli's salamis at the Fancifull Fine Foods booth, but our hands-down favorite was the Fra Plani Picante.
Bonus: Laura Ann's Jams blueberry basil jam: The combo doesn't sound all that convincing but Laura Ann Masura not only makes it work, she makes it unbeatable.
What was your favorite foodstuff at Artisanal LA?