When you have a large group of Food Bloggers from all over the country gathered together for a big Summit before the World Food Championship competition kicks off, the sponsors of such an event become critical to its success. Two such sponsors that I particularly enjoyed were Hormel and Saucy Mama.
Naturally, I had heard of — and TASTED — Hormel products for many years, but they cranked their presentation up a huge notch with a demonstration of cooking via a blowtorch. Yes, a BLOWTORCH. Only, to be super cool, they called their monster torch the BRO-TORCH. In order to cook several dozen hot dogs at once using a blowtorch that could shoot flames for 25 feet, we went outside (not a bad deal considering we were in Orange Beach) WITH a fire marshall in tow to be sure we stayed safe and scorch-free. We didn’t eat those hot dogs, but I can assure you they were well-done.
Once we were back inside, a medium-sized blowtorch was used to make a delicious Hawaiian-style chili where fresh pineapple and several vegetables were broiled using the torch then mixed with some Hormel chili. The smell was amazing, and everyone wanted a sample. It was DELICIOUS!!
I now have my own much-smaller blowtorch at home. Baked Alaska, Creme Brulee and some yet-to-be-determined concoctions await.
In another activity on the opening day of our Summit, bloggers were asked to create a tailgate-style recipe using one of the products by Saucy Mama. Then, we practiced photographing our creations. Mine was a Tropical Roll-up, featuring sliced ham, toasted macadamia nuts, crushed pineapple and Saucy Mama’s Orange Habanero Sauce. In MY opinion, it was pretty tasty, but thank goodness, we were not being judged on our efforts.
Other important sponsors included Wickles Pickles, Bubba Burger, Challenge Butter, Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company and the happy egg co. My daughter Julie (who raises chickens, along with her 7 children) would have loved the happy egg display and talk. The company boasts of being the first free range egg brand to be Humane Certified, and they give their hens ten times more space than most other free range brands. No wonder the eggs taste so fresh and . . . . HAPPY!
I thoroughly enjoyed the Food Bloggers Summit and appreciate the generosity of all its sponsors.