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Three Products You Won't Want To Miss At The Fresno Food Expo

Fresno Food Expo
Left to Right: Traina Foods Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup, Tioga-Sequoia "Cucumbier", Rosa Brothers Lactose Free Chocolate Milk

The fifth annual Fresno Food Expo is just weeks away and companies Valley wide are excited to showcase new products. Exhibitors from across the region revealed new items Wednesday evening for a taste, tally and tweet event at the Saroyan Theater in Downtown Fresno.

Valley Public Radio's Ezra David Romero went to the event and found three products that he says would be a shame to miss at the Fresno Food Expo July 22 and 23 in Downtown Fresno. 

Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup - Traina Foods

Credit Ezra David Romero
Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

This sauce is thick like tomato paste, sweet like sun dried tomatoes and all of sudden spicy like Sriracha.

The Patterson based company Traina Foods launched a classic sun dried tomato ketchup in 2013 and released the spicier version this year. 

"These ketchups are the first of their kind," says MaryBeth Brandabur the director of sales retail division for Traina Foods. 

The sun dried tomatoes in the ketchup are grown and processed in Stanislaus County and in other Valley places like Fresno County.

"We use our classic sun dried tomato ketchup as a base with Sriracha sauce," Brandabur says. "It's the perfect balance of hot and sweet. Each bottle has the equivalent of four pounds of tomatoes."

Traina Foods adds Sriracha brand sauce to the ketchup to give it a spicy kick. The sauce is great as dipping sauce for fries, on eggs or even as a marinade for grilled fish. It can be purchased at Sam's Clubs across the state or online

Lactose Free Chocolate Milk - Rosa Brothers Milk Company

Credit Ezra David Romero
Lactose Free Chocolate Milk by Rosa Brothers Milk Company

This super creamy lactose free glass bottle chocolate milk is a godsend to lactose intolerant chocolate milk lovers like me.

"We're the only lactose free milk that's available in a glass bottle," says Rosa Brothers Milk Company Sales and Marketing Director Nichole Schott.

Rosa Brothers Milk Company has bottled milk in Hanford since 2012, but the Tulare dairy where the milk comes from has been in operation for over 60 years. 

"We're the only lactose free milk that's available in a glass bottle." - Nichole Schott

"It pretty much tastes like our regular chocolate milk," says Schott. "We had a lot people on social media saying we love your milk, but one of us is lactose. Do you think you'll ever make a lactose free product? So we put together a focus group of some our customers saying those kinds of things and we realized there was enough demand. So we decided we'd make it."

To make the lactose free milk Rosa brothers adds in the lactase enzyme to make the milk easily digestible.

The glass bottles are supposed to keep milk colder, keep the natural flavor of milk and are refillable. Rosa Brothers milk can be found across Central California in supermarkets like Save Mart and Vons. Lactose free whole milk is also available. For a complete list of where to buy Rosa Brothers milk click here.

My only question is will Rosa Brothers make ice cream out of this lactose free ice cream as well? 

"Cucumbier" - Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.

This beer is ready for summer. Float days on the river, BBQ's, beach days or hiking in the Sierra Nevada.

"It has the light refreshing taste of a pilsner, but the cucumber just rolls off your tongue," says Michael Cruz, president of Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company.

Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
Cucumbier, Tioga-Sequoias Brewing Company

A year ago Cruz says his team of brew masters took the phrase "Cool as Cucumber" to the next level in a beer infused with Central Valley Cucumbers. The infusion of hand peeled cucumbers into a traditional pilsner is called a "Cucumbier." 

"This is probably one of the most buzzed about pilot beers that we've ever done," says Cruz.  "We decided we have to do this in a big way for the summer. So we went and bought a $1,500 juicer and we found a local producer of local organic cucumbers - First Quality Produce - who packs cucumbers from around the Valley."

Tioga-Sequoia uses Bohemian malts and Saaz hops to create this veggie infusion. The specialty release beer has an alcohol content of  4.9 percent.

"Cucumbier is infused with 700 pounds of cucumbers," says Cruz. "We infused it during pre-firmentation and you get all the nuances of cucumber, but with the taste of beer and it's delicious."

"Cucumbier" can be purchased at the Tioga-Sequoia Beer Garden or at a Central California restaurants like Sequoia Brewing Company in Fresno's Tower District. 

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.