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What we did last summer

Oooh-whee that was a packed summer. But first an announcement:

We have two tofu misozuke  events coming up:

Saturday Oct. 20th 11am-3pm  : Tofu misozuke tasting at Rainbow Grocery1745 Folsom Street (@ 13th Street), San Francisco CA, 94103.

Saturday Oct. 27th 11am-2pm : Tofu misozuke tasting at New Leaf Evergreen5667 Silver Creek Valley Rd, San Jose, CA 95138

If you’re curious about tofu misozuke and still haven’t had a taste for yourself, please drop by. We also sample out tofu misozuke most every Sunday at the Palo Alto Farmers’ Market on California Avenue.

Anyway, onto summer…

It started out with a booth and an educational presentation at the 2012 Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival. A lot of people stop by for their first taste of tofu misozuke on a lovely day in Japantown Peace Plaza. There was music and dances and lots of other foods besides. A good time all around. The educational panel was fun as well, a lot of guests have not heard of tofu misozuke and were interested to know more about the history and science of it. I’ll have the presentation up as a blog post soon.

Later that month, we went to the Fancy Food Show in Washington DC. Counting all the floors together, it was something like 9 city blocks’ worth of specialty food from all around the world. Amazing! Below is part of the convention center floor:

Here’s a fun fact: The Rau Om booth in the New Brands on the Shelf Pavillion was mere feet away from where my research poster was when I attended a conference in DC a few years back.

Rau Om’s booth at the Fancy Food Show

  • We met journalists and buyers and chefs and food professionals of all sorts. We never knew something like this existed before, and being a part of it was so much fun and so much food! As food lovers too, the Fancy Food Show was one of those peel-the-curtain back moments that reveal all the hard work and infrastructure that go into getting food onto the market shelves and dining table.

Being at the New Brands pavilion was a little bit like being at the kids table. Everyone always tried to sneak away from their booth to see what the established brands are doing. A lot of people curious about what’s new and what’s a good story also stopped by to watch our antics.

We came away from the Fancy Food Show with quite a bit of press. First a number of journalists listed us as part of their highlights of the Fancy Food Show, even their favorite product of the show in some cases:

A number of ‘zines also wrote a whole article about us after the show:

The result of all this press was a lot of orders for tofu misozuke coming from all over the country. The Tasting Table article in particular was a doozy. In addition to the hundreds of orders that came in just the first week the article went up, but all our local stores had to put in restock request as well. We had to break up and fulfill the mailorders over several different weeks. Still, this was from just one trip to the post office:

Whew – so here we are now in early fall. The long tail of this past summer’s finally tapered off – just in time for our first anniversary coming up, and the busy party trays and gift season!


SF Street Food Festival voting & a give-away

We are so excited. Just as we finalized our nem chua packaging, we found out about the SF Street Food Festival. The timing cannot get any better: Nem Chua is the quintessential Vietnamese street food.

3 different packs of nem

We’re especially proud of our all natural Nem Chua. Do you know anyone who makes Nem Chua without the powder? We don’t, instead we know plenty of people who have given up delicious, addictive Nem because of the opaque chemical curing process. It took a lot of research and experimentation to retrieve the traditional way of making Nem, with only ground beef, pork skin, sugar, salt, and spices. We’d really love to be able to share Nem Chua with Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike at this festival.

But we need your help! We can only participate in the festival if we are in the top 4 among interested small businesses. Please go to and vote for Rau Om (4th entry from the top). To vote: you need to log in with your Facebook account by clicking on the link at the top of the page before the vote button becomes clickable.

Please help us by getting your friends to vote as well (you don’t have to be in SF to vote). Please vote early! We only have about 7 days to get into the top 4. Decision will be announced on July 29th.

Please vote and then leave a comment in this post. We’ll select a winner through a random drawing for a complimentary pack of nem if we get selected to join the street food festival :)

Rau Om_Nem Chua

Thank you so much and hope we will be able to post about our experience at the Street Food Festival.


Delicious Vietnam #14: Call for entries

We are excited to host the next installment of Delicious Vietnam, a monthly web roundup celebrating Vietnamese cuisine. Entries could be anything related to Vietnamese food: recipes, restaurant reviews, essays, etc. If you don’t have a blog, we can host your entries.

We can’t wait to read all the contributions this month!

Click on the logo to see recaps from past events. A special thank to Jing at My Fusion Kitchen for a lovely recap of Delicious Vietnam #13!

Participation in Delicious Vietnam #14 (June 2011)