(UPDATED 10/20/17) Food bloggers from all across the country attended the 2017 International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) here in Sacramento. The IFBC took place at the Sacramento Convention Center from September 29-October 1. Attending a conference of this type was a new experience for me. It was both instructive and interesting, and I had the chance to meet some really nice people.
See related post: Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento
Several pre- and post-conference excursions were also options for attendees. See related post: Mootral – IFBC Pre-Conference Excursion
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The Friday Keynote Speaker was Nick “Nicky Bobby” Papadopoulos of CropMobster. He was a very inspiring speaker – and it was my first introduction to CropMobster! I am not quite sure why I was not aware of CropMobster, Sacramento previously – I have always been interested in agriculture and I would have thought I would have run across it before.
CropMobster provides an accessible networking and impact platform that helps crowd source solutions to economic, environmental and social challenges. Guided by the Sacramento Region Food System Action Plan, the focus is to prevent waste, boost the local food economy, support environmental health and provide support to our local hunger relief organizations.
Both days of the IFBC featured breakout sessions on a variety of topics. More than once I was faced with the difficult decision of choosing one of the two sessions to attend.
On Friday attendees enjoyed a picnic lunch in Capitol Park – compliments of Nugget Market. Nugget Market is a family-owned supermarket within the greater Sacramento metropolitan area. Nugget Market is headquartered in nearby Woodland, California.
A choice of sandwiches, salads, chips and cookies ensured that we could all make it through the afternoon sessions.
(UPDATED 10/20/17) The Nugget Market was voted #1 in the Sacramento Magazine 2017 Best of Sacramento survey in the Grocery Store category.
On both days there were also “discovery” sessions. These sessions provided an in-depth encounter with a drink or food product.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
I particularly enjoyed attending the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena discovery session on Friday.
Federico Desimonti gave a most interesting presentation on the history of the original Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Italy, and generally explained how Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is made.
He had a delightful Italian accent and spoke English very well. On occasion he double-checked with the audience to make sure he was using the right word – which increased audience involvement.
We also learned about the European Union certification system for quality food production. “Real” Balsamic Vinegar of Modena sports a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) logo.
We had the opportunity to taste the difference between “young” and “aged” Balsamic Vinegar of Modena while nibbling on hard, aged cheese. I was delighted to receive a complimentary 8.5 oz. bottle of “aged” (generic) Balsamic Vinegar of Modena to take home. Note: The vinegar was generic as Federico was there representing an “association” of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena producers.
When I returned home the first thing I did was to check and confirm that the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena “perfect for salad” in my kitchen cabinet sported the PGI seal. It did.
Return to the Conference
At the end of the day Friday attendees had the opportunity to mingle and mix with a glass of wine while tasting “bites” from some of Sacramento’s best restaurants and stop and visit with conference sponsors. I stopped by the stations of several favorite restaurants – including The Waterboy. Note to self – check out their newish patio while the weather is still nice.
Attendees also had the opportunity to help themselves to a wide array of samples and gifts (aka swag).
On Saturday we were on our own for lunch, and again the morning and afternoon were filled with both breakout sessions and discovery sessions. During one of the breaks between sessions on Saturday I was chatting with the person sitting next to me who, after learning Sacramento was my hometown, told me how lucky I am to live here – and I had to agree.
At the conference close the location of the next International Food Bloggers Conference was announced – New Orleans! I am going to give some serious thought to attending the 2018 IFBC next August.
Doesn’t several hundred food bloggers getting together in New Orleans sound like lots of fun?
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