Eat Free or Diet

400.jpgI consider myself to be a man of vision, one who sets long-term goals and then acts upon them. So before Ben’s Biz Blog launched on October 11, 2007, I vowed to myself that post #400 would be dedicated to a culinary review of the 2009 Baseball Trade Show in Indianapolis.

Today we arrive at post #400, and the topic is indeed what I imagined it would be during those halcyon days of October 2007. I am proud of my prescience, but more importantly I am grateful to everyone who reads this blog on a regular basis. Working together, we will be able to insure that Ben’s Biz remains the least-commented upon blog in the history of the internet.

And now, on with the show! The Trade Show, that is. In search of a free meal, let us traverse these labyrinthian hallways with a fire in our bellies and a song in our hearts:

tsfu.JPG

Let’s face it: the Baseball Winter Meetings are a culinary wasteland, as attendees are forced to subsist on severely underwhelming convention center fare. But an oft-overlooked alternative exists, and that is to take advantage of vendor largess at the Trade Show. Those in the food and beverage industry who are plying their wares are only too happy to share their products with you, the free-loading consumer.

Indy -- Food -- Ben Drinking.JPG
(six ounce Blue Moon courtesy of MillerCoors, booth 335)

While not in the food biz, construction firm Barton and Malow (booth 411) are always at the ready with a bag of hot buttered popcorn.

Indy -- Food -- Popcorn.JPG 
But more varied fare could be attained at Booth 365, where the makers of the Quik N’ Crispy Greaseless Fryer were offering both chicken fingers and dessert cakes. I will attest to the fact that both items were indeed greaseless, while only one featured powdered sugar. Try to guess which one!

Indy -- Food -- Greasless Fryer.JPG

Connoisseurs of South of the Border-style meat products would have done well to patronize booth 729, as D’Rouca Foods were offering samples of their Chorizo Dogs.

Indy -- Food -- MexiDog.JPG 
Unfortunately, the above photos were for “display” only. If D’Rouca had been handing out full Mexican platters (as opposed to delectable chorizo chunks) then I would have declared them to be the greatest company in the history of American business.

Instead, that honor will have to go to Red Hot Chicago, who offered up Windy City-style dogs with all the fixins. Man alive were these things good, to the extent that they prompted me to actually write “man alive.”

Indy -- Food -- Chicago Dog.JPG
(the grand champion offerings to be had at Booth 871)
   
Dessert was an intriguing proposition, as it offered a choice between two near-identical products: Dippin Dots (booth 454) and IttiBitz (757). The former, cookie dough flavored:

Indy -- Food -- Trade Show Dippin Dots.JPG
  

The latter, in a cotton candy kind of mood:

Indy --Food -- Ittt Bitz.JPG

Honestly, I cannot tell the difference between these two products. Dippin Dots, which has been called “the ice cream of the future” for so long that the future has lapsed into a wispy, cloud-strewn memory, has a bigger reputation in the alternate reality dessert industry. IttiBitz, on the other hand, I had never heard of. When I typed the brand name into Wikipedia I was eventually directed to an informative overview of the life and career of computer pioneer George Stibitz.

Did you know that Stibitz was “known for his 1930s and 1940s work on the realization of Boolean logic digital circuits using electromechanical relays as the switching element”?

And here I thought we were talking about dessert. Guess I lost focus, and when that happens, there is only one place to turn: Booth 640. For it is there that the Jelly Belly Candy Company was jovially distributing packets of “Sports Beans.”

Indy -- Trade Show -- Sports Beans.JPG

The secret ingredient is tapioca syrup, and by “secret” I mean listed prominently on the back of the package as one of the product’s primary ingredients.

So, there you have it: beer, popcorn, chicken fingers,
cake, chorizo, hot dog, jelly beans, and TWO types of dystopian future ice cream, all gratis. If you enjoyed this write-up, then please join me on December 14, 2010 for Ben’s Biz Blog post #642. The topic will be the culinary offerings to be found at the 2010 Baseball Trade Show in Orlando, FL. Until then, contact me at:

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

And thanks for reading!

1 Comment

I don’t want this to be the least commented on blog. :)

But it is difficult when signing in is such a pain.

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