Friday, September 22, 2017

Will's Fresh Foods

Will's Fresh Foods is a packaged picnic salad distributor from the Bay Area (San Leandro).  They make all the basics: pasta salads, potato salads, slaws, tuna/chicken/egg salad, etc.  And for each category, the range is shockingly large.  18 pasta salads alone, 55 salads total.  The products are sold through many big distributors in the area, including Costco, and all the standard grocery stores (Safeway, Albertson's, Lucky, Raley's, etc), so if you are a Bay Area resident, you have probably seen their goods.

Will's makes, I'm not joking, 17 different potato salads.  17!  The range starts out with the usual suspects: diced potato salad, with or without egg.  German (non-mayo) style potato salad, with or without bacon.  Red bliss, with or without egg, with or without mayo.   Then comes "Homestyle" potato salad and "Old Fashion" potato salad (yeah, what is the difference? Homestyle has scallions, eggs, and mayo.  Old Fashion has parsley, sweet onions, and mayo.  Then what is the regular diced one?  It has bell peppers, celery, onions, and mayo).  Then there is ... "Natural" with celery, eggs, relish, and mayo, which sounds like the most normal one to me.  Things get more fun with Southern Creole (yams, bacon, and bbq sauce?!) and Roasted Poblano (poblano and jalapeƱo in this one).

Then there is San Francisco style.  Wait, what?  We have our own style of potato salad now?  It is their signature salad, and top seller, available in salad kit form too.  The packaged version is what I tried.

And before you wonder why on earth I'm reviewing deli salads, let me remind you, I, uh, tend to love these things.  I really love deli salads, particularly macaroni, potato, and slaw, particular when loaded with mayo (like the shockingly good ones from Fountain Cafe's salad bar, or the herbaceous, crunchy Ensalada De Papas from Playa Azul ) or the lackluster options (like the not flavorful enough versions from The Sandwich Spot, Deli &, and Muracci's, the later of which also had corn and broccoli in the potato salad, or mushy ones like A.G. Ferrari, or just plain unmemorable like Wise Sons).  Delica's wasabi potato salad, as crazy as it sounds with snap peas and romaine hearts in it, remains a favorite.  The potato salad from the Qantas business lounge at LAX was the highlight of all my lounge visits in LA, and the Qantas business lounge in Sydney also had some salad hits.

I like deli salads, what can I say?
San Francisco Potato Salad.
"Thin slices of tenderly cooked potatoes blended with rich, creamy whole egg mayonnaise, onions and pickles. A 65 year traditional favorite!"

So, "San Francisco" potato salad is classic mayo potato salad, with onions and pickles.  What makes that ... San Francisco exactly?  I have no idea.

I eagerly scooped up a big plate full, and dug in.  The potatoes were mushier than I like.  It was very creamy, which was good, but I just didn't like the seasoning.  I'm not sure why.  I'm all for pickles and onions, but there was something about this that I just really, really didn't like.

So, 1 point for creamy, -1 point for kinda mushy, and -many points for flavor.  This was not for me.

I realize now that years ago, I had potato salad from Bayside Market, and it was called San Francisco Potato Salad.  It looks just like this, and, well, my review is almost a direct match.  Pretty sure I figured out where they source their salads from!
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