Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Veggie Bites

On Saturday, I must have spent about over an hour at the Incredible Veggie Show in London. It was quite an obstacle to get too many of the free food sample stalls, but when I got to them and taste their offerings, it was an experience. I tasted some vegan chocolate, vegan cakes and one that was quite delicious, a strawberry cake with vegan cream. Also some vegan cheese, that didn’t do very much for me, but D was impressed with the vegan cream cheese; and the vegan jelly babies.

It was really difficult to get photographs of the stalls in all there glory, as people were all budging each other to taste every veggie bite on offering. Lesson one: to be at a food event a little bit early in future so can take photographs without too much hassle. I was rather selective of what leaflets I took from the stalls and what I purchased. In fact I had only purchased three things, neither of them edible: a vitamin chart; a Vegan cookbook; and a jute bag to carry these.
Although there were a few stalls promoting growing your own vegetables. I noted that there was very little focus on fresh vegetables and fruit, but more on vegan and vegetarian substitutes, in particular meat substitutes, many trying to imitate and taste like a meat products: whether it was beef jerky, beef slices, chicken pieces or pork medallions. I guess this was targeting those who were thinking of becoming vegetarian or vegan, or even converts who occasionally miss that flavour or texture. I am not one of them.

You could see many of the stall holders were very passionate about what they were promoting. I was particularly impressed by this popular stall Veggie World. It was hosted by a lively group of people. What caught my eye was this plate of prawns. No way, prawns at a Veggie food event.
But on closer inspection these were not prawns. Very convincing and very impressive.
D just had to try them and said it tasted more like prawns than prawns did.

I may have purchased some food from this stall and one or two others, but I was aware that D and me would still be wandering the streets of London and this would not do the food any favours in the bag or in the heat of the sun. So I had decided not to buy perishables, plus after getting back to Ds parents, we still had the long journey to Scotland. Lesson two: Next time think and plan in advance and take a cool bag.

I did not stay around for any of the food talks or cookery demonstrations, although I would have liked to have seen Rose Elliot MBE, Britains most reputable and well respected vegetarian food writer.

The Incredible Veggie Show was more of an Awareness raising event focusing on eating and living responsibly, the environmental impact we as human beings are having on planet earth, animal welfare, cruelty free beauty and ethical fashion products and so on. It was an event where local food groups and organisations, could promote their good and services, as well as a networking opportunity for local community activists and groups. What was really good about this event was the presence of new vegan and vegetarian producers and their edible goodies. The Show did not play host to many stalls by the more well known veggie brands that you find at supermarkets. This event gave new vegetarian and vegan producers a platform to promote their goods and this can only be a good thing.

This time I was able to attend this Veggie food event in London, as I was able to coincide it with the remainder of my annual leave for this financial year, but under normal circumstances I would not have been able to attend such an event in London. It would be good if there was something like this in Scotland.
Even though we had been grazing on morsels most of the day, we stopped by a shop and picked up something sweet to eat: pecan pie and light juice to drink: Cracker drinks company mango and passion fruit. A nice way to end a good and rain free day in London.

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