Spent Saturday out by the airport for the annual Good Food Festival. Early afternoon was a wise choice, as I never had to wait long for samples, unless the folks behind the booth were prepping a fresh batch. I spent two-and-a-half hours making the rounds, until I was too stuffed to try any more juices, curries or ice creams.
As with any show, there were hits and misses.
Most of the items at the Irie booth (Exclussif Spices). I dropped most of my cash here, walking away with a bottle of coconut curry sauce, a jar of pineapple jam and two free packs of garlic pepper & herbs seasonings.
Lots of pepper jellies this year, all tasty. Highest thumbs-up to Simply Awesome Red Pepper Wine Jelly.
From agricultural producers, the beef farmer's BBQ sliced beef was good, as was the Purple Sweeties sweet potato soup. Lots of egg products - I was surprised how good the microwavable Omelette Express was, with no off-taste or weird green colour.
Diabetic-friendly banana bread made with xylitol had no hint of artificial taste. The tablet samples would be a good substitute for the ting-a-lings dumped into pillowcases and buckets at Halloween.
Smoothies made from Pete's Tofu were refreshing again this year. Their caramel tofu was undetectable when blended into a Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix.
Most Thai or Indian-based products made my tummy happy, though it was hard to single out any in particular.
Overall, most items from the giant conglomerates were disappointing or looked too awful to try - more proof that people should buy products from mom n' pop vendors and distributors. I resisted trying anything at the Schneider's booth - they were making a Lunchable-type pizza (Smartlunch) that looked anything but appetizing. Swanson express microwave pastas made me crave a Stouffer's lasagne.
Other duds: Chris and Tal's Better Burger was a beef-soy hybrid that combined the worst of both worlds: the mushy texture of a bad veggie burger with the blandness of a generic frozen hamburger. An Indonesian laksa was inedible, which may have been due to a small spoonful of shrimp paste I added. Yoso Soy Yogurt reminded me of an old Simpsons joke: "soy pops - now with gag suppressant" (though their soy sundried tomato spread and soy fruit smoothies were fine).