Thursday, November 4, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN AT THE BOSTON VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVAL '10

It was the first day of the two-day 15th Annual Boston Vegetarian Society' Food Festival. I'd been to Boston before, but so long ago, it hardly mattered, at least as far as finding anything familiar. I had a bit of time to investigate the area around Boston's bus terminal, and discovered I was a few blocks from Chinatown, hence the opening shot of the slide show below. I made my way back to the terminal, found the subway and even executed a change of lines smoothly, so I was starting to feel proud of my navigation of Boston's public transit system but to be honest, it was an easy commute, especially once I exited the T station, (boldly decorated: see below) and found the Roxbury Community College sports center directly across the street.

The lobby of the building was small, so I expected the rest of the building to be the same, but when I entered the hallway I'd been directed to I found hundreds of people on line, waiting for the Festival to begin. As the day progressed, the traffic increased, until when I attempted to leave, five hours later, the exhibitor hall was elbow-to-elbow with visitors. Upstairs from the vendor area was a smaller room of exhibits, but for the most part the upper level was devoted to nonstop food demos, lectures on sustainable agriculture, and vegan/vegetarian issues of all kinds.


One of my favorite vendors was the vegan Akara booth, sellers of The All-Natural African Beancake, which I bought a package of, and had for dinner with friends later that night. Spicy and rib-stickingly good! Here's wishing them broad distribution!

I've yet to make the fauxfishcake I discussed with the folks at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, but I definitely will making them soon. I first hears about this company on the Cooking Channel FoodCrafters show with Aida Mollenkamp. I tasted the delicious Kelp Krunch, which is a great sesame candy that was being sold by Maine Coast, but I left with a bag of dulse flakes for my fauxfishcake project. (If I hadn't been on such a tight budget, I'd have gotten both--that candy was good!)

Not a food issue, but a favorite animal rights issue of mine, was addressed by this greyhound rescue organization, which actually has managed to shut down many dog tracks throughout the country. Go greyhound rescuers!!

Also:

Soy whip and rice whip in pressurized cans, just like ol' ReddiWhip from soyatoo.
The Sproutman, with so many products to help you grow your own at home.
Ocean Approved, another seaweed harvester from Maine, served seaweed coleslaw. (Excellent!)
Samples of Bob's Red Mill Might Tasty GF Hot Cereal were handed out. Haven't made it yet, but as it gets chillier, I see hot cereal in my future.
Crazy Camel Dessert Hummus is food you don't see everywhere: sweet and sweetly spiced chickpea and tahini spread. So frustrating: I bought some but forgot to take it home with me!

Edward & Sons is one of my old favorites. I use their vegan, gluten free worcestershire sauce all the time. Thanks to the Festival I've discovered their Not-Chick'n broth, also vegan and gluten free. Great to have around when you have no time to make stock. Excellent crackers too, especially the Exotic Rice lne.

Big names and little startups, free samples and lots to purchase. Informative lectures and cooking demos with samples, too, discounts on cookbooks,--entry free to one and all. Definitely a Festival to put on your calendar. Check with the Boston Vegetarian Society for dates of their next events.

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