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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Veg Fest 2012

This morning I arrived at the Vegetarian Food Fest shortly after 10am, when doors opened. I was greeted by an incredibly long line. Not to worry I figured since I'd purchased a VIP pass through Living Social. I walked to the entrance where I was informed that the VIP line was indeed the one I had just bypassed. Begrudgingly I shuffled to the back of the line. More like VUP. Very Unimportant Person. Regular admission was $5 and I paid $15. What was I supposed to expect for an extra 10 bucks?

A little before 11am I finally made it into Veg Fest Land. The first booth was Whole Foods where I picked up a small reusable bag and two pouches of Pop Chips. Perfect snack for my four-year-old who I've cut back on his gluten intake.

I missed the first speaker but I was able to catch Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw. She spoke about the gastro issues that subsequently lead her to a vegan diet. While her blog features the word raw she's not your typical raw foodie. She abdicates a mix of cooked and raw. She also sees juice not as a meal replacement but more like a nutrient packed snack. Let's face it it's easier to drink half a pound of spinach than eat one. Having followed her blog for over half a year, I really enjoyed hearing her talk. She offered lots of great advice to the crowd who were full of questions.

After Gena, I made my way around all the vendors. I collected some samples of Lentil and Hummus chips. My son approved. I tasted the most delish Coconut Bliss flavor, Ginger Cookie caramel. The jury is  still out on how coconut affects me, so a sample was the perfect size. But I'd love an entire carton.

I was a breath away from buying a box of truffles from Chocholistic. These raw goodies are packed with tons of super foods like chlorella, maca, lucuma, chia seeds and more funky healthy stuff. I had asked my husband to get me some Ulimana truffles for my bday next weekend. So I managed to walk away without purchasing the chocolates. Hope he comes through.

The most unreal but beautiful food I saw was Caviart. It's highly colorful caviar that's made from seaweed. The stuff real caviar would feed on if it turned into fish. The pic below looks like fish eggs but it's not!

I tasted like little balls of sea water. Probably nice rolled into sushi or sprinkled into another dish. Maybe even good on a bland cracker. Too strong straight up. But pretty.

I sampled a plain and a strawberry marshmallow at Sweet & Sara. I bought my husband and son each a S'mores bar. I've had Dandies marshmallows before which are tasty but contain a lot of soy which is a questionable allergen for me. While Sweet & Sara marshmallows are super sugary they're a good alternative to Dandies. Once I placed my order it seemed like everyone else around me couldn't pull out their wallets fast enough.

There was one vendor with vegan jerky. The two men saddle up looked like they had just downed several rounds of ribs. This was definitely their table. The vegan jerky tasted meaty and had a chewy, meaty texture.

I collected lots of great coupons while walking from table to table. Geez. Now I really sound like a lame mom.

Even though the line to get was off putting, once inside the fest I felt like a happy vegan. I heard one guy say, "I could never be vegan." Couldn't he have said something not so cliche such as, "I could never be a French speaking minotaur."?

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