So VegFest was yesterday, and it was absolutely awesome! Me and Ellie went along and we stuffed our faces for the whole day. We weren’t sure how long we were going to spend there at first, but we ended spending most of our day wandering around and eating freebies. This is a little round up of companies we saw who you should definitely check out! Whilst every company there was doing something cool for veganism (and you can check out the entire selection of companies and charities on display here), I just want to give a quick round up of some of the highlights and also some of the more interesting things we saw (and tasted).
The first thing we ate were some of Aunty Jee‘s delicious curries and pickles. I’m not sure how widely available the products are yet, and I certainly haven’t seen them before, but I shall be sure to be on the look out. The curries were delicious, and come in oven-bake packages. Thus, they seem to be breaking into the currently underwhelming vegan ready meal market, with some delicious soya mince imitations on classic curry recipes. Ready meals may not be for everyone, but keep on the look out if you’re keen on your curry.
After that, we went on a dessert rampage. We tried some great vegan eclairs which were messy but delicious from To Happy Vegans, and then wondered over to the Moofree stall where I got my hands on some Easter eggs (which I look forward to eating soon!) and some chocolate buttons. Moofree, for those who haven’t tried them, create arguably the best vegan version of plain milk chocolate money can buy. We got hold of a few bags of Goody Good Stuff, the most delicious gummy sweets available and completely free of gelatine. After that we tried out some of Provamel‘s new yoghurt flavours which are set to be released in May – Apple with Green Tea, and Lemon and Lime. Finally we got to our highlight – Ms Cupcake. I picked up a plain chocolate chip cookie, and Ellie got herself a watermelon cupcake and, to put it simply, we cannot recommend these enough. Vegan baking perfection, so congrats to the team at Ms Cupcake.
Onto the other tasty goodies…
Both Fry’s and Heather Mills’ Redwood were out in full force, serving samples of their fake meats and cheeses (which seem to have improved since I last tried them). Redwood were also showcasing a couple of new products, the most delicious of which was hoisin infused duck, which I’m sure will become a staple addition to future stir frys. In terms of fake meat though, one company blew everything out of the water. TOPAS, a German vegan foods company, were showcasing their Wheaty range, which was nothing short of ridiculous (in the good way). The Wheaty range has gone to extreme lengths to recreate meat using, as the name suggests, wheat. So most of the products are seitan based, but come in the form of about 10 different sausage meats, various other greasy meat stuff, and most bizarrely (and I can’t decide if this is awesome or gross) a doner kebab spit, which was slowly turning whilst heating the largest piece of seitan I’ve ever seen. It was definitely delicious if you’re not averse to the taste of meat, and from what I can remember of the taste of meat, it seemed pretty authentic too.
Besides food there was a lot of other cool stuff on display. Any keen fitness junkies may be interested in getting involved with the UK Vegan Runners network. There was a showcase for a new vegan film, Bold Native, covering the issue of animal liberation being seen as a major form of terrorism. THTC were selling their great array of well-designed and interesting shirts, which fall somewhere between Banksy’s street art and Obey.
The event also had various shows on throughout the day. Me and Ellie watched Rubber Ritchie perform his bizarre yet comical contortionist act. We also caught a couple of the cookery shows which were hosted, with live cooking and taster sessions afterwards.
Anyway, that’s a basic summary of some of the most interesting stuff that was on display but there really was a lot more. All in all, it was a great event and impressively busy. Only downsides were that I think I put on about 2 stone, and that I failed to win anything really in all the tombolas and raffles I entered, boo! Still, congrats to VegFest and props to everyone who took part. I hope to see more stuff like this in the future, and if you live in Bristol then look out for a future event near you.