Thursday, May 12, 2011

Real Food Festival 2011 in pictures

12 May, 2011
Here is my pictorial story of a wonderful food festival I attended in London this past week. Thanks to my host who gave me VIP passes for 2 days, Fabio Diu, seen below, organizer of this event and former classmate from the Slow Food master program in food science.
As you enter, you encounter Lavenstoke Park farms display of little buffalo who have left their mommies at home to make milk for english mozzarella. (not going to comment on the differences between this cheese and that from Caserta)

Below is the grand Tregothnan display with a real garden with eucalyptus and manuka plants.  They give you an empty tea bag and allow you to pick leaves to make your own tea.  The interesting thing about this company is they grow their own tea plants in England.  I thought it was a tropical thing, but I was wrong as the ideal climate is moist and cool for tea plants.  They also make Manuka honey, herbal teas from their own plants etc.  It would be a great property to visit while in England.

A bit of Sicily has made its way to London, didn't try these, but after having the real McCoy in Mesina, I have a hard time with other examples.

Love the truck, veggie hamburgers, real street food and  healthy to boot.

New friends who have a 2nd home in the Marche and promote the cherry products of their zone north of us including the wine known as Visciolata.  Here's the explanation I stole from La about the product:


Italy, Le Marche
A delicious yet intense sweetly savoury taste with echoes of chocolate and vanilla. Made with sour cherries which grow wild in some parts of Le Marche. The cherries are dried in the sun in glass jars for around two months, then separated from their juice and put into Cabernet Sauvignon must. After fermentation the cherry juice is added back too the wine and left to mature.
I love cherries and Robert and Jane told me this is being used at many bars around London for cocktails...Kir Royale anyone?  Google supercherry for more info. 
Here we have a bit of Calabria with Pecorino cheese and nduja sausage.  I was surprised at how many italian vendors were present and got a kick out of speaking my 2nd language.

Good lucking breads from Whole Foods London.

If you have heard me go off on how all truffle oil is a chemical and should be shunned, avoided, not purchased etc., but you love the stuff anyway, then this is the brand to buy.  Most white truffle oil is spiked with 4% of the chemical which is overpoweringly truffle.  The problem is when you eat real white truffles which are very subtle, you are bound to be disappointed as your tastebuds are used to the strong stuff.  This fellow uses the truffles from eastern Umbria to make his oil and adds just a hint of the chemical compound, <1% to give a product more true to its roots.

Our real aim in life should be to Teach our children well as CSNY have told us.  The Real Food Festival is a great way for them to see where their food comes from and try healthy examples.  Here they are trying the mozzarella.

I bought only flour at the festival and from Dove Farms I snagged 2 of the oldest known flours, Einkorn which is a prehistoric flour and Heritage flour from 16 and 17th century grains.

Am I the last person who has seen gulls' eggs?   At over 8 dollars a piece I will just imagine what they taste like.

This Swiss girl just had a sweet smile, so I had to snap a photo.  The cheeses were surprisingly good.

Ben Robson is the guy behind Bat and Bottle ( which has some really cool italian wines for sale among other artisanal products.  I am beginning my marketing campaign for our wines already.

Another italian importer with a wide variety of boutique wines.

This is the first place I have seen vintage vodkas and "single potato patch" vodkas, hehe.  I am not a spirits guy, but the differences are noticeable.

This is a booth espousing prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano with a lovely protaganista, Christina who also does publicity videos for little guys like us.  We may have to look into that as I am sure any effort we might make would be amateurish.

I loved the interactive areas for kids, here they are making basil pesto.
Only in a British Commonwealth country would you find meat pies with kangaroo or ostrich at a food fair.

My new gelato friends, killer pistacchio! This is the real italian stuff made by italians.

A local butcher showing the kids (not seen to the right) where their lamb comes from.

There were many food prep demonstrations, this one involved bread making.

Il capo, at right, Fabio Diu entertaining famous chef Fergus Henderson and his sous chef in the VIP tent.  Thanks for the invite Fabio, hoping some year to bring our wines and oil to the fair!

There are hundreds of exhibitors I am leaving out with everything from rapeseed oil to cupcakes,  cookies to jerk sauce.  The festival is definitely worth putting on your calender.

No comments: