So I’m about a week late with this post. I’m still putting it up because, well, food is always relevant, right?! 😉
Boston VegFest 2011 was amazing, as usual. I have exactly 0 pictures, which is super sad because it was so fun. I can however, introduce you to the brands that I fell in love with, either for the first time this year or all over again. Get a little jealous and then get prepped to go on a foodie hunt because you don’t want to miss these gems!
Emmy’s macaroons are to-die-for! Even my baking bestie who could taste the lack of butter in other vegan desserts (she’s that good, I kid you not), bought some. They are soft, chewy, mouthwatering and come in flavors like ChocoChili and Coconut Vanilla. In other words, you must find emmy’s products and buy emmy’s products and eat emmy’s products. I promise that they taste as delicious as they look here:
On to the chocolate!
Honestly, this chocolate is the reason I was adamant about returning to VegFest. I’ve had authentic (as in I bought it there) chocolate from Belgium and Germany and a whole host of other places and absolutely nothing compares to Theo. It is rich and creamy and melt-in-your-mouth and just one bite will leave you with weak knees and a butterfly-filled stomach. <–I can’t make this up. On top of it all, they have the coolest, chillest, most outgoing, down-to-earth reps. They joke and laugh and offer you more samples (that makes me a little biased, I must say) and holler out, “CHOCOLATE HERE,” auction style. They rock. And finally, for those who try to purchase their products as ethically as possible, Theo is the only organic, Fair Trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the US. I honestly cannot recommend their products enough. I bought two of the classics bars (coconut and chili) and two of the fantasy bars (both coffee). I hope 4 bars is enough to last me until the next fest!
Next up: granola and granola bars.
My feelings about Nature’s Path have gone up and down over the years. They made the vegetarian transition easier with their delicious cereals and granola but their prices are higher and their products tend to be on the high sugar side. Obviously, this is not as compared to many other breakfast cereals and granola bars, but still too high for my personal preferences and tastes. However, when The Cornucopia Institute rated the company highly, both in terms of their products and ethics, I figured they were worth another shot. <–go ahead, psychoanalyze what that means about my need for external verification from “a higher source.” The reps were so fun and awesome, giving us extra samples and extra coupons! Since I’ve had to restrict my food budget (see here and here), any help I can get is appreciated, especially since I only end up paying $1.99 for a box at Trader’s. My other sugar intake will just have to be adjusted accordingly…
Then there’s the PB. *Sigh*
PB&Co changed my life last year with their delicious flavors and smooth, creamy texture. I love this stuff, especially the Maple and Dark Chocolate. What I don’t love is the price (even though its 100% worth it). So when I found it at Ocean State Job Lot for $3.00 a jar, I was in heaven. And I bought many many jars of it. Now that I have dollar coupons and a Job Lot gift card, I will be buying a lot more. PB never goes bad right?
Oh and since their website told me so, its only right that I wish you a Happy PB Lover’s Month! Go treat yourself to something heavenly in order to celebrate!
And, finally, the food places.
Even though one of my besties has lived in Newton for the past couple of years, we have never eaten here together. Not quite sure why! 😉 The rep was this amazing nutrition consultant who I kind of want to be (minus the dreads because we all know I could never pull them off…she on the other hand, looks gorgeous with ’em!). I ended up with their pumpkin flax crackers which were really the saving grace of my 3+ hour trip back from Boston on Sunday
afternoon evening. I’ve already ordered a date here with aforementioned bestie the next time I visit. And since I know you read BB – I am totally holding you to it.
The one theme of VegFest which I was extremely disappointed was the amount of processed foods that existed. I believe that a vegan or veg diet should be a healthful one. And while fake meats have their place (as a great transition and once-in-a-while food) I don’t think they do anything to further the vegan mission of living a compassionate, healthy life. In fact, many of the fake meats and stuff, despite tasting delicious <–salt and preservatives anyone? I would say are as bad for you and the environment as anything meat based. Its part of the reason I still haven’t committed to veganism. I like cheese…and I definitely don’t want Daiya. In fact now that I’ve tried it I know for certain that I will never ever use it because it tasted like
cardboard plastic (even worse). I know lots of veggies love it but the one bite I had definitely incited this face:
So no Daiya for me. Ever. And even though LightLife gave away KILLER bags, its a little too scary how much their not dogs taste like, well, real hot dogs. I know thanks to Happy Herbivore that seasonings can make just about any food taste like its non-veg counterpart (her Italian sausages are scarily similar) but for the most part its additives and other laboratory creations that make these things taste so great. I will, however, use the Lightlife coupons to stock up on tempeh since its a fermented soy product and therefore thought to be more healthful.
At the end of the day, VegFest 2011 was amazing, especially because I could share it with a certain sassy someone whose commentary made it all the better. Was it still crazy crowded? Yup. Did we care? Absolutely not. Free samples, new foodie finds, and a lot of girl talk catching up. It was a good day indeed.