Saturday, April 05, 2008

VegFest II; The Rest of the Story.

OK, it's been a week, you'd think I could finally get the rest of the VegFest post done, but no.... I've been on Spring Break and being lazy and doing... well.... not much... visiting with friends, cooking, going out to eat with my friend Shaun and a couple Dr.'s appointments. I'll post gratuitous food porn shots another day.

So last Sunday.
VegFest in Seattle.
What a blast.
Yummy food and great information and interesting presenters... You all just need to come next year.
I guess it's the largest (or 2nd largest? I heard both statistics) event like this in the country.
It's pretty big. Yeah, like sensory overload. But worth it.

A group of 6 of us went together, 2 vegans (my friend Shaun, and myself), 2 vegetarians (my 2 'Sprouts') and 2 "sometimes-a-tarians"(my friend Sheryl and her son) ...yes, yes, calm down, I know the term is FLEXatarian or whatever, (insert eye-rolling here) but they like this better and I suppose they can call themselves whatever they want, I'm not that into labels.

It was nice to have perspectives other than mine when it came to trying new products. My kids tend to be picky, it was nice to let them try new things without buying an entire BOX and then wasting it... I discovered my littlest Sprout LOVED Nancy's Soy Yogurt and the Bumble Bars. Items I haven't boughten simply because I'm not a fan. My not-quite-vegetarian friend Sheryl loved several of the burgers and the Tofurky sandwich slices, as well as meat-free Potsticker dumplings, all items she hadn't had before.

I think I sampled every available vegan sample - I was stuffed, but what FUN!! (OK, except for the reeeeally green hemp butter. Just a little too "green" for all of us...).

There were a few lacto-ovo items that I wish had been labelled better. The event is run by volunteers and even though they do an INCREDIBLE job, unfortunately, sometimes their product knowledge is limited. I LOVED the Bella Diva Raw almond/coconut oil (I think?) spread or "butter" too. So creamy and slightly sweet. It'd be nice instead of Earth Balance once in a while, I think.
And did I mention we all voted the Field Roast booth our favorite? Well, of course.

My only disappointment was the "Purely Decadent" people - what was up there? Last year was so awesome! Not to fear, there were several other vegan ice-"creams" to sample.
Matthew, my friend's teen-age son, so typical, tries to act like he's seldom impressed by much, but he was our "guinea pig" and volunteered to try anything. He really loved the "Cavi-Art" vegetarian "caviar"... I saw him return for several samples there. Surprising.
It's fascinating and fish-egg-like, but a little TOO caviar-like for me.
Oh!! And Bryanna Clark Grogan was one of the presenters!! So exciting. A REAL celebrity!

She gave the best demonstration for Banana Cream Pie, which I unfortunately don't have a recipe for - think I'll go look on her website. It was fun to see one of my cookbook heros in action though, even if I was in the w-a-y back! She's very entertaining and informative in real life, not that she isn't otherwise, but you know...

Here's HER blog notes about VegFest for a slightly different perspective. We were gonna stop by for an autograph in my "Nonna's Italian Kitchen" book a little later but my kids had had enough of the crowds by then. It WAS crowded. Very.
Speaking of crowds - I saw someone who recognised me from the PPK forums as well, but I didn't have time to stop and ask THEIR name... (kids needing the bathroom don't wait for veggie chit-chat I'm afraid.) So, {sigh} whoever you are, I wasn't being rude, I swear it!!
A good time was had by all.
My not-quite vegetarian friends learned a lot about products they hadn't heard of or tried; my kids got adventurous and sampled new things; And my friend Shaun - also vegan - got to try lots of items he can't find in the stores in his area of the world (Albuquerque).
As you can see, we came home LOADED with "loot" like vegetarian trick-or-treating; PETA stickers, Odwalla bars, tea and coffee and LARA bars!

After VegFesting, my 'Sprouts' were getting a little stir-crazy with the crowds, so we did a little Seattle sight-seeing (*Ooooh, the big city - skyscrapers - traffic - pollution - street people - oh my*) and then went to Whole Foods which, for us, is a treat; almost 2 hours from my house. I go about once a YEAR!
My friend Sheryl, a small-town girl like me, had never been. She was awestruck at the variety, selection and typical Whole Foods "pretty stuff". I SOOO enjoy sharing favorite places with my friends.

Here's hoping each of you had a great weekend and spent time with people you love.


Vegyogini said...

What's funny about hemp seed nut butter is that, not only does it look green, it tastes green, too! You know, if green had a flavor. ;) Thanks for sharing your VegFest experiences. I wish I had gotten to go and I'm very jealous of all your free samples!

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Looks like a fun time!

aTxVegn said...

Everyone's posts about the Seattle vegfest are so great. You got so many freebies!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

vegan "trick or treating" . . . awesome!

bazu said...

I know what you mean- good food and cool places only get better when you get to share them with people! It's like seeing it for the first time again, through someone else's eyes!