I only found out about the V-Delicious event on Thursday but was determined to go not least because Ms Cupcake was going to be there and I was keen to meet her. It’s the first veggie version of the Good Food Show, so I thought it’d be worth a visit. It was!
The journey from Essex was a nightmare. It would have been quicker coming from Birmingham. There were works on the line and a bus replacement service. This is never good news and it meant that it took ages, nearly three hours to get to Olympia. I have worked at Olympia as a student so was keen to see if it had changed much. No is the answer.
V-Delicious & gluten-free
Having worked at exhibitions, and having attended a few, I know that they are much of a muchness. This one was no different in lay out, but quite different to the West Midlands Vegan Festival. The WMFR has a lovely cosy feel to it while this one could have been a book exhibition. Of course the WMFR has an agenda beyond just food. The people on the stands were fantastic, I may write lovely quite a bit in this post! You can get a good buzz from chatting to like-minded people. And there were a few.
I’m quite pleased that I didn’t spend too long here, these trade fairs can end up being a long day out. And I know three days of V-Delicious would have been far too much. I had just over an hour and I reckon double that would’ve been enough to get to all the really interesting stands.
There was no separation from the other exhibition so you could flit between both. A little odd as the ticket for V-Delicious was free online, while the Gluten-free exhibition cost £7.50! So a tip for anyone wanting to attend the allergy exhibition next time, grab your free V-Delicious tickets and save, save, save!
Perkier & Sukrin
There was a lot of crossover between veggie/vegan and gluten free on the stands and the first place I visited, Perkier gave me some gluten free oats, very nice. However, they have egg in the instant pot version and the bread contained milk powder. So not very vegan friendly, but the oats were good. I have flirted with gluten free oats before but I’m not convinced it’s necessary for me.
I stopped at the Sukrin stand next, intrigued by all manner of baked goodies. These were all gluten free but not vegan, sadly. There was this amazing looking brown sugar substitute called Sukrin Gold, which has almost zero calories. It’s derived from natural ingredients and contains stevia. If I can get my hands on some of this sugar replacement I would very much like to try it out. Watch this space.
The Sukrin people I spoke to were lovely and their bread looked amazing. But like Perkier also had egg powder in the ingredients. However, the boss lady said there was a new eggless version coming soon. I will look out for this because the bread looked fab, smothered in seeds and just oozing wholesome! Right up my alley.
Ms Cupcake at V-Delicious
So I moved onto Ms Cupcake’s stand. Sadly, they had run out of cupcakes but we were able to have a good chat. She’s lovely and her friend on the stand was lovely too. I reminded her of Trishul Smith at the Northern Vegan Fair and told her I’d reviewed her cookbook. They really are lovely people, I must get to the shop in Brixton, soon.
Apparently, they were six book publishers vying to get her book from her. Popular cupcakes! Apparently, there wasn’t a dedicated vegan baking cookbook in the UK. She had insisted on, colour photos on each page and a layout that meant you didn’t have to turn pages mid-recipe. That is something I really appreciated. Random House agreed, did it for her and have done a great job. Visually it’s stunning, which always adds to a cookbook – the first bite is with the eye! You can read my review if interested.
She comes across as such a lovely lady and exactly how you would expect from reading the cookbook. She’s clearly someone who loves what she does and is not precious about her recipes. I mentioned how I really love all the egg replacement tips and said how I changed the recipes which she agreed was all part of the fun.
Deliciously Raw means V-Delicious
There were so many stands with companies I’d not heard as well as others I had. The Good Hemp Co. were there, but I didn’t have time to chat properly, they were so busy. Browsing I came across the Deliciously Raw stand. I was attracted by the rows of raw products – lacuma, cacao, carob, maca and more. I use these ingredients in my chocolate, when I get to make it. I signed up to the newsletter and eventually managed to chat to the lovely boss, Deborah Durrant.
She was great and gave me some almond milk to try, suggesting that it would be like no other I’d ever tasted. Now, that’s some claim, I like almond milk. This was superb though. There was just SO MUCH FLAVOUR! I do like the Provamel Milk but there’s really no comparison. This raw stuff is way superior. You have to try it to realise, until you do you cannot possibly know. Then there was the almond cookie – dehydrated rather than baked, amazing. Flavour popping at you. Regular biscuits are just sugary a lot of the flavour is drowned out by sugar. This was different, way different. I’m getting increasingly interested in this raw food.
Deliciously Raw run a five day intensive course which looks amazing. I’m tempted, very tempted. Not least because she trained under Matthew Kenney who’s raw food recipe book is incredible. I left with four raw recipe cards which look amazing. I will try some of these, watch out for them, they will appear on this blog.
Chatting, her partner mentioned that I should try the Vegusto stand for award winning vegan cheese. He was clearly convinced, judging by the volume of Vegusto cheese in his bag! He’s been vegan for 25 years and had forgotten all about cheese til tasting it at Vegusto.
Vegusto for cheddar
So off to Vegusto! I spoke to the lady making the sandwiches, I needed to eat so ordered one. But first, she gave me several cheeses to try. I started with the award winning vegan chedder. BANG! Flavour explosion again. This is strong cheddar and a trip down memory lane. I was transported to beach holidays in Mablethorpe with cheese and tom/onion sandwiches. This makes your cheeks go funny. This was the best, in my opinion and so much closer to the dairy thing, as far as I can remember, it’s been a long time.
I remember getting the first melting vegan cheese when it came out. I was so disappointed. This Vegusto cheese is tip top though. Regular vegan cheese tastes so….false. This really is better, much better. Quality. So I left with a block of the cheddar and a sandwich, promising reviews on the blog. They’re coming, look out for these too…
I did eat the sandwich on the way home and it’s some sandwich. There was avocado, sundried tomatoes, some fake meat and the cheese! Promisingly, the cheddar flavour wasn’t overpowered by the others. It’s prominent and combines well. Beautiful!
Last but not least – Coconom
Anyone reading this blog knows I’m fairly obsessed with coconut. I love coconut oil, especially raw, virgin coconut oil. I noticed someone walking along with a green coconut and asked where he’d got it. Coconom was the answer, but they’d run out. 600 green coconuts they’d managed to shift!
They were actually promoting their coconut sugar. This was £3 for 250g which is significantly cheaper than the Tiana stuff I’ve got at home. I was given the Tiana coconut sugar and had been using it to make ice cream the night before. The lady asked me to try her brand and see if it was any different. I agreed that the slight after taste was missing. Coconom import from Indonesia rather than the Philippines. That may account for the difference. I do think coconut sugar is sweeter than regular sugar and this version was no different.
I will be doing a comparison between the two – Tiana vs Coconom – in the future, so that’s another post to look out for.
I left V-Delicious enthused. I’d chatted to some really lovely people and encountered some great products – stuff that I will try and use from now on. It felt similar to the first time I went to Veg Fest in Bristol years ago. Simply being in a room full of like-minded people is quite a buzz.
I only managed to get to a few stands, I could have done with a little more time. But I had sufficient time to get a flavour of V-Delicious. It’s extremely vegan friendly, although not completely vegan and I do thoroughly recommend going. I will be back at V-Delicious next year, that’s for sure.