Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Food Show 2013

Yesterday, a friend and I spent a few hours in foodie heaven at The Food Show. Being veterans from the past couple of years, I knew to arrive as close to opening time as possible, to wear comfy shoes and bring a backpack. Take my advice!

The Food Show is an event where it's best for diets to be left at the door. Where else can you legitimately have Donovans Chocolate and Epic Mosaic beer for breakfast? (Yes, I did. Don't judge me.) I also had Allpress Espresso coffee, delicious bacon from Premier Beehive NZ and gourmet cereal from Cec's Museli, so that was breakfast sorted. However, my biggest surprise discovery came in the form of smoked eggs from The NZ Manuka Egg Company. Smoked slowly at a temperature of less than 15°C, these eggs are apparently best scrambled or poached to allow the smoky bacon flavour to emerge. The aroma reminded me of Mata Hangi beer, otherwise known as bacon in a glass. It sounds strange but it actually works. Intriguing!
Manuka smoked eggs. These are actually raw.
Heavenly Fudge did indeed make heavenly fudge. I liked the chocolate caramel swirl fudge and was impressed by their display of fudge mini cupcakes. What a cute idea!
Fudge cupcakes - so cute!
I enjoyed trying some of Zelati's gelato and sorbet flavours, although I couldn't help thinking that Kaffee Eis would have made a killing there. I also discovered Sovrano Limoncello - not to be confused with Soprano Limoncello. Very similar names selling what is technically the same product but poles apart in quality, with Sovrano limoncello creme a clear winner. I always look forward to the Hellers stand and the smell of their meat cooking had us drooling even before we reached them. The same went for the lamb and venison steaks from Silver Fern Farms. Yum!

We even invented a new drinking game. Every time we saw a man with a microphone headsest demonstrating how to use a product that I doubt he'd ever encountered outside of a showroom, we'd down a shot of the closest beverage. (It wasn't always alcoholic!) Funnily enough, we gave the shammy cloths, steam mops and other cleaning and packaging products a very wide berth. This is meant to be a foodie's heaven, after all.

There were a few exhibitors I missed this year, most notably Heilala Vanilla and Caffe L'Affare. I would also liked to see small plates or light lunch options availablee. There also seemed to be a lot more wineries this year, which is fine but I wonder where the line is between a food show and a wine and food event.

I came away with a heaving backpack full of Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter, a Shott gift pack of coffee syrups that I have decided to keep instead of giving away and plenty of leaflets and photos of products I'm keen to seek out. In fact, I was impressed at my level of restraint!

Have you been to The Food Show in Wellington this weekend? What were your favourite food discoveries?

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