I ONCE spent a whole day fruitlessly struggling my way through the crowds at the Christchurch Food Festival trying to find a vegan or vegetarian stall.
There was only one on that occasion – and when I finally found it discovered I did not even like what they were offering.
This year there will be no chance of that happening as the event organisers have announced they are dedicating Saxon Square dedicated to vegan and vegetarian food.
There will be virtually every type of world cuisine on offer, along with veggie friendly beers and puddings from a wide variety of exhibitors at the festival on 11th and 12th May.
Cheeky Fox Churros: Spanish style donuts with lots of weird and wonderful toppings. The churros are made fresh in front of you then it is up to you to decide which flavour to go for – peanut butter, lemon curd, jam, salted caramel, Jaffa cake or traditional chocolate.
Chiltern Natural Foods: Food as nature intended is their motto. Manufacturers of hand roasted healthy nuts and seeds there are no e-numbers, chemicals, artificial colourings, or flavouring in their products.
Amongst the cereals they make are granolas which include cinnamon, vanilla, almond and maple among other flavours. One of their best sellers is a mandarin date and fig granola.
Dark Matters: A 100% vegan and 100% non-palm oil range of brownies with 72% cocoa content chocolate. The flavours include maple, hazelnut and pecan, raspberry double chocolate, chocolate fix – which is double chocolate – rose, almond and pasticcio among others.
Dorset Sunshine Cider: A delicious craft cider made from locally sourced apples, using traditional methods. Lots of fruity flavours including rhubarb.
Drop the Anchor: Multi-award winning microbrewery based in Christchurch, whose ales are “unfined” which makes them suitable for vegans.
Given enough time, beer will clear naturally, but most breweries add a suspension of tropical fish swim bladders mixed with sodium metabisulphite (a disinfectant and preservative) to fine them. Instead Drop the Anchor leaves their beer hazy so they are full of flavour and nutrients.
Kara’s Vegan Supper Club: Already famous for her pop-up vegan supper dinners which she runs all over the area Kara will be bringing her plant based dishes to the festival.
Tattibogle: Jackfruit is the new trend in veganism. Actually a fruit when it’s cooked it resembles chicken in texture and can be flavoured lots of ways including barbequed and fired up with chilli. Tattibogle – which is the Scottish word for scarecrow- serves fresh falafel and jackfruit wraps.
Hampshire Foods: A family run business for 40 years that creates amazing chutneys, curry pastes and pickles.
Using authentic old family recipes they also make popular Indian snacks and savouries including Behl which is spicy puffed rice and peanut mix and Chevda Mild created with rice, Chanadal, mung beans, potato and peanuts.