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This past weekend, many Wellingtonians gathered at one of the year’s biggest event; The Food Show.
What struck me as a theme at this year’s Food Show was health awareness, work conditions and organic, locally grown products.
All Good is a company that trade in products that are certified Fairtrade and most products are also organic. At the Food Show, they offered the crowd Fairtrade bananas that they had peeled, frozen and then run through a juice machine. This gave you an all natural, delicious ice cream! If you spend only 1 dollar more on Fairtrade bananas at the supermarket, you’re contributing to better working conditions for people at banana plantations. The more people that buy Fairtrade bananas, the more the price can be reduced over a period of time. What is one dollar more when you ensure that people can eat well and support their family?
Pacific Harvest offers you healthy and organic food. The company uses sea vegetables (such as sea weeds and wakame) to make snacks or herbs. Sea vegetables are very nutritious and have been used in Asian food for centuries. It’s only in the last decade that Western countries have started to realize its amazing benefits and Pacific Harvest wants to help getting sea vegetables a part of the western diet. Sea vegetables can be used in cooking as a binder for fritters, pancakes, soups, and gravies; or as flavour enhancers in marinades, sauces and other dishes. It’s good for nutrition, detoxification and medical benefits.
As the years before, this year’s show had many wine stalls with both national and international wine. Alchemy Beverages offered a taste of their Honey Wine, which is made of fermented honey and water. Its sweet honey taste, blended with citrus, is a perfect complementary to cheese and crackers.
The wine stalls were as usual the most crowded ones and you had to be patient in order to try out the different wines. However, it was worth it in most cases.
After trying some tea, coffee, hot chocolate and wine at the Food Show, I got quite excited by the sight of Rejuva’s stall. Rejuva makes refreshing, great tasting drinks full of “stuff that is good for you”. The company concentrate on the benefits of Aloe Vera. Their best selling Aloe Vera 41%, is now accompanied by Green Tea with Aloe, Pomegranate with Aloe and Aloe with Wheat Grass. These drinks are refreshing, they taste good AND they’re good for you. What more can you ask for?
Another great product at The Food Show was TeHoro’s jam. The company uses organic products that are grown in New Zealand. Geoff Sharp, one of the sons in the family company, said that if you use the best berries for the jam, you don’t need as much sugar. Geoff said: “When we run out of fruit and berries, we stop making jam”.
Do you like Chinese food? Or Middle Eastern, Thai, Indian or Vietnamese food? ThenSilk Road products are what you looking for. The company’s concept of food from the Silk Road is inspired by Marco Polo, the first European to follow the Great Silk Road to China. All food is gluten and preservative free. Since their launch in July 2009Silk Road are now selling their products in 195 supermarkets around the country.
I walked around Westpac Stadium, trying out Rush Munro’s ice cream, Barry Bay’s tasty cheese, sausage bites from Heller’s and many tasty oils, vinaigrettes and sauces. I felt quite full after all of this and sat down to watch TV-personality Richard Till, create dishes inspired by bread.
“After you’ve had a taste of Marlborough and a taste of Kaikora, it’s time for a taste of Dick!” Richard’s 45 minute long demonstration at the
Electrolux Cooking Theatre was laugh-out-loud funny. He told us about his childhood, his love for food, and his mother’s cooking. Richard believes in simple, tasty food that anyone can cook at home. He also reinforced the theme of locally grown products that I saw all around the Food Show, and he told the audience that he is obsessed with growing things from seed. After showing how to make the perfect aioli and sharing his impressive tea towel collection with us, we were sad to see him leave the theatre.
Another inspiring chef, Peta Mathias, shared two Moroccan recipes with the audience. Sardine Boulettes and an Aubergine Salad. Peta has travelled to Morocco numeral times, and her new show on Prime TV, which starts on July 27, will follow her and some kiwis through Morocco. Peta explained that Moroccan food is spicy and aromatic, but not hot, challenging or scary, just rewarding. Moroccan food is about slow cooking and the usual ingredients are parsley, mint, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron and dried rosebuds. Peta had some good tips for the audience. Make sure you prepare the saffron before using it, by either frying it or putting it in boiling water for a while. It brings out its lovely flavour. Garlic burns easy, so fry something else first and then add the garlic. Boring gravy can taste delicious if you add some balsamic vinegar and a salad feels fresher with a dash of lemon juice.
If you want to try any of the recipes created at the Food Show, check out the Food Show website and click on recipes: http://www.foodshow.co.nz/index.cfm/Recipes
This grey Wellington weekend ended up being a great mix of salty, sour, sweet, aromatic, national and international flavours, topped with lots of laughing. Every year, I am amazed about how many people show up for the Food Show and how great put together everything is. I am already longing for the show next year.
Now it’s time for me to blend some honey in hot milk to ease my stomach after a bit too much wine, chocolate, bread, dips, oils, vinaigrettes and spices. Put my feet on the table, sit back and enjoy some TV.
Thanks for a great Food Show Wellington!