Monday, September 13, 2010
Report on the Organic Food Festival
One of the pleasures of wandering around a food festival is the new discoveries you make of products or producers you didn’t know about and this weekend’s Organic Food Festival, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary, was no exception.
My only niggle is that I was overcharged twice. The Real Boar Co were charging £8 for 100g of Wild Boar Salami with Red Wine rather than the £6.50 they charge on their site (which at £65.00 a kilo is already quite enough in my opinion) while Healthy Oils, which imports the Naturalmente couscous range, charged £2 for a 300g bag of spelt couscous that cost me £1.60 recently in the Bristol deli Source.
The whole idea of a show like this is to encourage people to buy organic not to rip them off. Give the two stands the benefit of the doubt and say it was an error but this sort of overpricing gives the organic movement a bad name.
Focussing on the positive here are the discoveries I think are worth tracking down:
Laverstoke Organic Ale
I knew Laverstoke Park made very good mozzarella but didn’t know they produced beer (or milk, come to that). I tasted it with some trepidation as sometimes people who don't make beer for a living are a bit half-hearted about it but it was a good full-on malty brew. There’s an interesting insight here about how they approach it
Pertwood organic muesli with fruit and seeds
This won the cereals category in the Organic Food Awards. I’m not sure it could quite wean me off my current favourite cereal, Rude Health but it's a close thing.
Caws Cenarth Golden Cenarth - the cheese that won the dairy category. I've written about it on my cheese blog. A terrific cheese.
Sulphur-free Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m really interested in ‘natural’ wines which involve using next to no additives in the winemaking process. Normally they don’t come cheap but this characterful South African cab from organic specialist Vintage Roots is just £6.99. I actually like it better than their ‘Crazy by Nature' Cosmo Red which picked up the prize for best organic wine.
Clipper’s organic Assam tea
Which is Fairtrade too. Strong and fragrant - everything you want from a breakfast tea (and apparently Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s favourite tea to boot). Winner of the best non-alcoholic drinks category
Bertinet’s Sourdough Bread
The winner of the baked goods category (see picture at the top of this post). I’ve already raved about this but those of you who haven’t tried it should remedy that asap. It’s now available in Selfridges Food Hall and some Riverford organic veg boxes as well as direct from the Bertinets website and Bath Cookery School.