Attending & Tasting at BBC Good Food Show at Olympia, London (in November 2015)…
London’s largest Food Show was on display at Olympia, earlier in November with two different shows under one roof: BBC Good Food Show as well as the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show. Whilst not exclusively GLUTEN FREE, it is not surprising that many GLUTEN FREE manufacturers and suppliers are featured as well as highlighting those products which are naturally GLUTEN FREE!
BBC Good Food at Olympia
The attractions of these shows include the Supertheatre with appearances from Queen of Bakes: Mary Berry to famous Chefs such as Tom Kerridge & Michel Roux Jr. (Paul Hollywood was also a guest whom I saw being interviewed for BBC Radio). Furthermore, celebrities from TV programmes, such as the Bake Off contestants and winners to Masterchef particpants also make up this glamorous culinary crowd. Of course, books signings and interviews were happening through the show as well as lots of products to try and buy. Separately, I had received an offer to have a Celebrity Lunch with an appearance (and signed book) with famous faces but at £75 per head, this seemed rather extravagant! New for this year were cocktail Masterclasses (located smack-bang) in the middle of the main Olympia Hall. So lots to see and do!
- As you wander in, one of the first stalls you see is Ten Acres who make GF crisps with usually names such as “When the chilli got sweet” and “The story of when the cheese met the onion“. They were also tastings of their new popcorn range, which equally has strange flavour names: “Cousin Maisie’s Fennel and Lemon popcorn“. Some interesting flavours but not for me: I prefer either really sweet popcorn (with chocolate) or really savoury flavours (such as Cheese on Toast: as below). Previously seen Ten Acres at the Fine & Speciality Food Fair.
Ten Acres GF Crisps
- And further inside, as part of the Good Food Cake and Bake show, a beautiful colourful display of GLUTEN FREE meringues. The Meringue Girls were previewing their new book, which had lots of recipes in. Shame, they had none to try, but plenty to buy! One of the more colourful and co-ordinated displays of the show.
GF Meringues by the Meringue Girls.
- And excited to see UDIS having quite a large stand with several bowls of products to be tried and tasted. Of course, I already buy several of their lines and enjoy their Tortilla Chips but a new Chocolate biscuit (GF Wafers) was on display. Strange that they aren’t completely covered in thick chocolate (and even in the picture, the biscuit base can be seen on those upside down. Maybe they’ll improve this manufacturing process but they did taste crunchy and chocolaty. They also advised that they have new biscuit lines arriving in early 2016, so watch this space for further updates.
New GF Chocolate Wafer biscuits by UDIS
- Back in Cake & Bake Show, among many cake providers, Ms Cupcake (who runs a great cafe in Brixton, London) was the first Vegan Bakery in London had a couple of GF products on show (and for sale). These included two Cupcakes (Rose and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut) as well as a Nanaimo Bar (which looks like a GF Millionaires Shortbread equivalent), although those who are sensitive may decide to walk on by as there probably is an issue of cross-contamination as they were all lined up next to the Cupcakes with GLUTEN. Of course, Ms Cupcake was there in person!
A selection of GF baked goods by Ms Cupcake.
Tasty Kinder Choco Bons and Perkier Bars.
- Also on show, just around the corner was PERKIER Cakes and Biscuits, who had a selection of their refreshed bars. Anne PERKINS and Steve Turner were on their stand and I quite like their new packaging! Shame I don’t eat porridge.
NEW products (GLUTEN FREE Of course)
A great joy of wandering this Food Shows is finding new GLUTEN FREE products. And at the BBC Good Food Show I found Mighty Fine Honeycomb bites (dipped in Chocolates with the founders Kitt and Ross running their stall. They told me they used to make it in North London, selling it at Camden Market before setting up the business and expanding their lines). On offer (and for tasting), they had their Dark Chocolate Honeycomb Dips, Salted Caramel Honeycomb Dips and Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Dips. The chocolate ones were lovely and whilst I only tried a small piece, the sticky honeycomb was lovely as sweet (but not too sweet) and the milky chocolate was a lovely contrast. On the packaging, they state “GLUTEN FREE” which is great!
- Norcott Ciders: After attending NYC’s first GF Oktoberfest, I now try the various Ciders that I see (if they’re GF!) and on offer were traditional Apple and Pear cider as well as fruity Elderflower, Cranberry and a Raspberry & Orange. I really enjoyed the Raspberry and Orange one, although (maybe for the British palate) but they weren’t as sweet as the USA fruit flavours that I have tried.
- Emily’s Fruit Crisps were an usual “healthy” snack which I tried. The flavour of the fruit really came through of course, naturally GLUTEN FREE and rather sweet (with natural sugars!).
- Bloom Berry Juice: were offering tastings of a variety of juices: not really that surprising that they are GLUTEN FREE but unlike many juices at Farmers Markets (and in the High St Shops) they had a good selection of mixed juices. I particularly like their “Apple, Rhubarb & Strawberry” which had a tartness which was refreshing, and “Apple Blueberry and Lavender” which wasn’t too flowery and had a really exotic twist to it.
- Joe & Sephs Gourmet Popcorn: Now I love my Popcorn, and the fact that many of their flavours are based with Chocolate! So tried their new Christmas Seasonal flavor: Orange Chocolate, and it was delightful: just like Terry’s Chocolate Orange (which may contain wheat!) And purchased some which I love (Mince Pie, Cheese on Toast! and Orange Chocolate) so I can enjoy this GLUTEN FREE snack at a later date.
Cakes at Cake & Bake Show
A selection of cakes were on show, some made by kids in competition which showed some real creative ideas. An adult competition by professional bakers had some amazing creations which would look beautiful at a wedding or as centerpiece. Maybe next year, I’ll enter a GLUTEN FREE cake (in the kids competition! and see whether it can win a prize!).
Other Food Shows on my blog include: Europe’s largest Allergy & Free From Show in London and it’s sister show in Liverpool, as well as last years BBC Good Food and the Salon Du Chocolat, and even the Speciality & Fine Food Show, (and coming soon: Food Matters LIVE and Ideal Christmas Show). Overseas Shows include the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Stamford, CT, USA.