Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
This is the third blog post from this year’s IFE (the international food & drink event) with a focus upon Drinks and Crisps. It is the UK’s biggest and arguably the most important food & drink trade show which takes place at London’s Excel Centre over four days early in the year. It is bursting with inspiration as this biennial exhibition provides an unrivalled opportunity to source pioneering and new food & drink. IFE 2017 was split into 9, easy to navigate, sections namely: Bakery, Cheese & Dairy, Drinks, Great British & Irish Food, Grocery, Health & Wellbeing, Ingredients, Meat & Seafood and Snacks & Confectionery spread across at least six halls of this giant exhibition centre. Click here to see the 2017 exhibitor list.
My focus was on seeing the whole breadth of items as well as identifying new GLUTEN FREE products and spotting the trends, and my review on my blog http://www.GlutenFreePSD.wordpress.com has been split into three blog posts: Part 1: Perfect Products (which includes NEW GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars and Sweet Treats that I tried and tasted), Part 2: Strange & Special (which covers the weird and wonderful products which I’m not so sure about!) and finally, Part 3: Delightful Drinks (which includes all the drinks that I tried and tasted).
My focus was on the Delightful Drinks including some foreign exhibitors seeking representation and sales opportunities and there was plenty of NEW crisps /popcorn snacks (which were GLUTEN FREE!):
VIMTO JELLY Pouch: FruityPot have the licensing rights to produce a Vimto Juice drink (with Jelly) in a “easy-squeeze” pouch. This was a handy size and good for travelling with the added bonus of jelly!
BREXIT DRINKS: With an Energy Drink called BREXIT: it tastes like any other energy drink in a can. I tried a mouthful of this product but it isn’t something I regularly buy or drink.
FROO-T: A fairtrade fruit juice drink which also featured at the Organic & Natural Food Fair with added White Tea rather than water. They advised that this is better for you and has a less sweet taste than water and sugar (as they use Steviol). A pleasant enough drink:
POPEYE Energy Drink: From Austria, a distictive GREEN Energy Drink which is based upon the “spinach” green image of Popeye. It was quite refreshing but as above: it’s not a drink I regularly taste! They also had a Blue Superman Drink which tasted a little sweeter than the green one!
And now onto Crisps and Savoury Snacks:
HIPPEAS: With a very bright yellow stand complete with large yellow camper van, these Chickpea crisps are making a big bold statement after already being launched in the UK. I have seen them in Waitrose but never tasted them and found they tasted really good and fresh. They are slightly heavier than potato crisps but with a good cheese flavour these could become a new favourite!
GREAT BRITISH CRISPS: With some very British traditional flavours these GLUTEN FREE Crisps are made in Cornwall with “English Breakfast”, “Chicken Tikka Masala” and “Fish & Chips” amongst the different flavours. The best one I tasted was “Fish and Chips” which did taste like the flavours of the seaside!
BURTS: Newly launched Quinoa Crinkle Crisps. I tried the Sweet Pepper and Chorizo which had a good kick to it with some mild chili flavours as well as the West Country Cream Cheese which was a light cheesy sauce.
BIOSAURUS: Dinosaur shaped Corn Crisps from Slovakia: available in three flavours including “Cheese” “Ketchup” and “Sea Salt”. All looking the same although slightly differently shaped! And the “Ketchup” flavour had a good tangy tomato flare to them. Clearly aimed at kids and Big Kids!
EMILY CRISPS: Including two variations of Vegetable Crisps (and a Fruit Crisp!) which is freeze dried: The fruit pieces look better and more appertising than the vegetables but they are extremely crunchy and full flavoured as a healthy snack.
CHAI COCONUT CHIPS: All the way from Thailand, this flavoured coconut chips included one that was flavoured with Sour Cream and Chives. Not a great snack for me as I’m not a fan of coconut but an interesting concept mixing sweet(ish) with savoury!
TROPIC MAX: Plantain Chips all the way from Chile were an interesting snack. Again the naturally sweet Plantain had been flavoured with “hot/spicy” and “lightly salted” which made interesting taste. They smelt well but maybe are more an acquired taste.
TEN ACRES: Tango Popcorn! WOW! WOW! WOW! After seeing this being announced several months ago (August 2016), it was great to try and taste these. And they do have a sweet coating on the popcorn and do have a fizzy flavour to them. Yes it is strange to have orange as a flavour and indeed, apple, but they work as sweet treats.
THOMAS TUCKER: Tasting two special “gourmet” Popcorn which had a good thick layer of toppings covering every piece: “Raspberry Sensation” was deliciously sweet and “Tropicl Coconut” which had a light toffee flavour to it.
POP WESTERN: Another Popcorn snack company with very “American” flavours of Caramel and Chocolate. This flavouring was thickly applied to all kernels and I preferred the Chocolate one.
PURE BITE: Similar to Popcorn is this Popped Rice product which has been shaped into clusters with additional products such as amonds and dried fruits. These did taste a little artifical as the rice had been added to with crunchy nuts and very sweet dried fruit.
WILDINGS: A Pork Scratching that’s made from Duck skin and not Pork! This were very rich, crunchy and had a beautiful clean crisp taste. The flavours included “Peking Duck” Habanero Chili & lemongrass” and “Sea Salt & pepper” and I personally preferred the Peking Duck one. I was not brave enough to try the chili one (as I watched another visitor go bright red after tasting it!)
JERKY: From America, usually it’s from Beef and cattle but this selection was from a wide range of animals and a variety of flavours. It included the healthier “Chicken” Jerky as well as Turkey. This tasted salty and it was nice to see a native “Indian” on their stand.
VIP NUTS: I quite like nuts as they can be a quick healthy snack which is also very filling. These coated nuts had a real chili kick which was probably too much for me but it was nice to have the refreshing sweetness of honey contrasted with the spiciness of chili.
Check out my other blog posts on: Part 1: Perfect Products (which includes NEW GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars and Sweet Treats that I tried and tasted and Part 2: Strange & Special (which covers the weird and wonderful products which I’m not so sure about!)
Food Shows on my blog include the 2017 Natural & Organic Food & Drink Expo @Excel, Hotelympia @Excel Centre, Country Living Spring Fair@Islington’s Design Center, Foodie Festival @Truman Brewery, Europe’s largest Allergy & Free From Show in London and it’s sister show inLiverpool, as well as BBC Good Food and the Salon Du Chocolat, and even the Speciality & Fine Food Show, Food Matters LIVE. Overseas Shows include the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Stamford, CT, USA. And in 2017, a new show appeared at Olympia, London called Top Drawer.
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they produce a comprehensive directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (including GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars). This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK. They have also published an Easter listing (although it is not as visually EGG-citing as my posts and excludes many Chocolatiers and High Street stores covered in my posts).
SIGN UP so you do not miss out on future updates to my revised Chocolate Box guide (based upon Chocolatier Producers, Chocolate Boxes on the High Street and Luxurious Chocolate Boxes), Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Bags, my Chocolate Easter Eggs (based upon Chocolatier Producers such as Cadbury & Nestle, High Street Own-Label including M&S, Lidl & Tescos and Decadent Department stores including Fortnum & Mason & Harrods) as well as new Restaurant Reviews, Travelling experiences, Food Shows, Product Reviews and (occasional) Recipes. Also check out my posts on GLUTEN FREE Ice Cream, GLUTEN FREE Advent Calendars, GLUTEN FREE Mince Pies and GLUTEN FREE Valentines Treats.
This information was correct as of April 2017.
But as I am learning, ingredients do change and therefore you should always read the label and check for yourself whether it is GLUTEN FREE or not!