Real Food Festival

I’m getting very behind on the blog front. Please forgive me – I only have a few more days of commission work to go, and soon I will be able to reveal everything I have been working on. For now the pace has slacked off a bit and I have a little more time to blog.

A few weeks ago I went to the Real Food Festival. I managed to get in for free thanks to the nice folks (and by “folks” I mean Suse) at the Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog, who had put together a sort of Twitter scavenger hunt thing. Soon after I arrived I met Catherine, another Word of Mouth regular, and we went around together. Much food and drink was tasted but I have to say some of my favourites were:

Rare Tea Company. I first came across Henrietta the glamorous tea lady at the Guardian chocolate tasting. Henrietta only stocks the best whole leaf teas from around the world. She very kindly gave me a tin of green tea to take with me and I can report that it is delicious. It is a very delicate silver-tipped Chinese green tea that almost seems impossible to over-steep. It just does not seem to ever go bitter. The leaves can be re-used several times so although the tea does have a premium price tag, it’s not bad value if you ask me.

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– I am drinking a cup of Henrietta’s tea right now and really it has made me forget about the other producers… oh yes:

Yarty Valley Provisions. Yarty Valley make fruit cordials from Edwardian family recipes. Disclosure time: they gave me a bottle of their Rhubarb and Ginger cordial. But if they hadn’t, I probably would have bought some. It was delicious. Of course we all know how much I love rhubarb.

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Artisan du Chocolat. These guys have a range of single-origin dark chocolates that they pressed us to try one after the other until our tastebuds could cope no more. Really I don’t need to say any more than that. I loved the 75% Venezuelan, and also the 100% bar, yes that’s right, 100% cocoa and nothing else. Oh, and they do a lot of other products for people who aren’t as extremist as I am about their chocolate.

Oddono’s Gelati. I was already a satisfied customer of Oddono’s so they didn’t need to give me free gelato, but the charming Italian men behind the counter did anyway. Oddono’s is quite simply the best gelato I have ever tasted or will ever taste, I suspect. Better than anything I have had in Italy. They make everything daily and do not add any artificial ingredients. So, when you see mango sorbet the colour of a mango, that is simply because of the amount of fruit they put into their sorbet. Unbelievably smooth and tasty.

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