After much anticipation the weekend of the Allergy and Free From Show had finally arrived. Sadly, due to a change of plans I visited on the last day. Being that it was the fourth year of visiting this had one disadvantage several stands can be sold out. So planning which stands to visit first was key. We arrived late this year so there was no big queue to get inside. Our first stop was one of the cafes to grab a nice cup of tea. We looked through the brochure to find out where the stands were that I wanted visit. This proved to be a tad difficult as there was no map inside the brochure just a list with stand numbers.
As we were a little later than normal the show was heaving. I patiently had to wait to fight my way through the crowds to find the relevant stands. My first stop was Lovemore foods. They sell gluten free biscuits and cakes, some are also dairy free. I stocked up on their biscuits. Sadly, the cakes had sold out.
Next I popped over to Delicious Alchemy to stock up on their chocolate brownie mixture. They have a range of cake mixes all of which are gluten free. I love them as they are quick and easy way to make a delicious cake. You simply add egg and use dairy free spread instead of butter.
It’s great to be spoilt for choice for cakes to buy. This year I decided to treat myself to cakes and cookies from Ms Cupcake. All were vegan with some being gluten free. I opted for a choc orange cookie and a banana and cinnamon cupcake which was also gluten free.
I popped along to meet Caroline at Biteappy. She set up her app two years ago and is in the process of ensuring that the majority restaurant menus are available online. You can then see what is safe to eat. I also meet Lyndsay from Living with CPMA. Lyndsay’s blog is a great resource for dairy free me, with up to date foods that I can have and recipes to try.
Despite eating lots of delicious samples all the walking made me hungry. I need a puts top to refuel. So I took advantage of Venice Bakery’s stand and ordered one of their pizzas. Just delicious if you are dairy free, gluten free, vegan I recommend you try their pizza bases. They are the nicest free from bases I have personally tried.
No trip to the show is not complete without chocolate. I topped by chocolate supply with Cocoa Libre. Their chocolate is dairy, gluten and nut free. They had sold a lot of goodies by the time I had arrived, so I opted for their cute owls and penguins.
I personally think that it is highly important you support small independent businesses sometimes it’s just quick and easy to pop into a local supermarket. So I popped by all three stands Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s. Firstly Sainsbury’s all I can say is very disappointing. I asked if they had any new milk free products and if they were going to consider selling more savoury treats. I got advised that they could not answer this and to send an email for this information. Very poor, I expected at least some information after all it is a specialist allergy show. I did sample one of their new ginger cookies which are dairy and gluten free. I didn’t even finish it. It was fresh out of the packet but was rock hard, dry in texture and lacked flavour. I’m glad it was a free to try.
Next Asda, they had an exciting choice of new cakes. You’ve guessed it gluten free only ?. Come on Asda please consider people with other food allergies / intolerances when developing new products. There was a quick tomato pasta dish marketed as gluten free, but was also dairy free but not labelled as being so. I asked about what savoury dishes they had that were dairy free. To be fair the assistants were very helpful and showed me packets of their spicy bean bakes and chicken fajita crisp bakes. Both were marketed as gluten free but not dairy free even though they were which they said they had asked to be reviewed. So another disappointing supermarket stand.
Finally Tesco’s I had a nice long chat with the guys on this stand. They were knowledgable about their products. There was a good selection of goodies to try. To be fair I had tried these in research for my blog of course ?. I have to admit to being a tad excited my their new free from cheese flavour nachos. They are gluten and dairy free. Yes they are bright orange/ yellow but hey it’s a junk food treat I can enjoy. I never thought I could have cheese nachos. My only request again is please produce some dairy free cakes.
In summary I had a fantastic day at the show. I met some lovely new people and discovered several new companies with some great foods to enjoy in the future. I also picked up products that I normally buy at bargain prices to take home. Yet again I came home with far too many bags filled with goodies. I can’t wait until next July to visit again.