Friday, November 2, 2012

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Pretty, sugary things from the Vegan Treats Bakery.
I've been wanting to write all week about my trip to Boston (particularly the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival), but I was sidetracked by a certain super-storm. We got very lucky. We only lost electricity and we're just waiting for the power to come back on. I'm writing from Dave's parents' house where I am drinking tea to stave off a nasty cold and nibbling little rectangles of chocolate from the festival.

I first heard about the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival a couple of years ago and our trip to Boston just happened to coincide with the festival. I guess it was meant to be. The festival was held in an athletic center and inside there were rows of tables and a smokey Indian spice aroma. Vendors sold cookbooks, vegetables, vegan pastries, and tee-shirts. We met my friend Liza inside.

At tables cluttered with Beanie Babies, volunteers promoted a vegan lifestyle for the well-being of animals. Sanctuaries that harbor animals rescued from industrial farms looked for sponsors for chickens and cows. And, of course, there were free samples.

I had a plate of kelp coleslaw for lunch.
Fake meat abounded and, although I'm not usually a fan of fake meat, I tried fake sausage and chickpea hamburger. It turns out I'm still not a fan of fake meat, but I could how extensive the science of imitating meat has become when I saw fake scallops.

One of the first tables I stumbled upon was Theo Chocolate - they make my favorite fig, fennel, and almond chocolate that has two squirrels on the label and feels like it was made especially for me.

So much fair trade chocolate.
I sampled some of Theo's newest flavors, like chili and cherry (Dave's personal favorite), vanilla nib, pili pili chili, and sea salt. Proceeds from the chocolate bars support organizations that provide bikes to students in rural Africa and preserve farmland. I bought a couple of bars of my favorite fig, fennel, and almond chocolate and bar of vanilla nib to take home.

A rainbow of new chocolate bars.
We tried various Indian curries and vegetarian restaurant fare. I was curious about the meatless Ethiopian food but as the venue filled up with enthusiastic samplers it became increasingly difficult to access the stands. I was able to maneuver my way to the Coconut Bliss table where tiny sample cups of chocolate coconut milk ice cream were scooped out for the passing horde.

As the crowd grew larger and the heat from the veggie burners sizzling on tiny grills made the gym stuffy and claustrophobic. I found myself in the back corner of the room where some really magical vegan doughnuts and cupcakes were laid out by an open door, letting in a slight breeze.

By the time I reached the other side of the festival, the traffic almost slowed to a stop. I lost Liza and Dave somewhere around the pastries.

The doors of the festival were open to early risers for five dollars an hour before the rest of the public got in for free, and by the time I reached the last row of tables I understood why. I hope that they move the festival into a larger venue as it grows.

Vegetarian food enthusiasts stand shoulder to shoulder.
Just before I made an attempt to escape the crowd, I fell into the path of coconut milk ice cream once more. I got a taste of pumpkin spice ice cream from FoMu, which had a very impressive range of flavors.

I left the festival with a bag of chocolate, little bags of hemp seeds, and sample bags of Pukka tea that I have yet to try. Then Dave and I left to experience other parts of Boston.


  1. You went to eat delicious food and you didn't take me with you?! lol It looks like you had a great time! If you want to eat more yummy chocolate things (though not vegan), there's the Chocolate World Expo on Sunday at the Westchester County Center!

  2. I wish you were there! I heard about the Chocolate World Expo - I would probably be there if I didn't have work tomorrow. But I do have a rather absurd amount of chocolate coming in the mail soon, you should come help me eat this chocolate. ;)