Monday, 1 October 2012

Event recap: International Vegetarian Food Fair 2012, Perth

I must admit that when I first heard about this event, I was put off by the 'vegetarian' tag, as I thought either there would not be any or very much vegan food available. And then fellow Perth vegan blogger Vegan Sparkles posted on Facebook that she found out from the organizers that the majority of the food would be vegan suitable. Well, that tipped the scales and I decided to go with a friend who is newly vegan.

When we arrived, the place was busy. We decided to do a circuit of the stalls and then decide what we wanted to order. It quickly became apparent that the food was Asian in theme with Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese (I think!) being represented - along with some others, I am sure. I am not all that familiar with some of these cuisines, especially Thai, so it was a bit of a learning curve for me, and that was perfectly fine.

To my delight, I saw that not only were the goods on offer clearly labelled 'vegan' but they also listed the ingredients. This was great, as sometimes people label things as 'vegan' without fully understanding what it means. As we progressed around the stalls, I saw that most of the food on off was actually vegan, which made me wonder why they did not call this the 'Vegetarian and Vegan Food Fair'?  Hopefully, the organizers will consider this for next year, as I know there is a considerable vegan community in Perth and some who might have skipped this event, thinking as I had, initially, that there was going to be slim pickings for vegans.

We came across a Thai sweets stall first and tried a few samples. I ended up buying some balls that were covered in coconut shavings and inside was a sweet, gooey concoction. I can't tell you exactly what was in them (though I did check it was vegan, of course) but I can tell you they were delicious. You can see them on the left in this photo ----->

Wandering on, we found a rather brilliant looking dessert. I had to take a photo of it. (I might add that the people running the stalls were quite happy with having their creations photographed, which was nice.)
Onwards we wandered....When I saw the bags of fried seaweed, I HAD to get a bag for my partner (who could not make it to the event) who loves dulse and seaweed stuff, in general. They met with his approval when I brought them home later. I had a nibble too, and they get a thumbs up from me too.

I was sorely tempted by the Thai pancakes  and the pan fried dumplings.

But in the end, I got me some deep fried wickedness. I never deep fry at home when cooking, and rarely eat it when I go out, so this was a treat for me. Between the two of us, we had the Cheesy Balls (which were rice based), spring rolls, samosas, and a sweet little number titled 'Taro and Sweet Potato Rolls'. I know what taro is but have never eaten it before. These rolls were delicious. Sweet, but not overly. I made sure I saved some for my partner to have later and he ended up enjoying them too.

Just a note: payment for the food was via a coupon system, which you purchase at a table at the entrance. I was not aware of this, and only found out once I tried to pay a stall holder with a bank note. I didn't see any signage that explained the coupon system. Perhaps I just missed it? I wonder if anyone else there got mixed up or confused by the system? Don't get me wrong, it is a good system (food handlers do not have to deal with notes and coins), it perhaps should be more clearly advertised before and during the event.

All, up I was happy to attend this event and pleased to see so many people there with their children, too.  I look forward to next year's food fair!

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