07 November 2011

16th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival - The Food

This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of attending the 16th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Organized by the all-volunteer based non-profit Boston Vegetarian Society, these folks not only offer monthly events, speakers, dinners, food tastings, cooking classes and a strong community for vegetarians and vegans in the Boston area, they're also awesome event planners! Saturday was rainy, snowy and unbearably cold but the auditorium was packed full of people and the excitement and feeling of community was so nice to see. I have tons to share so let's start with the food!

One of the first booths I saw upon entering the space was the food stall run by The International Society for Krishna Consciousness pictured above. They were serving delicious vegan kitchari and halavah and handing out their karma-free vegetarian cookbooks. At their own space on Commonwealth Ave they offer chanting, bhakti yoga, meditation and free vegetarian feasts. I will be checking out their place on my next trip to Boston, for sure.

These little beauties are made by Sweet Relief in New Hampshire. Currently these cupcakes are only available by special order, at Lucky Dog Thrift Shop, or at animal related fundraisers that they participate in.

Another great treat booth was hosted by the innovative bakers at Dirty Vegan Food. Their motto is "Naughty Food with None of the Guilt" and I have to agree. Creators of the Winkie (their vegan Twinkie) their booth was handing out so many great little samples that I didn't even have a free hand to snap a picture. Sorry!

Cafe Indigo has been getting some press lately and for good reason! This New Hampshire based organic vegan bakery and restaurant serves up some tasty food. After seeing their carrot cake in Veg Times I just had to try some. And buy some. And take some home. Their award winning treats are now being carried in Whole Foods in several states including New York, Massachusetts and Maine. They are also nominated for several awards such as the Hippo Magazines "Best Vegetarian Restaurant." Good work guys!

Sarah Gross, the founder of Rescue Chocolate, poses here with her team and their chocolate bars. This girl takes dog crazy to the next level. Her chocolate bars come in a variety of flavors like Peanut Butter Pit Bull, Pick Me! Pepper, and Fakin' Bacon, all of which highlight a different rescue issue. If that's not cool enough 100% of profits are donated to animal rescue organizations which are chosen each month. I selected a Fakin' Bacon bar and am anxiously awaiting the day that I can give it to its recipient...and also get a nibble myself! Coming up on their two year anniversary, this chocolate is 100% vegan, kosher and made to the finest Belgian tradition.

Uncle Eddie must have lots of nieces and nephews because his booth was all set at kiddie height with lots and lots of bite-sized testers. I especially liked the Cocoa Spice and Everything Nice cookies. Soft, organic and vegan. What else could we ask for?

Bonnie Clancy, creator of Bonnievilles Power Cookies is a former personal trainer turned baker. Vegan cookies are touted for their dense hearty texture, but these cookies take dense seriously. Each power cookie is packed full of wholesome ingredients and eats like a strong snack. Bonnievilles has three flavors, each are vegan, macrobiotic, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free and low glycemic.

Veggie Galaxy came bearing cakes, cookies and lemon meringue. They'll be getting a blog post all their own in my Where To Eat Vegan series but it was good to see these Boston area locals there promoting veganism in their backyard.

Another Boston local Peace o' Pie was at the festival selling their vegan slices. Award winning pizza and a company that is committed to being green to the point that they say that if anything is left after you're done eating they want it back so they can compost it.

These are just a few of my favorites but there were lots of great food vendors at the festival. Stay tuned for my next installment - the art and merchandise!

Lacey Walker | @quinoaween
Lacey is a food photographing, French speaking, English teaching, travel enthusiast. She's been known to cut a rug. She's also been known to spend all day in bed eating vegan waffles and talking to her cat Hibou. Follow Lacey on her blog and Flickr.

Photo credit: Lacey