I went to the Food Show today. To make things easy, I vowed to stay away from stands with the following kinds of food samples:
- Anything “wild berry” flavour
- Anything involving a piece of bread/corn chip/pita bread/cracker being dipped into olive oil/hummus/aioli/salsa
These rules made things really easy. The cheese stands had hordes to people pushing and shoving, grabbing a toothpick and skewering little cubes of cheese. Then there’s the obligation to make the people manning the stands feel like all their free samples aren’t for nothing. “Mmmm,” the cube eaters say. “That’s very nice.”
The first thing I sampled was some chocolate ice cream. It was horrible. It tasted really watery and more milky than chocolatey. I threw the rest of it out and felt really punk.
At the Delmaine stand I tried some gherkins and discovered that I really liked them. I never used to like gherkins. I’m now the proud owner of a jar of sliced gherkins. Rockin’.
I walked around looking at stands. It seemed that anything that came out of a can or was made from adding dried stuff in a packet to ingredients didn’t look or smell particularly appealing. But people queued up to get little plastic cups full of some sort of mock curry.
There were samples of Hoegaarden served with mussel fritters. I would have happily spent the rest of the afternoon there, but I thought I’d better move on and let others experience the Belgian delights.
In the middle of it all I saw a woman wearing a t-shirt reading “fuck you you fuck’n fuck”. I was offended. Not by the curse words on the t-shirts, but by the inanity of it. Yeah. empty insults as fashion.
Then I was delighted to find the Abe’s Bagels stand. Three bags of bagels for $4. That’s bloody good value.
Kellogg’s had some bins that they put free samples of K-Time bars into. One of the Kellogg’s people tipped some bars in the bin and a swarm of people swooped down and started grabbing handfuls of bars. Within seconds the bin was empty.
I discovered that rice crackers that proclaim to be 100% fat free are horrible and dry and would be endlessly improved with a little bit of fat. Same for those dry, tasteless low-fat biscuits.
My helpful rules were keeping me out of trouble. Stands with samples of fruit and vegetables were lacking hysterical crowds. I picked up a baby carrot and dipped it into mayonnaise, experiencing some weird deja vu.
Three years ago it was all about the hummus, then last year I discovered the delights of broccolini. This year I noticed a lot of things with coriander. On the way out I broke one of my rules by trying some coriander bean dip on a cracker. It was really good. With that good flavour lingering in my mouth, I took my bagels and gherkins and went home.