I was looking forward to the allergy show this weekend in London, as I loved it last year, my first gluten-free one.I went on Friday which is a bit more quiet and it gave me a chance to talk with many of the stall holders.
It's fantastic to see the smaller producers along the bigger ones, and I would recommend anyone on a restricted diet to visit.
Most products I saw were aimed at the gluten free and/or dairy free eater, and there is also the vegetarian area. I don't know if those on other food allergies would find enough stalls for them.
The hall this year is bigger and it all looks more spacious and light.
I was meeting with a few others from the Gluten Free London Meetup group and we chose to meet at the FreeFrom Cafe, although I have to say there was a lot of gluten containing produce on offer, and just a note saying that if you wanted gluten free food you could ask for their options.
I'd say this is an area that the show needs to improve on, it's such a lost opportunity.
Still, it was lovely to meet up with the others over a coffee and share tips and favourite stalls.
So, what did I take home?
I took a few photos as I got home and I was slightly worried at the amount.
I'd suggest to take some strong bags, a rucksack or even a trolley if you plan to get a few things, it soon adds up. I was lucky to have my sister with me as she carried half of it, but it was still a very heavy bag.
Also, if you plan to get some puds from Pudology, or frozen cakes from Fria or some fresh sausages, it's worth taking your cool bag with you. The sun came in in some areas and it was quite warm.
The first stall you find as you go in is from Udi's. This is a sample stall (A24) and they do not sell here, there is another stall later on where you can buy some of the products (A92).
They have a fantastic variety of products, from bread to crackers to biscuits, it's like being a kid in a candy store. You can try most things, and as a blogger I was lucky to get a few samples.
I chose some of their Oreo like cookies, that I had tasted and were brilliant, and some lemon wafers still to try.
The lemon wafers (a chocolate option is also available) are currently on sale at Tesco for a limited time, and the sandwich cookies will be available later on in the year.
I also got some of their Tiger bread, one of my favourites before being gluten-free and some of their multiseeded rolls, looking forward to them already!
There were also some of their Toaster Pastries boxes at the main entrace, so I had to get one ;)
One of my objectives at the show was to get some pizza bases from Venice Bakery (stand A42). They have an offer for the show, 4 products for £10. Brilliant, I got 3 plain pizza bases and some flatbreads. They also have some to taste there, which were very nice.
I also wanted to try again the lovely pies from Clive's (stand A44). Their sample board is fantastic, and you can try all their fillings with small crackers made with their pastry. All their pies are organic and vegetarian and they use palm oil for their pastries, which has a nice flavour and it is easy to digest.
At Heck (stand A193) we tried some of their pork sausages which were our favourites, and they also had some pork and apple and chorizo. We got four packs and got a free cool bag to take them home.
On Ben's recommendation we went to Sukrin's (stand A91) were I got some Sukrin gold. This is a brown sugar substitute that is healthier and has less calories. It's not cheap at £3 per pack but an interesting product to try.
Visiting Smooze (stand A120) was also on my shopping list, as I tried their fruit ice last year and loved it. They also have a freezer at the show and you can buy just one ice, lovely if you are a bit too hot (I think it was £0.70 approx).
I also got a rocky road tub from Perkier (stand A150), which I love and some Italian pasta from Elena's gluten free way (stall A208).
I met the lovely Sweedish ladies at Fria (A40) and loved their lemon muffins, and was lucky to get some samples of it and of one of their bread too, thanks!
And finally a fantastic Focaccia from Focaccia Per Tutti (stand MP2). All their focaccias look amazing, it's a pitty that their stall is located by one of the walls and not easy to see, but worth a visit. Their focaccia have won the Freefrom overall winner 2014 and Great Taste in 2013. They have big ones and also little ones if you prefer a variety of them.
There were also stalls from producers that I already like and can find easily like Lovemore foods (A164) great biscuits available at Ocado, Goody Good Stuff (A229) for sweets, and Eskal (A153) for rice noodles.
Interestingly there were two Paleo stalls too, The primal kitchen (A117) and Ugg foods (A157).
And the guys from Vitalfootprint (A118) who are developing a website/app for finding gluten free places to eat and products on the go.
Oveall, I'm very happy with my purchases, and the chats and all the fantastic tasting on offer, just need to find some storage at home so that I can enjoy my products over the coming weeks.
Looking forward to next year already!