Today's post is a report from the San Francisco VegFest. I went with my aunt and her boyfriend. It's a fun event with speakers, cooking demos, vendors, samples, and lots of friendly vegans walking around in their vegan t-shirts. It's always fun, driving around Golden Gate Park looking for parking and seeing all the "Be Kind to Animals" bumper stickers. My aunt said "We are amongst our people!" :)
One of my favorite things about VegFest is getting to sample all the neat products. I was grooving on this table with every flavor of Sheese. I really liked the spreadable Herb Sheese. Someone I find the spreadable varieties a little less "processed" tasting... Sheese still isn't available anywhere in Santa Cruz, but the people at this table had flyers you could take to your neighborhood health food store, so I picked up a couple. At this point, I don't ever buy any vegan cheese products... but I might pick up some creamy Sheese every once in a while if I had the option.
What's this? Free ice cream samples?! Now we're talking! The folks from Larry & Luna's Coconut Bliss gave out tastes of their Dark Chocolate, Cherry Amaretto, and Pure Coconut flavors. They were all very good, but I gotta say, the chocolate was my favorite. It was very rich, very creamy and chocolatey, and just a little coconut presence in the taste. Not that i don't like coconut mind you... just giving you the facts!
I also enjoyed the samples from Gone Nuts! Especially since I can't ever bring myself to spend $5 for a tiny little bag of nuts. My clear favorite was the Maple Mesquite Walnut I tried. Rich, savory, and sweet all at once. Especially nice with the natural bitterness of the walnut.
I was psyched to see Melisser at her Sugar Beat Sweets booth! And I got to meet Belle who was helping her out. They were selling cupcakes and candy corn and cinnamon rolls and brownies... the stuff was flying off the cakestand! One of my favorite things about VegFest is seeing everyone out in their veg*n wear - but Belle's smiling, dancing hot dog shirt with "MURDER" in broadway lights was totally hilarious.
Here's a dark-but-I-must-take-this-picture-at-10-pm-and-make-the-daily-veganmofo-cutoff picture of the delicious cuppers i got from Melisser. I picked out the Orange Dreamsicle, and then Melisser also sneaked me a "damaged goods" Snickerdoodle cupper. Score! See her stickers with their super cute logo!? I haven't dug into these babies yet, but they both smell and look amazing. And I'll confess to a sneak tasting of the frosting on that Orange Dreamsicle cupcake Ooooooh la la! That's good stuff! Such an intensity of real orangey goodness.
As always at the VegFest, there was some great schwag!
free Organic Apples & Pears from Rainbow Grocery
free Whole Soy Yogurts
free Nature's Gate shampoo, lotion, and baby shampoo (for my new-mom friend JJTWH)
good prices & coupons for chocolate ZenSoy pudding cups
cheap samples of raw Granola (2 different baggies)
free baggies of Mary's Gone Crackers (love these!)
free samples of vegan dog food (we'll see what the doggilies think...)
loads of great magazines, literature, and other coupons....
It was so awesome getting to sample so many great foods and talk to so many passionate, healthy, and friendly veg*ns. People were so generous and enthusiastic with their samples that we never even ate lunch... and we were seriously stuffed! It's fun to learn about the various products out there on the market, especialy without having to spend $5 to find out what I think of it. Also, it's neat to see all the vegan activism groups there, sharing their conviction and spreading the good word.
We had a great day... and the VegFest was just a piece of it. Coming tomorrow, see the exotic produce I bought at the Allemany Farmers' Market this morning!