The BBC Good Food Show is a foodie’s dream. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, the place is stuffed with stalls selling and sampling the widest variety of delicious things. I didn’t go along with the intention of buying anything, but it’s amazing what a breakfast of cheese and gin samples can do to a girl’s willpower.
And oh my there was a lot of cheese. A couple of my favourites were the Snowdonia Cheese Company’s Amber Mist, a mature cheddar made with whisky, and the Them Krystal six month mature from Danish company Jutland Highland Cheese. Just as I did at Wapping Market, I was pulled into the stand selling a range of obscure herbs and spices. The habanero chillies I bought there have gone down very well in my flat, so this time around I bought Naga Ghost Chillies. Dizzy on the excitement I stupidly tried one tiny spot of Juju sauce from Mushemi Fire. Good God. It is a heat that builds until my nose ran, my eyes were watering and I was unwittingly producing an abnormal amount of saliva. And I can’t emphasise this enough, it was literally ONE tiny drop on a strip of flour tortilla. Thankfully there was a delicious apple juice sample next door to help me recover a bit quicker!
Speaking of drinks, there were some cracking choices to be had. I’ve seen Belvoir cordials before, but the apple, plum and cinnamon variety was served up with hot water instead and was amazing. I snapped up a bottle all ready for cold Winter evenings when I don’t want all the sugar in a hot chocolate or the caffeine in a cup of tea. I also tried Rebel Kitchen‘s dairy free chocolate milks, which I’ve actually had before. Made with coconut milk and flavoured with cocoa, matcha green tea or chai, they are a great adult lunch box alternative, but they’re not quite a tasty as a regular milkshake; my friends loved them though – I think it’s because I don’t like coconut.
On the upper floor of Olympia centre there were a lot of booze brands, including London’s first winery, London Cru and some gorgeous packaging on numerous bottles. It was also packed with sweets and chocolates and cakes, but the stall that excited me the most was Spice Drops. This company creates concentrated extracts of spices from the real product, taking actual flavour not just creating an essence. I was intrigued and tried a few, sniffed many, and bought two: saffron and nutmeg. I’ll report back here when I’ve used them.
The pièce de résistance though was a live cooking demonstration with the Great British Bake Off legends Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. When there was an opportunity to get up on stage with them I practically pimped out my friend to get a chance, but to no avail. It was really exciting to see them in person though, and their chemistry together on stage was great. Lots of taking the mick out of each other and lots of great tips on how to get a great bake. Paul Hollywood even went into detail about why they picked Nancy as this year’s winner as he’s clearly been on the negative end of the whole ‘Richard should have won’ camp.
All filled up on samples, star struck by my favourite TV chefs and lugging bags full of my own lack of willpower, I left the Show a very happy foodie indeed!