First impressions? The stand layout is much better this year with lots more space between the aisles and the wine tasting stands have been spread out between all the food stands instead of all congregating in the southern end of the exhibition centre. I think the organisers have finally realised that with all the trolleys, prams and other wheeled devices navigating the stands, more room is safer and makes for happier foodies!
Best showbag? Definitely the Barilla sample box for $10 which includes 3 bottles of sauce, 3 types of pasta, a cute 100% cotton apron and a chic pasta tin for storage.
What did I buy? Josophan belgian chocolate peanut brittle, a pretty jar of Ajvar capsicum and vegetable relish from Marco Polo Foods, Rochester Dickensian Ginger Drink (ok it's non-alcoholic but I'm partial to the idea of sticking a hot poker from an open fire into a mug to heat it up!) and some gold grade leaf gelatine, porcini powder and vanilla cocoa nibs from Equagold. Ideas for using said ingredients welcome!
Hmmmm - There's enough room for TWO super absorbant chamois ok shammy stands in a food show? Being the systematic type, I like starting from one end and making my way up and down each aisle to make sure I don't miss a thing so starting at the northern end my first stands were a couple of escapees from a lifestyle show! Ok, ok I know people who love food also love feeding their dogs well and want to erase the lines from under their eyes too but couldn't we have filled the spaces maybe at a cheaper rental for little artisanal places who have a special product but can't afford a stand? I'd say 80% of what was on show can already be purchased in local supermarkets and shops but what I want to see is the stuff you'd normally have to travel a long way to find.
And after a day of grazing and very sore legs, I came home to find Gummi Baby had made nachos for dinner!