Fascinating new food and drink products I tried at the Balance Festival and Taste of London Summer in June 2022
Fermenti – the Cultured Cookie, made from raspberries, fermented coconut, cocoa butter, coconut oil and cashew butter.
Chocolate chip cookie from The Juice Smith in Chobham, Surrey. The juices were very good, too.
Boundless Activated Crisps – made with sorghum wheat, come in two flavours so far: salt & vinegar and sweet chilli
Airsnax – chickpea and pea snacks
Aluna Coconut Rum – not mentioned in the podcast but I liked it. A not sweet nor sickly version of Malibu.
Unika Life – nutrition bars
ZenB pasta sauce and yellow pea pasta
OSU Apple Cider Vinegar – Great Taste Award winning, diluted slightly with juice.
Piqi Probiotic Water Kefir – very subtle flavours, almost no sweetness
Ve-du-ja paste from Belazu – I forgot to mention this in the podcast but this is such a clever product from one of my favourite food businesses. Jars of their salsas and sauces will make any basic midweek meal wow. The vegan nduja replica was demonstrated to excellent effect by Elly Curshen. We watched, and then we ate.
Tatale plaintain shito tacos – I also forgot to mention this in the podcast. One of only two dishes I bought from the restaurant vendors at Taste of London. These were great and Tatale will be opening soon in the Africa Centre in Southbank. It’ll be headed by Akwasi Brenya-Mensa. It definitely looks like one to visit to try some excellent pan-African food.
Food I found wandering around London:
Vegan mushroom sandwich from Yolk
Read the full podcast episode on Balance Festival and Taste of London new product discoveries here:
[00:00:00] Hello. Welcome back to The Next Delicious Thing. Your weekly podcast where you hear what should go to the top of your list to try next with a side of food geekery. I’m Jennifer Earle. I am a former Food Buyer and Food Developer and the founder of Chocolate Ecstasy Tours, one of the longest running food tour companies in the country. I started it in 2005.
[00:00:25] This week, I’m going to be sharing with you some things I discovered when I visited balance festival and the Taste of London festival.
[00:00:33] I attend lots of who chose some of them trade shows. Some of them not. And part of the purpose of this podcast is to share some of the things that I discovered at these food shows.
[00:00:43] Most of the things that I discovered at Balance and Taste of London are snacks. There are also a few cookies and there’s a few other things that I’ve found that wandering around London that I want to share with you. ,
[00:00:54] Probably the most interesting product I encountered was in prelaunch. It is from a company called Fermenti.
[00:01:00] They’re called cultured cookies. And at the moment they only have one flavour: Raspberry and Cashew and the only ingredients are dehydrated raspberries, fermented coconut, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and then cashew butter, which is the filling inside.
[00:01:18] They contain a huge variety of probiotics, which means that they are really good for your gut health. There are also super delicious.
[00:01:27] What I also liked is that they’re not full of random ingredients. There’s no added flavourings or… Everything just feels really natural. So, I bought some. I will definitely be buying them again. Maya loved them as well. They are kind of expensive. So they’re not really something you’ll probably have as a regular kind of treat, but the price makes sense when you consider that it is just dehydrated berries.
[00:01:52] These are very expensive. And you need a lot of them. Even to make a tiny cookie.
[00:01:58] There were three other cookies that I found: two at Balance and another, which was at Taste of London, although I didn’t see it there. I was lucky enough to try it a couple of days earlier when I went to visit Mission Kitchen, which I will be telling you more about in a future episode, but for now, what you should know is that it is an incredible space in Vauxhall, in Southeast London, where companies and individuals can rent kitchen space or office space. They’re all food companies, restaurants, or caterers or product companies.
[00:02:29] And the cookies that I tried were from a company called Mama G.
[00:02:34] I tried them while they had just come out of the oven. So they were still melting in the middle.
[00:02:40] These were excellent. They send them all across the country by post. So if you are looking to make a meeting much happier, or you need them for party or just for yourself, then I will provide links to these and all of the others at thenextdeliciousthing.com. If you search for Balance Festival, then you should be able to find this full list.
[00:03:02] The other two that I found at Balance Festival were both vegan. One was a cookie that is made by a company that focuses on juices but they also have a restaurant where they are completely organic, completely vegan. It’s in Chobham in Surrey. They make a choc chip cookie with chickpea flour and gluten free flour. So the cookie is free from dairy, eggs and gluten. And it was really tasty, like honestly, really, really filling and delicious. And not too sweet.
[00:03:39] The other cookie company was a dedicated cookie company run by Guilia. Called Guilia’s Cookies. And everything is completely vegan. These are fully indulgent. So there’s an Oreo cookie and a peanut butter cookie and a Nutella cookie. There are a lot of different flavors. I bought six and they were all really yummy.
[00:04:00] They fall apart more easily because there’s no egg in them. But they were still really tasty. If you are looking for vegan cookies, then you have so much choice there. You’ll find Guilia at farmer’s markets or on my website there’s a link directly to her
[00:04:16] In terms of other snacks: they were three crisp alternatives. One by Boundless who have activated nuts, which you might’ve seen before, they now have activated crisps, which are based on a sorghum, which is a gluten-free cereal grain. So technically part of the grass family. It’s a really fantastic grain because it is really nitrate friendly. It is able to grow in drought like conditions. And it is super dense with nutrients. All grains are rich in micronutrients, but sorghum has the best density of nutrients. So you get iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and thiamine. And it’s really rich in protein as well.
[00:05:03] Not only are these boundless crisps made of sorghum. They’re also soaked. Apparently you get better bioavailability when that’s done.
[00:05:11] Another just launched snack brand offering 4 flavours was Airsnax. The base is the same in all of them. It’s chickpea, yellow peas and green peas. I think there’s also a potato starch in there, too. They’re a little bit like pop chips, but with fewer calories, less fat, more fiber and more protein. I know generally, like having snacks is not really supposed to be part of a healthy diet, but if you’re going to have to have snacks or you just want them, they seem like a pretty good alternative. And in fact, they’ve done a competitor comparison against Hippeas, Snack a Jacks, Pop Works, Off the Beaten Path, Proper Chips, Eat Real Lentil Chips… And, for all of them, they have fewer calories per hundred grams. Less fat except Snack a Jacks, which are just rice. Um, more fibre and in the upper range, when it comes to protein. I really liked the black pepper flavor, but they were all good.
[00:06:06] The third and final bagged crisp alternative was Native: vegan prawn crackers. Which I’m pretty sure I’ll have really no health benefits whatsoever. It’s made with tapioca, which probably just pure starch and carbohydrates. They were a great almost- replacement for prawn crackers. If that’s something that you used to like as a vegan or vegetarian, or, you just feel left out and you want to know kind of what they taste like.
[00:06:34] A couple of other probiotic products that I encountered: OHSU. Apple cider vinegar. It’s Great Taste Award-winning, diluted slightly with juice to make it more drinkable and tasty. So rather than sprinkling it on a salad as most apple cider vinegar tends to be used for. It’s something that you can consume as a drink. They had some quite refreshing mocktail options.
[00:07:00] Another new company, Piqi, probiotic, water kefir. These had almost no sweetness and were very subtle flavors. If you’ll interested in adding to the number of fermented foods that you consume. Drinks. And you don’t want it to consume dairy, a water kefir is a great option.
[00:07:20] Another health product was Unika nutrition bars. They are another brand new prelaunch company. They have two different alternative bars that are packed with probiotics, prebiotic fiber vitamins, and kind of other ingredients that are supposed to support a health. Things like ashwagandha, magnesium, turmeric, zinc.
[00:07:43] They were pretty tasty.
[00:07:44] There were two flavours: peanut butter chocolate, and a tumeric latte.
[00:07:50] I always struggled to figure out where these things fit in. But I think if you’re going to have something that is a snack and you want to also get some of these extra vitamins in your diet. Then it’s a pretty neat way of doing it.
[00:08:01] Okay. I am almost done. You might have seen this next company also advertising on the tube. Zen B is a Japanese company just launching in the UK. It’s plant-based and at the moment their products are gourmet pasta sauces and pasta that is made from yellow peas. So again, high in protein and no gluten.
[00:08:21] This was a really tasty, so much so that I bought some partly because my almost three year old was happy to eat it. If you have toddlers, you know how important that is.
[00:08:31] The last few things I found while I was out and about in London. After a meeting, I passed a sandwich shop, which is part of a small chain called Yolk. I bought a vegan mushroom sandwich that was a bit like a bahn mi. It was made with soft bread, with a crackly crust. And carrots and cabbage that had been pickled to really cut through that sweet marinaded mushroom. It was delicious.
[00:09:03] I also popped into Sendero speciality coffee shop in Battersea. They had some tasty looking brownies, which they got from a local maker. Eat with Ama. Well, her name is Ama, Eat with Ama is the name of her company. I had the peanut butter chocolate brownie. And it was excellent. I think it was vegan. It looks like it from her website, but that was fully rich and super delicious.
[00:09:31] I definitely recommend finding out where else her products are stocked and getting to try some for yourself. As always, the links to all of these will be at thenextdeliciousthing. com
[00:09:43] Please, let me know if you try any of them tag me. If I didn’t mention a business that you saw at one of these places, it’s possible that I didn’t see them because sometimes that happens kind of difficult coordinating a route these festivals, which doesn’t miss things. Or it might be that I don’t recommend them particularly…
[00:10:04] If you’d like to know, feel free to ask me.
[00:10:05] You can reach me email@example.com or on social media @thenextdeliciousthing. Please remember to subscribe. If you want this list of things via email. You can sign up at thenextdeliciousthing.com. If you like listening to the podcast, please rate it five stars.
[00:10:23] I look forward to chatting to you again next week until then: Happy eating.