Well what a lovely time we had and what a lot of goodies we found at The Allergy & Free From Show in London; we had to adapt our plans slightly as our child care arrangements fell through so we ended up taking both our boys with us (dairy free Cameron aged 13 and younger brother William aged 7). There was a little protest at the 5.15am wake-up call but both enjoyed the early train journey down to London arriving at Paddington Station in time for breakfast.
We made our way to Olympia via the tube and picked up our goody bags at the door – looking down the steps into the hall we decided just to go aisle by aisle so as not to miss any of the stands as despite still being relatively early in the day it was already rather busy. We were all on the lookout for dairy free cheese – our prime mission and past that just anything else that looked and tasted great – we weren’t disappointed.
Most stalls had tasting samples and Cam grew quite adept at asking if they were dairy free before tucking in – Will just politely helped himself all morning long! We noticed that there were an awful lot of gluten free products, many of these are actually suitable for dairy free diets too but the majority were just advertised as being gluten free. There were also quite a number of free from breads available from different companies, our favourite being Fria who are the Scandinavian market leader in gluten-free and dairy-free bakery products.
We did venture slightly in the V Delicious – the Veggie Good Food Show which runs in conjunction with the Allergy & Free From Show. It was well worth the detour to sample the sausages from Secret Sausages Vegetables in Disguise camper van. With just one flavour containing cheese and obviously not dairy free the boys sampled to their heart’s content with each variety getting a thumbs up – I don’t think they realised just how many vegetables they consumed in such a short space of time!
Having digested all the information we carried home and reflected on the samples we ate, our top products of the day as voted by our chief tasters, aka Cameron and William included;
Top of the list 110% is Rice Mac and Cheese from Amys Kitchen – Cameron was in seventh heaven.
We couldn’t buy any on the day but Goodness Direct are selling it as from 13th June so we’ll definitely be putting an online order in. Cameron savoured every mouthful and the look on his face was priceless and worth the trip for that alone. He said it literally made his day!
Chosen by Will and endorsed by Cameron are Moshi Monster Ice Lollies from It’s Only Natural – these are 100% fruit ice lollies with no added sugar and no nasty stuff and are available in two flavours – Katsuma Tropical and Poppet Raspberry. There are other products in their range; they do mail order so we are hoping to get our hands on some of their pure 100% fruit sorbet called Orb which has just been shortlisted for the Best Innovation in 2013 Free From Food Awards.
I was extremely pleased to come across a company called ilumi who have a nut, gluten and milk free promise with their entire range. We tried the chicken curry and have to confess we went back for seconds, totally delicious! Most of the products come in handy pouches and can be reheated either in a microwave or gently in a saucepan. As all of their products have been designed to be stored at room temperature they are absolutely perfect to take camping with us in the summer. Their website has also got a special offer on at the moment where if you spend over £20, you get £10 off – valid until the end of June 2013 – see their website for further details. I also like the search tool on their shop page where you simply type in any ingredients you either don’t like or need to avoid and up pop all the suitable dishes – brilliant!
We all enjoyed Koko, a dairy free alternative to milk made from freshly pressed coconut milk. Available in original, strawberry and chocolate flavours in 1 litre containers and also handy smaller individual cartons with a straw – absolutely perfect for the school lunchbox & picnics! Naturally free of lactose, cow’s milk protein, soya and gluten they are ideal for anyone with lactose, cow’s milk protein, soya or gluten intolerance. I am looking forward to cooking a few savoury recipes using the original flavour. Apparently the chocolate flavour is great warmed as a hot chocolate. It wasn’t until we got home that we realised that this company were from our neck of the woods here in Worcestershire!
Ok so the boys didn’t vote for this one, Paul and I did but it is a very worthy mention and provided a much needed refreshing tipple towards the end of our visit at Olympia – Celia Lager is a premium Czech Lager which is gluten free – guess you do even have to think of beer (& wine) when you have different allergies/intolerances?!
Our only disappointment of the day was not to find any dairy free cheese – the quest continues!
Feeling rather weary we left early afternoon & William had lots of fun hailing a black cab to take us to the National History Museum to see the dinosaurs – what an amazing place that is. Ice creams & lollies in the sun at Hyde Park sealed our trip down to the big smoke and we returned home happy but tired, inspired and full of dairy free ideas.
Watch this space!