The food festival - a celebration of food.
These are wonderful and massive events usually taking place in large fields and brimming with food, food, beer, food, music and obscene amounts of food.
You will also often find food animals like cute cows and sheep and poultry which not all people are happy about but that's another subject for another place.
Well to be honest I have only been to one and it was a good day out as days out go.
Vast hanging platters with bubbling chilli over real flames. All kinds of takeaways to eat on the spot and stuff to take home too. Zebra steaks, cheese, pickles, confectionery and bread. Ice cream, real ale, burgers.......
A wonderful place awash with wonderful aromas and flavours all served up in the middle of a glorious swamp of mud, wellies, discarded flip flops and sometimes bare feet.
All this against a background of live music, sheep shows, bubble blowers and other demonstrations such as medieval scenes and live cookery shows.
Good food. Bad food. Delectable food and mouth-wateringly wonderful. A feast for all the senses and truly a celebration of not just tastes, new tastes and old tastes, but of the social aspect of eating. Here are people coming together to celebrate what keeps us alive and in itself that is truly wonderful.
But what about real food? Well there was some good and tasty hot and cold food on offer, but there was also a massive amount of delicious but vastly unhealthy stuff for sale too.
Worst of all, at the end of the day, most stalls were still piled high with food that had not sold, particularly bread, which is a really sad affair as most of it was probably thrown out being perishable. I just hope some stall holders had the sense to dish this out to the poor and homeless, but probably not.
If it is real food and/or ethical food you are looking for, in my experience, there is actually very little of it at food festivals. Bread, yes. And cheese - every stall seemed to be selling the same brand. I found one stall offering good wholesome organic vegetables, but these were not local.
I have found one organisation, the realfoodfestival ,in the UK whose mantra is this: "Real Food to us is about food that is as close to its natural form as possible and at all our festivals (from pop-up street food events to large-scale festivals) we celebrate passion-driven, sustainable and ethically minded producers and bring you the very best food you can find. "
Unfortunately for me, despite living in the UK, it is all too far away. I would welcome any feedback if you have been to one of these festivals.
This Sunshine Coast Festival also looks promising.
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