For the past two years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Twin Cities Veg Fest (see my posts from 2013 and 2014). Then my friends at The Herbivorous Butcher told me they had signed up to be exhibitors at Mad City Vegan Fest June 27 in Madison, so I put it on my calendar. Chris from Everyday Tastiness and I arrived at the Goodman Community Center right when they opened the doors at 10am, and it was nice to enjoy the calm before the storm.
We grabbed some food samples right off the bat, including Upton’s Breakroom Bacon Mac made with Bacon Seitan from Upton’s Naturals. It was creamy, and the bacon added a nice salty flavor. The primary ingredient in seitan is wheat gluten which has a meat-like texture.
The Herbivorous Butcher’s table was hopping from the get-go. They sampled a couple different kinds of their vegan cheese as well as several vegan meats. The special for Vegan Fest was New Glarus beer cheese brats, which I’m sure flew out the door. My favorites of theirs include the all American sausage, bacon and chorizo. Their shop should open in NE Minneapolis in November and I can’t wait!
We also stopped and said “hello” to the other Minneapolis business, Punk Rawk Labs who make delicious nutmilk cheeses. Chris and I both agree the nacho cheese is our favorite. They all have a wonderful, creamy texture.
I appreciated the variety of exhibitors, from animal welfare groups to gardening to midwifery to clothing. Check out the full list on the website. One could walk out with a goody bag chock full of vegan treats as well as literature. Veg fests are open to people of all dietary preferences – I promise they won’t make you verify that you’re vegan when you walk in the door. It’s just a way to learn about various aspects of a vegan lifestyle since animal rights, health and environment can all come into play.
We sampled food from quite a few other vendors and also sat in on the cooking demo from Dama Wells-Foster of Sol D’Licious, the vegan cafe that we stopped at in Kenosha, WI on our last road trip. Now head to Part 2 and stay tuned for Parts 3!