2012 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

November 1, 2012

in Miscellaneous

Last year was my first year attending the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. I had gone to one in San Francisco when I was living there, and I’m not going to lie, it didn’t give me high hopes for the one in Boston. Maybe it was just an off year, but the veg fest in San Francisco was very strange. There weren’t all that many food exhibitors, and there were lots of crystal healing powers/semi-religious types of tables. To top it all off, I think I had to pay something like seven dollars just to get in.

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

The Boston Vegetarian Festival was the opposite of that. An incredible lineup of speakers, a great mix of small and larger food vendors, clothing companies, animal advocacy/informational tables, and a huge turnout. All completely free. The only downside last year was that the event was so popular, it was almost too crowded to enjoy it. Nonetheless, it made me really happy to see so many people show up to learn more, eat some good food, and just generally support the cause.

This year though, someone had the brilliant idea to offer five dollar tickets for an hour-long preview before things got too crazy. Let me tell you – those were five dollars well-spent. It was still fairly busy, but I was able to take my time walking around, chatting with exhibitors, and sampling new-to-me vegan food. And speaking of that food, here are some that stood out…

Sabertooth Bakery Maple "Bacon" Donut

Sabertooth Bakery’s Maple Coconut “Bacon” donut. O. M. G. this was good. As you probably know, I have a special place in my heart for vegan donuts, and this may go down as the best I have ever purchased. They had so many great flavors available, but I was really intrigued by the coconut “bacon”, and it did not disappoint. I’ve had it on my brain since last weekend and will definitely be attempting a homemade version.

Rescue Chocolate

Rescue Chocolate’s bars. I tried the Forever Mocha (organic coffee, hazelnut and 66% dark chocolate), and while the chocolate is seriously good, the company’s mission is even better. 100% of their net profits are donated to animal rescue groups, and each chocolate flavor brings awareness to a different issue, like Peanut Butter Pit Bull and Foster-iffic Peppermint. I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Gross, Rescue Chocolate’s founder, and she is so passionate and sweet. I can’t say enough good things about this company.

Biena Roasted Chickpeas

Biena Roasted Chickpeas in Cinnamon Maple. I have a borderline obsession with chickpeas and cinnamon maple is perhaps one of the best flavor combinations. It’s not surprising these were a big hit with me. I think they’re available at Whole Foods, although I’m not sure I can be left alone with an entire bag.

FoMu Vegam Ice Cream Flavors

FoMu’s Rice Honey Lavender ice cream. No, the honey isn’t technically vegan, but I loved the uniqueness of this flavor. I first tried FoMu ice cream a month or so ago and they continue to be my favorite non-dairy ice cream, offering coconut milk, nut-based, and soy options, all made without refined sugars. They’re located in Allston, but perhaps they’ll be in health food stores down the road. Seek them out if you’re ever in town.

Core Vegan Defender Meal Bars

Core Defender Meal’s Raw Cashew Cacao bar. Whole oats, cashews, cacao, raisins, flax, and spices. It’s literally a bowl of oatmeal (minus the water) in bar form. I love the idea and could definitely see it being convenient for mornings where I’m short on time or traveling. Paired with a piece of fruit, I think this would make for a solid meal replacement.

Theo Chocolate Bars

Theo Chocolate Fig, Fennel and Almond Fantasy bar. Theo Chocolate was already a favorite of mine, but this flavor is out of this world. It’s perfectly balanced (not too much fennel) and perfect post-dinner. A little goes a long way.

Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage. I’m late to the Field Roast fan club, having only tried it for the first time this past weekend. I feel like this is one of those veggie companies that gets a lot of hype, but I’m personally not all that into the fake meats. I changed my mind. Still not something I’d eat regularly, but it’s great to know there’s a good option available for when the craving strikes. I also think Field Roast could be a game-changer for someone who’s just transitioning to vegetarianism and really missing meat.

Compassion Couture, specifically this Matt & Nat bag. Not food-related, but I’ve been wanting to trade in my favorite over-sized purse for something without leather for a while, but just hadn’t found something I really loved. Compassion Couture has quite a few things I’d happily swap in to replace some of my old bags and shoes. Hint, hint Aaron…

Did any local readers go to the festival? What did you think? Or if you didn’t go, have you been to a vegetarian festival where you live?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole November 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

Sounds like fun! I always look forward to my local veg fest, the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival. It’s like vegan Christmas in September!
You should plan a visit here one to so you can join in on the fun :)

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Amanda November 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I’ve heard the veg fest in Toronto is awesome! I have family in Toronto, so I really should try to plan a visit for the next one. :)

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Erica @ Coffee & Quinoa November 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm

So exciting that there is a vegetarian food festival in Boston, and especially that it’s way better than the SF one! I commend you for being vegan in the Boston area – I grew up there and have such a hard time eating anything whenever I’m back. I will have to be on the lookout for a vegetarian festival in Salt Lake, I don’t think we have on yet!

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Amanda November 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I was surprised that the SF veg fest wasn’t bigger/better (in my opinion) because it’s such a foodie city.
I know what you mean about eating out in Boston. There is rarely anything on the menu that’s vegan, although I’ve been having an easier time now that I’ve worked up the courage to ask for modifications, or tell them I’m vegan and ask what they can put together. Either that or I just stick to the places I know are veg-friendly like Life Alive, Veggie Galaxy, True Bistro, etc. It’s getting better, slowly but surely. :)

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Michelle Collins November 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I wanted to go this year but was at a wedding in CT! Glad to hear it’s worth attending. I’ll be sure to go next year!

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Boston Vegetarian Society November 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

So glad you enjoyed our festival, Amanda! Thank you for the kind review, and we hope to see you next year for our 18th Annual BVFF!

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Amanda November 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I had such a great time this year and I’m already looking forward to the next one! Thank you for organizing such an awesome event! :)

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Kait @ yogabeautylife November 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Dear BVV,

Could ya’ll come teach the Mid-Atlantic how VegFests are done? Pretty please?

<3 an ex-Bostonian with vegfest withdrawal

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Shannon November 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Evie makes the coolest donuts in the world!

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Amanda November 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

She is seriously talented! I kind of want to see if she’ll hire me…but I don’t think I could handle being around so many amazing donuts all day. ;)

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Kait @ yogabeautylife November 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Ok so get ready for some sap…

Just seeing the title of this caused me to tear up. DC’s was SUCH a let down and I was so considering flying to Boston last weekend since itw as right after fnals to go. My bestie and I would go every year and make snarky (I mean witty) comments about the crazies and eat our weight in samples and I literally was thinking about this ALL WEEKEND. And almost everything you posted is new-to-me-and-therefore-the-festival and so now I’m emo. I may have also had a friend pick me up my year’s supply of Theo…I’m just sad I couldn’t sample it al. *sighs*

–sap complete–

PS I promise I’m trying to be glad that you had fun…I swear… ;)

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Kait @ yogabeautylife November 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

And by crazies I do NOT mean the vegans…I mean the people who have their carts and push you around and don’t say excuse me. I realzie in my emo-ness that I should clarify since I’m definitely one of the former crazies.

Also, you should see Peaceable Kingdom. Make sure you have tissues nearby though. And maybe someone to cuddle with…pooch or human. ;)

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Amanda November 2, 2012 at 7:59 am

That’s a bummer about the DC veg fest! I thought SF’s would be incredible, but it was just…strange. I felt very out-of-place even though I was a vegetarian at the time. It may as well have been an SNL skit. haha
I hope you can make the Boston one next year! We could meet up and go sample-crazy together. :)
Looking into Peaceable Kingdom now…

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Kait @ yogabeautylife November 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

OMG we should. Who knows where I’ll be in a year but if I can fly, I will. I’m hoping Baltimore’s in the spring makes up for DC’s a little bit.

Also, I was in a weird place last night…12 hour days + watching Peaceable Kingdom and not getting hugged after will do that to you. ;)

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Cinnamon @ eatpraytri November 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Theo chocolate!! They are from Seattle right?
I am also loving that Rescue Chocolate…what a great mission!! Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda November 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Yes, Theo is based out of Seattle. If I ever visit there, I need to do their chocolate tour!

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Colette@JFF! November 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Rescue Chocolate? Are you kiddin’ me?!
Now I don’t have to feel guilty about eating chocolate!!

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Amanda November 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

That’s what I thought too! Just another (very good) reason to eat chocolate. :)

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning November 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

We had one in DC in September- and I heard about it the next weekend! Ugh- now I have to wait another year for it. But then again, a commenter above made it sound like I didn’t miss much!
ALL of those products look amazing! I’ve had the fig & fennel bar before- but I thought I remembered not liking it much- thinking it was bland??
I could be confusing it with something else…
The maple bacon donut… oh man. And I love the chocolate that has the proceeds go to animals!! Yay!

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Ines July 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm

This was helpful, thank you! I’ve only been to the NYC VFF before but this could be a fun weekend trip and I wasn’t sure if it’d be worth the few hours drive up there but I think I will do it!

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Amanda July 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Glad you found my post helpful, Ines! I’d recommend getting there early(ish) if you go next year – it gets crowded fast!

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