VegFest: Good, Bad and Ugly

So VegFest on Sunday was a lot of fun. It was well-attended (apparently 13,000 attendees on Saturday); basically, a ton of companies set up booths to hawk their products and foods. We pretty much wove around the place and sampled a lot of goodies. I found the food to be pretty hit-or-miss.. A lot of the meat-substitute foods tasted pretty nasty — one fake beef jerky product had a waxy texture; a fake pepperoni stick had a weird licorice texture/aftertaste. As I’ve been having some digestive problems with dairy lately, I was very interested in trying out the vegan cheese products, especially this mysterious “Sheese” stuff I’d read about somewhere online. Their stuff was okay, but nothing I got too excited over. My favorite fake cheese was actually made with rice. I’ll have to see if I have more info on it at home. I also really enjoyed these “chicken” nuggets made of corn. The texture was amazingly close to that of a true chicken nugget. Finally, a surprising product was this spread made with hemp. It looked questionable — dark green with black spots — but tasted just like peanut butter. And no…I didn’t get the munchies after eating it ;o) The annoying thing about all these healthy/alternative products is that a) they’re difficult to find (either in specialty stores like PCC or Whole Foods, or only online) and b) once you find them, they’re really expensive (like $3.50 for a little tub of fake cream cheese at Fred Meyer).

There were also several liquid drinks to try.. this coconut-flavored I.C.E. water stuff was pretty good, but the stuff I remember most was super nasty — “aloe water.” The sample I tried was supposedly green tea and ginseng flavored, but it really tasted like licking a puddle. That’d someone’d peed in. After eating some plastic. Ew!

Overall, though, it was was a fun time for just $5. Plus, the weather was really beautiful — and (mostly) dry. Afterwards, we went to the local TV studio my sister works at and got to watch the end of a live news broadcast. That was really cool. I was expecting the studio to be a buzzing hub of folks with headsets, laptops, cameramen, makeup people… but it was me, Anuja and Chrissy; the two anchors, weatherman and sports guy; and one producer who basically only told the folks when they were on and off camera. The cameras are operated by robots! And also controlled by someone in the control booth. Who knew.

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