Last Sunday I went to the 2015 Philly Farm and Food Fest, a one day event held in Philadelphia, and featuring all things farm, food and local. Whenever I go to one of these events I get a bit overwhelmed. There were over 150 producers and purveyors, so lots to see, taste, hear and then there were all the people I ran into that I wanted to talk to, and the workshops I meant to attend, but missed. When I go to show like this (and this in tiny compared to the Natural Food Expo I attend in the Fall) I try to go with a plan, and somehow it never quite works out.
As I mentioned I ran into a ton of old friends, Whole Foods Market was one of the main sponsors, so of course I saw many folks I haven’t seen in a few years… lots of catching up, hugs and a bit of gossip. I knew my friend Char would be there, and I had planned to meet up with a virtual friend, and fellow blogger and actually meet her (so nice to see you Peggy from Spiced Peach!) and there was food. So much food, and many long lines for things like ice cream (Little Baby’s and Weckerly’s) and popsicles (MomPops and Lil’ Pop Shop) and oysters (Cape May Salts).
I tried lots of cheese, and even bought some from Valley Milkhouse Creamery which paired perfectly with the carrot marmalade I got from my friend Hoda from Nanna’a Secret. (Hoda is known more for her amazing Dukkah.) One of the best parts of going to an event like this is getting to talk to the actual producers of the products. I love to hear why they do what they do, and that connection enhances my experience and brings a greater level of awareness to how it tastes. This is what going to the market should be; I can’t wait for the Head House market to reopen for the season!
One of my favorites from the PFFF was Red Fox Gourmet. As you know I am a sucker for all things popcorn, and this was some really great popcorn! They also have candied nuts and trail mix, but the popcorn is the star of this show! The rosemary caramel was so good! I love the savory/sweet combo, it was a definite upgrade from typical kettle corn. At their booth was Sarah, the owner and her sister, and we talked for a while. No doubt I bored them to tears with all my questions and opinions about corn, popcorn, and where I think they should get their corn… A quick shout out to my pals at Tiny But Mighty!!
As much as I enjoyed the show, seeing my old pals, meeting new ones, and eating tons of great stuff, I have regrets. There was so much to see, and I thought I had seen and tasted it all (or most of it) but in reviewing the program there is a lot I missed. I did leave with a wad of business cards from people I want to have more conversation with, which I will share with you, but there could have been even more. For next year’s Philly Farm and Food Fest I may splurge on the preview hour, and I’ll definitely (probably) (maybe) have a plan. Until then I’ll hang onto my program so I can search out all the best stuff!