Photos by Samantha Levy, Words by Paulina Stefanowski
The fellow foodies of Boston showed true dedication on this past October 6. The foodies, including myself and the editors of TasteBUds, all trudged through a cold and rainy Sunday to attend Boston’s annual Local Food Festival, presented by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, and it was well worth the journey. As soon as we emerged by Haymarket, the festival greeted us with rows of food vendors along with cooking exhibitions. And what better way to warm up then with a cup of hot apple cider from the Flour Bakery and Cafe table? The festival could satisfy anyone’s craving, whether it was for bread, cookies, pasta, or some barbecue. We sampled some amazing truffle ravioli from Valicenti Organico as well as pumpkin hummus, which was roasted pumpkin blended with white beans and spices. To add to the excitement, the festival included chefs and bakers from all over New England, so we were able to sample and buy products unavailable in the Boston area. One such business was Lala’s Harvest, a vendor who specializes in homemade baked goods, jams, and jellies. We sampled and loved the seasonal pumpkin butter, which can be spread on toast or eaten right off the spoon!
The festival also included vendors whose products can be found all over Boston. The product that captured my attention was Spindrift, "a fresh take on sodas". Spindrift produces all-natural sodas and seltzers, which are a much healthier alternative to typical commercial sodas, and they contain no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial additives. The sodas contain about a 1/3 of the sugar content compared to a serving of Pepsi. I highly recommend this beverage to all the soda-enthusiasts out there, but also to those who enjoy a refreshing juice beverage. I sampled Spindrift's sparkling lemonade and the soda tasted great– it was light, appropriately sweetened, and perfectly carbonated.
It may seem like this festival was all about sampling and shopping, which is nothing to complain about– but there was more. The festival also offered opportunities to make connections and get involved. We had the chance to meet the creator of the food journal Edible Boston, as well as meet with organizations that promote the reduction of pollutants from food manufacturing. We also spoke to a group called Future Chefs that works to prepare urban adolescents for careers in the restaurant industry. Oxfam is an organization that targets big-brand companies and their monopoly crops. A bit of research on Oxfam has already raised my awareness about the practices of big corporations, like General Mills, and their impacts on workers' wages and product prices.
The Boston Local Food Festival ties together all of the aspects of food, from the perspective of your kitchen to the entire tasty, exciting, culinary world. So if you missed the festival this year, be on the look out for future events! I encourage you to attend the festival next year. It’s a wonderful way to support the people and organizations who bring passion to the Foodie World.