Are you avoiding veganism because you’re nuts about cheese? Want delish food to be healthy and eco but all you try tastes of cardboard? – Help is nigh.
Having broken my own rule (Never work on weekends!), I have made last Sunday my food-day and visited Berlin’s first professional trade fair exclusively for indie, eco-social & sustainable food and beverage producers: the Next Organic Berlin.
Next Organic: Why I went and…
In its second year in 2014, the Next Organic Berlin took place on Sunday, May 18th, in the glorious entrance hall of the defunct airport Tempelhof.It was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor* heavily and half the city was blocked due to the Berlin Velothon, a combination that catered for a pleasant emptiness in the morning. (The place got really crowded later, though.)
The classic trade show programme – rows of booths – was seasoned with pretty impressive live cooking events, themed tasting tours and a side of really good workshops.
The exhibitor areas included:
beer and craft beer,
coffee and other drinks,
regional (from apples to my beloved pumpkin seeds),
newcomers and start-ups.
Not listed here as a particular area were manufacturers of bread, grains/muesli, tea and chocolate as well as one rather gorgeous eco hotel near Berlin called Landgut A. Borsig (check out their galleries!) and one beauty brand from Australia – Zuii Organic.
And right by the entry, draped on bistro tables: food novelties.
…What I Found & What’s In It For You
My main focus was to see the players of the industry, to check out favourite brands in person, to support foodie friends, and to discover something exciting, new, and ethical-excellent.
And so I have hunted down my favourite brands first – the organic spice and herbs manufacturers (Herbaria, Sonnentor), specialist food brands (Bauckhof is my go-to gluten-free and crap-free saviour; Govinda offers deliciously exotic gluten-free, raw and vegan ideas), my favourite rice suppliers reishunger.de and foodie friends such as Lyss of Blyss Chocolate and Manu, the owner of the beautiful deli Vom Einfachen das Gute (a discerning omnivore’s paradise I will rave about later this month).
My most delicious experience was to taste a real, grilled, dairy-free, fermented cheese made from organic soy (Nagel Tofumanufaktur). The taste was similar to halloumi cheese; very spicy, very tasty – very good. The Nagel people were authentic tofu and cheese geeks, and we agreed that vegan food should not be about mimicking the classics of the omnivorous diet, but about creating brand new taste experiences.
I have also tried super tasty new Styrian pumpkin seed products (do you remember my pumpkin seed oil love letter?) such as chocolate covered seeds by Schalk Mühle. A brand new DIY chocolate company from Munich, Chocqlate, was live-cooking their product – a 5-ingredient, raw chocolate bar that you can create and customize in the convenience of your home.New encounters included brilliant gourmet raw chef Boris Lauser, Next Organic pr lady and a foodie allrounder Cathrin Brandes, several gastro entrepreneurs and coaches and one charming lady running, I kid you not, a dental food blog… now strike me pink!
I’ve also discovered a few novelties, and my two highlights are:
The Berlin-based, organic muesli making start-up called Das Berliner Frühstück (the Berlin breakfast). They offer muesli for everyone, also for allergy sufferers, and even one gluten-free variety, so I’m not quite sure if I should give them a thumbs up for considering this particular plague or to tilt my head and say: “One?” considering the proportions of the same.
The second one is Berliner Brandstifter, a social enterprise distillery (!) that’s made it to the New York Times’ top 15 products made in the EU list. With all-local ingredients and a cool heritage history, I tip my hat at this noble local venture despite not being their clientele (not even close so).
So there is a lot of delicious goodness for you to look forward in my future posts, in particular to beauty food recipes and to finding great taste in cruelty-free and slow food.
FOOTNOTE | this was a line from one of my top 5 favourite Bowie songs
* Because I’m going to the V&AM David Bowie exhibition that’s arrived in Berlin.
Now that’s a Monday to look forward to!
And if you, too, need some Monday voodoo to cheer you up, check out my posts tagged Motivation Monday. They never ever get outdated, and I admit I keep re-reading them myself now and then… xo