Food & Drink Expo took place this week at the NEC Birmingham, being the largest British food and drink exhibition this year and catering for food service, manufacturing, grocery and speciality retail, all of them incorporated within the Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show and Foodex.
International and British suppliers showcased their products and services, providing an attracting platform to discover tasty and innovative products, unveiling new trends and interacting with industry experts joining master classes, interviews and debates.
Farm Shop & Deli Show featured the best in speciality food retail, emphasizing the support to regional British products. I visited last year’s edition and I loved it.
All the producers displayed their products with pride and invited the visitors to try them. After a long day sampling lots of gorgeous food, I have struggled to pick my favourites: everything was delicious.
It was surprising the quantity of homemade pies on offer this year, featuring Burbush’s of Penrith game pies from northern region of Cumbria, the very innovative and creamy award-winning Tom’s pies and more classic Grumpies of Cornwall pies.
It was also a good amount of mushroom growers, which is good news since they are not traditionally very popular in this country, suggesting a possible increasing demand. Smithy Mushrooms displayed a beautiful and inviting stand with all the fungi on offer, meanwhile Hughes Mushrooms offered meaty and tender samples to taste. Livesey Brothers showed with pride the species they grow on their exotic mushroom farm.
I had the chance to taste lots of cheese in different stands: a peculiar charcoal cheddar, assorted international and regional cheese and gorgeous Cornish blue at Cornish cheese. I also spotted Bodnant Welsh Food, a shop that supports a traditional Welsh cheese revival.
Other interesting products
There was a wide range of cured meats at the Expo. St Marcus Fine Foods offered prime quality South African dry cured meats and succulent traditional borewors sausages made in Britain and I had the chance to taste one of the best Spanish cured meats I have ever tasted at Cárnicas CRA stand, featuring their traditional chorizo manufactured in Spain. The campaigners Discover the Origin showed the visitors the quality of a sublime Parma ham among other PDO products.
There was not too much fish on the Expo, but Silver Darlings was one of my favourite products this year, offering Scandinavian pickled herring manufactured in Scotland.
Drinks on offer
Beer, cider and other alcoholic drinks were also on offer. MarRon Liqueurs displayed a wide range of exotic and innovative combinations of flavoured liqueurs and Clink liqueurs displayed their traditional liqueurs, featuring their slow gin.
Flora teas surprised the visitors with their gorgeous comforting drinks with beautiful flowers ‘magically growing’ inside the glass.
It was such a nice and enjoyable day and I just can’t wait for the next year!