Exhibitors I was very excited about seeing were Teese, Wheeler's Black Label Vegan Ice Cream, and VegNews (since I'm dying for the 2009 Veggie Awards issue).
Here are the highlights:
1. Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe the staff were really friendly, the table was neatly laid out and they had Soy Curls! (which I bought to make Isa's Vegan Brunch tacos, and, umm, also cos we don't have them where I'm from)
2. this incredible Fennel Almond chocolate bar I had from I don't remember what vendor
3. Teese! The cool people there had a dispenser full of nacho sauce and all the faux mozzarella you could want.
So those are my favourites. I bought a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake (mini!) from Vegan Treats. Somehow I always think I like white chocolate so much, then when I get it, I don't like it. I think it was good, if you liked white chocolate (really), and the pumpkin cheesecake looked incredible! It all looked amazing...they had at least eight different kinds of cakes and cheesecakes.
After assorted nibbles of vegan truffles, lara bars, pure bars, etc. and seeing the super inspiring vegan bodybuilders/fitness gurus, I headed out into the foyer for what was sure to be the penultimate taste experience, after all I'd heard about it: the aforementioned Wheeler's. I bought a large with vanilla cucumber and maple walnut. I was sooo excited for vegan maple walnut! Gentle reader(s), you know what's coming. After being assured that it was an excellent flavour combination, after months and months of nothing but rave reviews, when I sat down in the gorgeous autumn day, outside in the sweet sweet breeze to eat my delicious ice cream, it was a disaster. I've pored over The Vegan Scoop and read what most of the recipes consisted of: largely based on soy creamer and arrowroot. Gentle reader(s), you could taste the arrowroot, the starchy sludge that only tried to distract you from the thin, vinegary flavour of the ice cream. A dining companion agreed. To make matters worse, I do not know how they decided to serve the vanilla cucumber in such a state: it had large frozen chunks in it, simply watery, ice-y chunks. I was shocked. I am definitely going to give them another chance, but this, two flavours!, wasn't promising.
Thinking that perhaps I'd had too much of the nip lately (dairy ice cream), I tried to shake it off and test my tastebuds at the Coconut Bliss station, thinking maybe I had just forgotten what vegan ice cream tasted like (though I knew in my heart of hearts that wasn't true; I had, after all, nearly demolished a quart of Trader Joe's Cherry Chocolate amazingness scant weeks before).
Even though I don't like coconut ice cream (usually), I loved Coconut Bliss. I highly recommend Mint Galactica.
I ended the day happy that I'm a mostly veg*n, mostly minimally processed foodie, and very very excited to catch up on MoFo and make Cauliflower and Mushroom Potpie.
btw, the Teese was pretty good in my Chik'n Parm sandwich.