Taste of London awesomeness | #beenthere

It’s once a year, every year, usually in mid-June. It’s the biggest food festival in London and the best. This year I went to see and eat with my own eyes and taste buds.

Name, place, organizers

Name: Taste of London
Place: Regent’s Park, London
Organizers: Taste Festivals Ltd (an IMG company), a company who organizes many other Taste festivals around the world.
More info: Taste of London website

Concept

The concept is to bring together, for the public, the best chefs in London and the best ingredients and dishes offered by each market, producer, restaurant, pub etc, you name it. Almost 1 week (15th to 19th of June) full of great food, great drinks, entertainment, live cooking sessions and cheerfulness.

And it delivered!
taste of london #beenthere cooktosmile

Structure

When you entered, you could see infinity of stands, producers, restaurants waiting for you to try everything they had brought or prepared themselves for you; and chefs giving cooking masterclasses or demos that you could join as you pleased. The awesomeness was accompanied, at the entrance, by gigantic 3D “taste” letters and the country signs where Taste festivals take place around the world.
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The feeling

I personally felt like a child in a huge playground, with lots of toys and i could try them all! Each corner of the way, lovely girls (or boys) would welcome you with shots of energy drinks, alcohol, juices, packages of snacks, freshly meals, vouchers and many more; I felt spoiled and I bet others felt it too!

What we’ve tried

A bunch of stuff or a stuff of bunch! From popcorn and coconut to Prosecco and maturated cheese.
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There were lots of free items that you could taste, as part of the ticket price and we did:

Food

PASTA
We tried some freshly, bio-organic and delicious pasta with a tomato aromatic sauce. The sauce was so good and pasta nicely cooked; it melted in your mouth; Seeds of Change is the brand and it’s worth looking for it in the supermarket!

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Price: free sample

If you wanted a goodies bag from them, they gave it for £5 and consisted in: the tomato sauce, pasta, herbs – all ingredients from the dish you could taste for free.
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CHEESE
We tried lots of cheese, lots of Italian maturated, old cheese, vintage cheese, salty, not salty, aromatic or not. Oh, and parmigiano of course. Lots of types: garlic&herbs cheese, raspberry-flavored cheese, paprika cheese, whisky-flavored cheese etc.
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Price: free sample

OYSTERS
Raw oysters in the shell, with lemon and onion.
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Price: 3 oysters for £6.

SCALLOPS
…with cheesy crust and chili-mustard sauce. Hmm, the cheese was melting and gave the scallops a moist and soft texture, the sauce flavored the dish and the crust was…smashing!

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You couldn’t stop until you’ve finished!
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Price: £6 per (big) scallop.

STRAWBERRIES
In one word: perfection. The best strawberries I’ve eaten in my life, the most aromatic and fleshy. They grow them naturally and leave them to grow until they are mature enough, no additional chemicals to help them grow – and you can tell they’re for real because the strawberries weren’t just beautiful and big but full of flavor, strawberry flavor. Great quality, Jubilee Strawberries. Will look for you in the supermarkets!

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Price: free samples to taste

OLIVE-CREAMED BREAD
Small patty with olives-cream filling
Heaven! The olive cream filling was delicious, tasty, not salty at all and you could sense the taste of pure olives.
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Price: free samples

BALSAMIC VINEGAR
Yep, we’re also cooks not only eaters! We tried a variety of balsamic vinegar, olive oils but 2 of the balsamic vinegar bottles we tested from made me buy one!
The pomegranate balsamic vinegar and the fig balsamic vinegar. I bought the pomegranate but both were equally delicious!
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Price: £8 for a small bottle (250 ml) and £14 for a bigger bottle (500 ml). Fair enough.

OTHER SNACKS: we also tried some fruit-healthy bars, gluten-free cakes, sweet dairy cakes, popcorn, flavored-puffs
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Price: free to taste; £1-£2-£3-£4-£5 to buy, depending on the flavor, size and how many.

Drinks

Oh boy, we tried lots of drinks, but with limits so we don’t get dizzy…
Here we go:

COCONUT
Tried it for the first time, i was drinking from a coco-nut!!!
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PROSECCO
Sparkling, perfumed, aromatic, tasty, fuzzy, delicious.
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CIDER
Orchid or apple color and taste – who cares??! Good cider is good.
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BEER
Simple, freshly brewed. Just drink it already!
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SMOOTHIE
We tried so many smoothies…but the green one made my day: kale, lemon, green apple, lemongrass and banana!
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NATURAL, COLD PRESSED JUICE
Don’t let the beautiful color fool you – the taste was as raw as a cucumber! Or carrot.
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Other things to do
As i was mentioning above, there were other things you could do at the event: from attending live cooking shows (which we did!) to learning how to make your favorite Bloody Mary cocktail at home.
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Conclusion

All in all, the overall experience was worth it! The money, the distance, the walking, the everything.
The variety of producers, products, markets, restaurants, dishes, drinks and activities made it all feel alive and gave you the boost you needed on a lazy Sunday (or weekend for that matter).
Will come again next year!