So if you don’t know already, The Allergy and Free From Show is THE place to be if you have dietary requirements or suffer from any allergies. Since I moved to Merseyside almost 2 years ago, I had to make sure I could attend the show in Liverpool last year, to experience it, and this year, I couldn’t wait to go again!
Due to personal circumstances, I wasn’t feeling up to going to this year’s show, but a brief phonecall with my dad gave me the determination to get out of the house early, and have a great day.
The show itself has so many great exhibitors, from big food brands like Schar, Genius and Nutribrex, to people selling all sorts, such as hoovers, kitchen appliances and the cheeky odd bit of yoga and baking masterclasses from the Doves Farm Freee kitchen area. Because of all of this, it’s hard NOT to get excited by everything you see. So many of the stands have samples to try, colossal discounts and of course, FREEBIES! You can see why it’s a popular event, I mean, gluten free products can be epensive, so when somebody spreads the word about discounts, everyone wants to be involved.
I should point out that I took £30 with me in total, I did the same last year, and I ended up running out of strength before I ran out of money. Also, about that strength bit, don’t have a big breakfast before you attend, because you WILL need the spare room in your tum to eat all of the samples and be rolling around the arena. It’s a love/hate relationship really.
So I arrived there with my friend who is also dairy free, just after the doors opened. On arrival they were giving out drawstring bacpacks, which you will probably need to stash your free from loot in, of course. Among the freebies, there was also a station where you can get show bags!! Packed with freebies, you don’t want to miss that. Amongst the freebies, I went around to a few stalls, mainly the ones that had products which I can’t get in my local supermarkets, and the ones with the smaller queues.
To be honest, I would say if someone is queueing for something there, the chances are there is a freebie, or some huge discounts or product launches going on. Tesco had their Lemon Meringue Pie samples out for their launch of it, Too Good To Be had a spin the wheel game where you could win tote bags, vouchers to spend online along with tarts and pie, and of course Middleton Foods and Andrew James were selling gluten free chippy items. A lot of people won’t be familiar with them, but they supply batter and sauces to some of the best chip shops in the uk.
I don’t want to bore you all to death with information about the stands I went to, so I’ll just list the items that I got! I only spend around £22 in total!
Products from the free show bag and entrance bag:
Schar Deli Style seeded bread
Schar Gluten free Cream Crackers
A mini Lucozade
NutriBrex Hazelnut Coconut & Quinoa 5 Ways Granola
Seabrooks Salt and Vinegar Crisps
Sweet Freedom Choc Pot
Sachet of Barley Cup
Aveeno Moisturiser sample
I am looking forward to trying the NutriBrex, because let’s face it, y’all need a mortgage to make that an essential cupboard item.
From Love More foods:
Raspberry Jam tarts
The biscuits are all milk free and soya free too, so these are great for those with other dietary requirements, perfect if you’re having a get together.
From Isabel’s :
Yorkshire Pudding mix
Easy Pud chocolate cake mix
Sponge Cake mix
Pizza base mix
Dough Balls mix
So, I am looking forward to making all of these! The baking fix is made of cassava starch, and from the looks of it, is an alternative to xanthan gum in baking. I know a lot of people react to xanthan gum so it will be interesting to see how this fares in terms of crumb structure in my future bakes. I will of course, let you guys know how I get on with it in due time.
From FREEE by Doves Farm:
Apple oat bars
Apricot oat bars
Chocolate oat bars
Pizza base mix
Seeded bread mix
So FREEE sent me the exact same things as I bought to review, and I enjoyed the oat bars, so I purchased them again. I got a free hessian bag as this was over £10 yay! One thing I didn’t try was the bread mix, because I screwed up when I was proving the mix, so I will be sure to try this out and let you guys know how I get on.
Other things I got for free were:
A gluten free chip shop curry sauce from Andrew James/Middleton foods. I had a good chat with them, as they supply my work with the gluten free batter and their other products, it turns out, one of the guys there knows my boss very well, so gave me some of the gluten free curry sauce to take into work and show them.
I also won a Too Good To Be… Salted caramel and chocolate tart! They had a spin the wheel game and lady luck was on my side because it landed on ‘you’ve won a slice’! While I waited in the queue, I tried the sample and it was divine, so I chose it.
We did pick up the perfect Christmas present for somebody from one of the stalls too, so it was a great place to be at this time of year really, not to mention how gorgeous Liverpool looks when it’s all festive! It’s probably my favourite city in the UK.
Definitely keep your eyes open for the Glasgow and London shows as well if you haven’t already been to this event, it’s well worth it! If you calculate how much the products I got in total cost, and compare that to the 20-odd quid I spent, you will see why people go on about it. My friend is dairy free and was so excited when she saw dairy free ANYTHING, especially chocolate. So even if you know someone with a dietary reqirement, register and get the free tickets and take them along with you (and maybe get them to help carry your gluten free swag).