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WELL-VEGUCATED: The 2012 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

As a pescetarian of only two years, I am constantly seeking to expand my knowledge of vegetarian cuisine. I was thrilled to learn that this weekend, the nonprofit Boston Vegetarian Society was holding its annual Vegetarian Food Festival. After all, what better way to broaden my horizons than by eating free food?

Fellow writer Kit and I hopped on the T to the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, cameras and voracious appetites in tow. I had high expectations, and the festival (or more aptly, extravaganza) did not disappoint. This two-day public exhibition celebrated all things vegetarian. Not only did the event contain copious amounts of samples, but it also featured cooking demos and a variety of educational presentations by experts on nutrition and health. The exhibitors hailed from all over the east coast and marketed everything from vegan chocolate to organic co-op memberships to DIY mushroom-growing kits.

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It took us over an hour to make our way through the gymnasium, which was jam-packed with booths and smiling attendees. We stopped to chat with the amicable vendors, who were immensely enthusiastic about their products and more than willing to make conversation, while we savored the delicious vegetarian/vegan fare. The surprisingly creamy, coconut-based salted caramel ice cream from the café FoMu in Allston, crisp and refreshing seaweed slaw from Ocean Approved in Maine, and decadent pumpkin whoopie pie from Café Indigo in New Hampshire were among my favorite eats. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and served in small, recyclable cups, which punctuated the festival’s focus on environmental awareness and sustainability. Kit and I left with full stomachs, high spirits, and bags filled with pamphlets, coupons, and containers of hummus.

-Alison Sikowitz

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