The Allergy Expo is on in the RDS in Dublin until 6pm today, and after spending much of yesterday sampling all the treats on offer here and listening in to the cooking demos (We’re located very near them), I thought I’d put out some tips of who to check out if you arrive out today, or who to look up if you’ve missed this lovely affair.
1. Everyone here is super friendly
I’m not sure if it’s something to do with there being less sugar, dairy and gluten in everyone’s system for the last two days, or if it’s that many of these businesses are small, local and largely started because they wanted to offer something great that can be hard to find, and those owners are mostly here with their products but whatever the reason, it’s made for a lovely atmosphere so come with all of your questions, the experts are ready for you.
2. Blue Haven
My God this stuff is good. I cannot stop going back to eat the chicken live pate. It is heaven in a tub. They also offer a smoked salmon pate and some other products, all gluten free. But you will have a hard time not going back for more. And more. And more.
3. Doherty Meats
Doherty meats offer gluten free sausages, meatballs and burgers. This post is definitely showing my carnivore side, these were my second-most eaten samples at the expo. As I write this I’ve just popped another of their cocktail sausages in my mouth. We forget that foods we love that aren’t bread can contain gluten and the freezer-friendly options from these guys are certainly family and time friendly. That and they are hella tasty. For those of you who aren’t fans of overly meaty sausages (i.e. Irish people), don’t worry, the sausages taste like regular sausages but better.
4. Rebelicious Foods
Breakfast – the most gluteny meal of the day for many people. So what if you could leave gluten out? Even if you’re not intolerant or coeliac, gluten isn’t the best thing to put too much of in our systems. Have a read why in our ‘What IS Gluten?‘ feature. I’ve eaten Rebelcious Foods lovely bran-flakes, is it weird that I love bran flakes? I know they look like cardboard but I’m a fan in general. The Rebelicious option is as good, lacking in things that aren’t good for you, and their whole range is really reasonably priced. They’re offering discounts here at the expo but even their general store prices are entirely doable – a welcome surprise for a niche product with such lovely packaging.
Sowan’s win best gluten free chocolate brownie at the expo, hands down. And there are a lot of them here. They offer bake at home products that are gluten free. Mix it up in a bowl and pop it in the oven and you get to enjoy the baking smells as well as the eating of them. There’s something very special about the smell of things baking, (especially when those things contain chocolate.) But sometimes things smell better than they taste, not Sowan’s. They nailed it.
6. Dr. Coys
Dr. Coys are a very new business, having only launched in June. And coy they should be, the packaging is sexy and the lime and ginger chocolate tastes like nothing I’ve ever eaten – in a really really good way. It’s like a little holiday for your mouth and your brain. It would take me a paragraph to describe it in a way it deserves so just come taste it yourself. Their ethos is to use organic products and superfoods that have countless benefits, meaning it’s not just about the taste, it’s also about health and beauty and putting things into your body that give you more energy and make you feel good. It’s chocolate/art so perfect for a Sunday.
Bfree are here with sombreros and seats that look like loaves of bread so that makes me love them anyway. But they have gluten and wheat free fajita kits that are also vegan friendly, egg free, soy free, dairy free, nut free and high in fibre. They’re dead handy, so easy to make that they’re making them here and taste perfect. If the thought of going gluten-free makes you tear up about missing beautifully fluffy white bread, BFree are there for you for that too. Lovely!
8. Health & Herbs
The famous Galway health store where Dr. Dilis Clare is based are here to help you out with herbal ways to cope with allergies. Dr. Dilis Clare was also presenting at the expo. Her top tips for when you’re dealing with the symptoms of an allergy? Cool down your system like the engine of a car! Give it oil, fatty acids like Omega 3 and water. Herbal teas and tinctures can help too and they’re the perfect people to chat to about it.
9. Silk Sleep Pillows
These guys asked me if I wanted a pillow (which I thought looked overly shiny for sleeping on) every single time and I passed and I kept saying “No thank you, no thank you,” until eventually I had to stop and ask, “Ok, what is the deal with the pillows?!” The pillow covers are made from Mulberry Silk and are hypoallergenic as they’re naturally resistant to dust mites. But these guys began selling them in their beauty clinic, as they help prevent ageing, by stopping sleep creases and lines and don’t absorb the night cream you’ve so carefully put on your skin before going to sleep so they leave your skin more hydrated – they wanted to create more value for customers skin care purchases.
10. DS Gluten Free Pizza
It looks like pizza, it tastes like pizza, what’s not to love? Eating it, I wouldn’t have picked it out as being free of anything! Which is want you want from a pizza.
Other great people here to check out that I don’t have time to write about before the laptop battery dies!
The wonderful Blazing Salads; my neighbour here today, the College of Naturopathic Medicine have a stand if you’re thinking of starting a course or furthering training, the wonderfully tasty and Vegan-famous Cornucopia, Doireann Barrett from the Gluten Free Kitchen Co., Anneco; a natural mineral make up products (an Irish company), the American Muffin Company; lovely lovely guys as well as a great range of your favourite baked goods, PureBred; another lovely bake-at home range, the Gluten Free Foodie; the best Apple Tart here and on special offer at the expo – get one for your lovely mam/friend/housemate/someone who want to thank for something and drink tea with, and Iswari Superfoods; carefully and considerately sourced, high quality organic superfoods, for when you need to eat little things that make you feel like a superhero.