June 22nd, 2006

Feast

Taste of London: World Cheese Awards and Drinks

There is nothing quite like coming out of the sunny heat of a summer's day and into the cool of a large air-conditioned tent containing nothing except row and rows and rows of tables laden with cheese. For the first time, the World Cheese Awards were held in conjunction with the Taste of London. Enormous hunks of cheese from all over the world was lined up in rows and rows, clustered in categories (cheddars, washed rinds, cheese-with-things-in-it...) and low-key stickers on a select few with "Gold", "Silver", and "Bronze" printed on it. A handful of booths around the outside provided cheese samples (for free!) but it wasn't clear whether or not any of the cheeses being sampled were those in competition as well.

Back outside, numerous drinks stands competed to give away samples of their wares and sell bottles (in the case of non-alchoholic) or glasses (in the case of alcholic) of drinks. Juice Republic was sampling a fine "fresh" orange juice. Innocent had a whole tent to itself, and I'm still a big fan of almost everything of theirs I've tried. Firefly's Lemon-Lime-Ginger detox was thin and watery, but clearly tasted of the right elements - it erred on the side of medicinal. Thorncraft cordials pink ginger tastes of most of what I like about ginger beer, but less substantially so; I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Quinn's fermented fruit drink wasn't particularly inspiring either.** AdeZ's Orange & Peach fruit juice and soya blend tasted exactly like an orange creamsicle*, which was much better than their too-sweet and rather floral Mango & Apricot blend. A cool limoncello sip was exactly what the afternoon needed, and we were promptly sold on a bottle of it from Meloncello.

And that's quite enough about the Taste of London.

* Although apparently Brits don't know what an orange creamsicle is.
** In what way is a it a world first that they're selling fermented fruit drink?