The Allergy and Free From Show North 2013

This weekend saw the return of the Allergy and Free From Show in Liverpool, or what I have dubbed a Free-Fromers Heaven!

I had never been to an allergy or free from show before and was really excited when I arrived at Liverpool to the sight of the many food stands – in fact I was like a kid on Christmas day!

Over 21,000 visitors came along to event in 2013, which proves just how important and needed a show like this is for people with food allergies and intolerances. It was fantastic to be able to go along to somewhere without having to worry about what I was going to eat or need to interrogate a person on what exactly is in their food before deciding whether or not to take a risk.

From chocolates and pudding, to bread and bagels, the show had everything my heart desired and I didn’t hold back in my purchases. One of my favourite stands on the day probably had to be Venice Bakery, as the pizza I sampled there was the ‘melt in your mouth’ sort and quite frankly, tasted better than normal pizzas from what I can remember of them! I ended up taking away 2 large pizza bases and two batches of my favourite but hard to find good quality, dairy free mozzarella cheese. I was also very happy to take away 4 boxes of the Pudology puddings as I have sorely missed such classics as banoffee pie and simple choccie puds and not to forget, Clive’s Pie’s as they are a real treat for us food sufferers.

I went along to two of the presentations at the Learning Theatre which was really interesting as I found that so many other people are experiencing the same problems as I am, so much so that I didn’t have the need to put my hand up as others answered my questions for me. I did however get a very interesting answer to whether goats milk should be used to substitute cow’s milk – for me personally, I cannot tolerate even the smallest amount of cow’s milk without doubling over in pain and was told by a health professional that goats milk should be fine for me, which is what I now mostly use in drinks and cooking. But now I am left wondering if my persistent daily stomach pains could be due to the goats milk I am consuming after the gastroenterologist said it was not advisable to drink.

It was also worrying that she confirmed like many others that neither gluten nor wheat should be taken out of the diet until coeliac’s disease has been ruled out – countless doctors told me to ‘just cut wheat out’ when I complained of my constant problems over the years without even doing so much as a blood test on me. Needless to say this left me very angry at my doctors and feeling like I will never get a proper diagnosis.

Problems aside however, I came away with a huge amount of tummy happy foods to keep me going from a few favourite suppliers and a few new ones as well. I shall review my buys on here as I gobble my way through them.

After leaving the show, I wanted to make sure that my Mom (and back up bag carrier) had a ‘normal meal’ before we made the long train journey back to Birmingham and so we headed into Brown’s Bar and Brasserie. It was my first visit there and after eating like a Queen at the show, I wasn’t particularly hungry…well until I began asking questions about the ingredients in a dish and my friendly waiter pointed out that they had a gluten and wheat free menu. Somehow the sight of such a fantastic free from menu gave me a sudden appetite and I ordered a main meal of Sea Bass with a tomato and chickpea sauce with sweet potatoes, which I can testify was one of the tastiest gluten free dishes I have tasted in the UK. I would highly recommend Brown’s for both its gluten free and normal menu.

The day overall was fantastic and I look forward to London’s Allergy and Free From Show in June of next year.

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