After all of the blogging and waiting Boston Local Food Festival has finally happened. In a new location this year (the Greenway by the Aquarium for all of you Boston-ites), it was evident that the festival has grown immensely since last year. The booths stretched for blocks as people wandered from one local vendor to another enjoying samples of delicious fresh tomatoes, flatbread pizzas, oysters and more.
When I first arrived with social media maven Jill (@JillDanielle) we were happy and surprised to see the sprawling new set up for BLFF. Immediately upon walking in we grabbed some decadent macaroons from ULA Café and decided we’d walk through the whole festival before committing to our next purchase.
Well that lasted maybe 15 minutes… There were so many offerings that soon I’d purchased a flatbread pizza, some amazing Pumpkin Jam Tarts from Sofra Bakery, and delicious B.L.T.. I was tempted by handmade mozzarella and butternut squash raviolis as well but managed to drag myself away.
By far my favorite purchase from the day was the Pumpkin Jam Tart. Sofra has made their own delectably sweet Pumpkin Jam full of the spices you’d expect in pumpkin pie. The jam itself is easily spread and delicious on toast with mascarpone cheese. MMMMM! I knew right away that I loved the jam and when Jill and I returned to the Sofra booth we asked if we could purchase some. The good news is that you can too! Sofra is selling their jam at the Copley Square Farmer’s market this fall. You can find it tucked in the little corner fridge amongst other delectable spreads and quick snacks.
Of course as with any successful festival there were growing pains. Jill and I were approached several times over by solicitors asking us to donate money or sign this or that. They had a legitimate booth set up and often it was for a great cause but I generally dislike people stopping me on the sidewalk and interrupting the conversation I’m having. The Greenway was also a bit problematic. It provided a much more aesthetically pleasing setting that last years parking lot, but every block you had to cross traffic (it spans approximately 5 or 6 blocks) and then do it again when walking down the other side. It also left the vendors and people hopelessly spread out. At first we thought there weren’t many visitors at the festival at all–only to find ourselves in the thick of things about two blocks in.
Finally I missed a lot of the vendors from last year. Last year there was plenty of hot food and full meals, this year almost all of the offerings were small bites for sale and cold foods. I understand that they keep far better but on a cold fall day I’d rather have a hot soup than a chilled one. There were also next to no food trucks, Compliments was the only truck present and the others (presumably at SoWa) were sorely missed. Overall the festival just didn’t have the same casual and food-filled atmosphere that it did last year. Perhaps it was the lack of electrical plugs or maybe the festival is evolving into something even better, no matter what I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.