London Street Foodie on Tour: festival street food
Glasto what Glasto? Bog off with your oh-so-uhmazing stories of getting lost in a field with glitter on your face… we’re onto other festivals now.
Well. Hear me out.
Anyone who reads this blog will know that I have an aversion to music festival planners who don’t seem to pay any attention to the food line-up, assuming that everyone that is there for the fun and the music is also happy to pay £8+ for stodgy boxes of grease. Well ha! They’re not… because I just know that it is possible to pay the same amount for lighter, brighter and fresher food. (It’s also possible to pay much less but 8 quid seems to be the going rate these days, once you take into consideration their overheads and ingredient costs).
Now I’ve been told that some of this shoddiness was down to the fact that the good guys struggled to keep up with getting the right amounts of food on site, as well as the high pitch fees, and probably the fact that it’s really hard to stick to standards when you’re in a pit of mud – but I’m afraid I also think it’s unimaginative programming.
Anyway, luckily things have improved greatly in the last year or so (Sustain Web has some festival food guidelines here in case anyone’s interested), and not only are there more great cooks making ace festival food among the oil-spattered burgers, nachos and chips (and don’t get me wrong – there is a place for this, my previous hangovers are now shouting at me) but there are more vegetables around too.
So because the festival season is fully underway, I thought I’d run this post as a tribute to whoever it was that sorted out the food this year at Glastonbury, as a way of exemplifying all the good food programmers out there, and hopefully giving a kick up the arse to those who still need work.
Festival street food at Glastonbury
I know that noone goes to Glastonbury for the food. And I didn’t either.
But once I’d got through the various oatcakes, chocolate bourbons, bananas and crisps and other tent-reviving ingredients, I set foot into the field for some other festival fuel… and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
First, I paid upwards of £9 for a hot dog and chips that I don’t think contained any real meat. After that, there were various nondescript but necessary bacon sarnies for brunch. And after that, there were brilliant things from three traders that I’ve named below, as well as putting where to find them throughout the summer festival season:
1. Just after Christine and the Queens finished her incredible set on The Other Stage, and the rain poured and poured and poured, I saw a lovely pink van with swirls all over it which I knew would contain the answer to my stomach rumbles:
A pork burrito (slow-cooked pork (carnitas) tomato salsa, black beans, guacamole, sour cream, tortilla)
Where from: Luardos, natch
What’s their story: it’s all here in the LSF profile
Where are they next: Port Eliot this weekend, Wilderness Festival 4-7 Aug, End of the Road festival 2-4 Sept.
2. On the way to see Seth Troxler’s DJ set at Beat Hotel (which ended up being such a sweatfest that we had to leave):
A ‘Fat African’ box (spinach, sweet potato and satay stew, served with rice, and carrot & ginger slaw) + ‘The One’ box (African stew and tofu noodle satay).
Where from: Fat Salad
What’s their story: In their own words: “Once upon a time in a summer festival far, far away (well, just the other side of Cambridge, four years ago) we decided that the festival scene needed some better, healthier dance fuel. So the next year we came back with a (very) large gazebo & started selling Fat Boxes of Healthy Stuff. Fat Salad was born.”
Where are they next: All sorts of exciting places. Follow their Twitter feed for updates.
3. Soaking up a Saturday morning hangover whilst sitting on a bench:
Sakana Box (crispy Devon fish, with rice and Seadog sauces)
Where from: Seadog Foods
What’s their story: Devon-based street food traders Beth Newsome and Jim Cossett specialise in food from their travels around the world but cook it using local Devon fish and seafood. They also won the ‘best of the best’ and ‘best snack’ prizes at the British Street Food Awards 2015.
Where are they next: Camp Bestival (part of the Feast Collective) this weekend; Wilderness Festival 4-7 Aug; Beautiful Days 19-21 Aug; Street Food Circus, Cardiff in August, Bestival Festival (part of Feast Collective) 8-11 Sept.
Sadly I didn’t get a chance to drop by Madame Gauthier, which I saw twinkling in the distance.
Stay tuned on the LSF Facebook page for more visual updates.