It was a sunny Sunday morning and we really didn’t have any plans scheduled for the weekend. On a whim we decided to attend the Bolton Food Festival. Not quite knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of stalls and quality of food on offer (especially since this was not specifically a halal event).
I was amazed at the sheer number of stalls that were available. From savoury foods to sweet treats, the choice was huge. Keeping an eye out for halal food stalls (I was quite hungry for a snack) I spotted a barbequed meat stall. Zouks, a popular restaurant in Manchester, were hosting a mini stall at the event. The smell and vibrant colour of the chicken sizzling over the coals was too much for me to resist. I ordered only one grilled chicken wrap, convincing myself to leave space for other stalls. Carefully wrapping my meat in a thin tortilla style wrap and generously coating it with chilli and mint yoghurt sauce, I was handed my wrap. As soon as I took the first bite, I knew this was no regular chicken wrap. The succulent chicken tikkas were barbequed to perfection. The seasoning and spice on the chicken tikkas, coupled with the sauces, left a wonderful flavour on my palate. The aroma of the barbequed chicken on added to the delightful sensation. It was probably the best wrap I had eaten in a long while. At £5 the wrap was quite small, but the amazing flavour more than made up for it. I was desperate to have another, but decided I would try other stalls first.
Next I was anxious to try the tornados everyone seemed to be carrying around. These were deep fried spiralised potatoed, flavoured with a spice of your choice. Unfortunately, by the time we located the stall, it appeared to have closed. Extremely disappointed, I made a promise to come the following year just to try it.
There were numerous churro stalls. I wanted to make sure I sampled the best churro stall so I walked around the whole festival area observing the different churro stalls in action. I finally decided these were the thickest churros and looked the tastiest. The churros here did not disappoint. The texture was crunchy yet soft and the silky smooth chocolate was deep enough to enhance the flavour of the churro. The cinnamon was well grounded and added the perfect balance to the sugary churro. I polished the entire cone off in a few minutes.
The multicoloured snow cones looked extremely appealing and I couldn’t help but try one. The rainbow coloured syrups appealed to the child in me and I quickly dug into the mountain of ice. The weather was perfect for snow cones and each flavour was as good as the previous one. The texture of the ice was slightly large, so the ice was slightly more difficult to eat. By 3pm most of the stalls were out of stock and had closed up for the year.
After the food festival (where we were truly stuffed) I spotted another small fair running in Bolton. My daughter was desperate to go on some fair rides, so I decided we should stop and let her enjoy the fair. I spotted another snow cone stall. Only this time, it was a stall I had sampled at a previous halal food festival in London (named SnoTubz). Feeling extremely excited, I quickly ordered my snow cone with a popping candy centre, flavoured with Strawberry and Tigers Blood (this is a fantastic flavour). The finely crushed ice soaked in all the flavour and the bursts of popping candy in my mouth made it even more perfect. It rounded off what had been a beautiful day at the food festival and fair.
This food festival was probably our last Summer Food Festival of 2017. With the school year about to start and the weather slowly starting to deteriorate into cooler and wetter days, we have started counting down the days to the Christmas markets! Have you been to a food event recently? Let me know in the comments below.