Trade Fairs, or Messen in German, are always somewhat fascinating universes. The theme of the trade fair is annouced and competiting businesses jostle for the optimal stand space and location – designing sometimes incredibly lavish stands to grab your attention. That, of course, is not always the case. There are also more modest trade fairs, where the booth is just a table with wares on it. The Veggie & Frei Von Messe in Stuttgart this year was somewhere in between.
We had missed the ‘Leben Ohne’ trade fair in Freiburg this year, so we figured we would make the two hour drive up to Stuttgart and check things out. On the way back, we figured, we could maybe check out a good sounding restaurant in Herrenberg. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Stuttgart Messe area is next to the airport, with planes flying overhead fairly regularly. This means that it is easily accessible via public transport, and the day ticket for the trade fair included a day pass! This is somewhat surprising as they are well equipped with thousands of parking spots, generating a decent amount of income. It takes a good fifteen minutes to walk from the furthest parking spots to the building. When you finally get to the lady to show your tickets, ask to get your hand stamped so you can come and go as you please. You’ll find out why in a moment.
There are ten different halls in the Stuttgart Messe, five on either side of a nice park area where smokers can gather. The Frei Von Messe was at the end, number 9, and battling through the crowds to get there at noon was a bit rough. We were very happy to spot the sign saying that we were in the right place.
So we took a wander around, just to see what was there. We unfortunately couldn’t find Food Cottage, which was on the list of attendees. We did find Schär, Mein Allergie Portal, 3 Pauly, a handful of companies whom I won’t mention because of gluten-free wheat starch, Genius and Huttwiler, amongst others. Genius and Huttwiler were the two we made a beeline for. I really like the Genius brand, and although it is pricey, I think it is all absolutely delicious. Unfortunately it seems that Edeka has taken it out of their selection, as I haven’t seen it in months! You can imagine then, how happy I was to pick up some of their muffins, buns and bread.
Two packs of buns, four muffins and a loaf of bread for 10€. Not bad for delicious gluten-free food, right? Well, Huttwiler can top that. They had a deal where you can choose four things for five euros and get it in a nice cotton totebag. To give you an idea just how much we like this swiss brand, we now have three Huttwiler totebags.
I have mentioned Huttwiler a few times, sometimes by its name and sometimes not. When it is sold in Migros in Switzerland, Huttwiler is under Migros’ Aha! brand – their allergy line. It took me a bit of searching to see that Jowa AG, the producer of Migros’ Aha! gluten-free line and Huttwiler, is owned by Migros and Huttwiler is Migros brand name for when it is sold outside of Switzerland. Jowa AG’s dedicated gluten-free facility is located in Huttwil, hence the name, and I am really considering a visit if it’s ever open to the public. We really like Huttwiler and Migros, their Brotblume is a staple of our weekends and they make some of the best chocolate muffins. I would say it is the gluten-free brand that we eat the most.
Another brand at the Messe, with a stronger presence in the German market is 3 Pauly. I think you can find 3 Pauly at most Reformhäuser, where they have a pretty wide variety of flours, cookies and various other snacks. They were giving away containers with nice snap tops, so we picked up two for flour. I really like their crackers, both the rosemary and the cheese crackers. Their Christmas line this year are absolutely delicious, the cinnamon chocolate clusters and cinnamon star cookies are really good – if you love cinnamon. I have also tried the Teff Porridge in the picture, which makes for a super quick and easy breakfast, just add hot water, any sweeteners, chocolate or fruit, and stir a bit. We also checked out the Seitz stand, picking up some sweet potato (!) flour, lasagna sheets and a white bread mixture that I haven’t seen before in stores. I am really looking forward to seeing how the sweet potato flour works. There are a lot of different types of sweet potatoes, some more starchy and sticky than others – much like potatoes. It will be interesting to see how it handles.
We had fun at the trade fair, walking back to the car once to drop off all of the Huttwiler and 3Pauly purchases, before checking out the other trade shows that were going on. It gets pretty exhausting though, since there is things to see everywhere in every direction. There was a technical show, a crafting show, a family and kids show, and probably others that we missed.
Next up, a great gluten-free find on the outskirts of Herrenberg!