We came, we saw, we took pictures and now we're sharing them with you. There were all kinds of products available at VegFest 2011 on Saturday, but we managed to settle on five favorites, starting with this gourmet mushroom kit that grows 'shrooms in recycled coffee grounds. (Oyster mushrooms, of course -- you'll have to hit up your usual connections for the hallucinogenic kind.) We know, you've probably seen the Amazing Grater on television, but if you haven't already considered it as an addition to your vegetarian/vegan kitchen, you might want to. Vegan cheese isn't exactly easy to grate, but this thing makes it simple as can be. If you're considering a CSA share, you could do a lot worse than Grant Family Farms; you can get food shares of all kinds (veggie, fruit, mushrooms, eggs, bread, flowers, cheese and even meat, summer or winter) for a single person or a whole family. Fresh and delicious! Qrunch was doing a brisk business offering samples of the quinoa burgers, which were snapped up quickly by a line of waiting eaters; the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, wheat-free, egg-free and nut-free patties are made from organic grains and vegetables; you can find them at Tony's markets and Marczyk Fine Foods. We saved the best for last -- and we know what you're thinking: "Raw? Vegan? Gluten-free? Ew." You are so, so wrong. Hail Merry makes nuts, granola, macaroons and amazing tarts, all raw, vegan and gluten-free -- and every last product is delicious. The booth was serving up macaroons at VegFest and could barely keep up with demand. If they'd brought the lemon tarts to share, no doubt there would have been a stampede or a riot. Just try one Hail Merry product and we bet you'll be going back for more. (You can get them at Natural Grocers and Whole Foods locations.)
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.