The Des Moines World Food & Music Festival is always a great way to eat your way around the world without leaving town. This year sees a big push to add more international music, hence the slight name change. There is also more and better beer and even some cocktail offerings. The food is what this festival was built around and it is likely to be as good or better than past years. One successful innovation carried over from last year is the $1.00 sample. You can try something without making a big investment and using up scarce tummy space for all the great flavors out there. This year many of the vendors offered samples. Keep in mind that these samples are pretty small. Very nice. I tried some alligator meat (does not taste like chicken — more like spiny lobster) but a real winner was the Tabsi Tayuk Chicken from Afiyet Olsum, which serves Mesopotamian food. It was a not-to-spicy but very yummy meat dish served up from a big pan.
One of the meals we tried was a sort of crepe and meat dip with vegetables (a Wot dish) from the Ethiopian Association. It was very tasty.
It was a nice way to end the visit around the world. The East Village is a great place to host this event. The streets are not so wide and it beats being out on the bridge. I like the eclectic urban feel offered by village.
Last year I complained that I could not find any local beer. We now have Backpocket and Millstream beer on hand. I know what you may be thinking, “Iowa ain’t international” but I like good beer. There were also some other smaller brewers from around the U.S. represented. Despite the meager local offerings, The organizers substantially expanded the international beer list, with Belgian, Czech, and German beers along with beers from all around the world. Most of the beers seemed to tend toward pale ales and lagers, and these are not exclusive or top labels by any means, but there is a lot of beer to choose from.
For dessert we stopped by the SE arm of the tents and got a chocolate and caramel tart from Tami’s Tarts.
Another feature this year were cooking demonstrations. We had Chef Sam Auen from Tacopocolypse on Friday and __.