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30th September 2014

Review: Manchester Food & Drink Festival

James Jackman visits Albert Square to sample the delights on offer at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival.

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival returned this year for its 17th incarnation, bringing with it all of the worldly delicacies and tipples that you would expect from the nationally renowned event. Taking place over 10 days, the festival sprawled over the city centre and into Greater Manchester, with events taking place in the Northern Quarter, Heaton Park and Chorlton alike. Fancying a break from textbooks and lecture notes, I visited the Festival Hub, located in Albert Square.

Packed tightly in front of the Town Hall, the Festival Hub contained everything needed to satisfy any possible cravings. With street food vendors galore, all serving up delicious treats that you couldn’t even fathom making at home, my stomach immediately overtook any logical reasoning and my combined with my heart to lead me on a taste adventure. With so much choice, I have to admit it took a while to decide. In the end I was torn between an American chilli-dog or a Malaysian curry dish. Putting all other reason aside, a coin flip decided that the chilli-dog would be mine.

Ordering the “Chilli Con Kanye Dog” from the Piggie Smalls stand, I was quickly served the behemoth that was my meal.

“Chilli Con Kanye Dog” from Piggie Smalls, Photo: James Jackman

The beast consisted of a hot dog slathered with chipotle mayo, beef chilli, kidney beans, sprinkled with tortilla chips and it was all held together in a white bread baton. Upon the first bite I knew I had made the right decision, the featherblade beef was tender, while the mixture of the chipotle mayo and the chilli sauce provided a kick you weren’t going to forget. I was initially concerned with the tortilla chips on top, however my fears swiftly subsided. Their salty crunch provided a springboard for the savoury flavours of the beef and sausage, meaning you could didn’t miss a single note of the meaty melody you were tucking in to.

The festival also contained a very impressive drinks tent, with over 100 different types of beer and cider being served. Tasting notes were present for every drink, meaning you could take your time to make sure you ordered the right one for your meal. With live music playing as well, there was everything needed for you to discover your inner glutton and to leave as a satisfied customer.

The Manchester Food and Drink festival ran 18th – 29th September 2014.

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