Sweetfest: A sugar shared

Mom took a bite of her mini-donut sample, made a face, and said, “this doesn’t taste very nice.” “Pass it here, mom,” I said, and took a bite. It tasted just like a freshly cooked cake donut, no better, no worse. But it certainly underlined the importance of bringing a partner along to a dessert festival, because god forbid you should have to finish the entire mini-donut by yourself. And as mom always says, there are starving children in China who would be glad to have that donut right about now, so don’t just toss it in the trash. Here, I’ll eat it.

Sweetfest is Redmond’s first go at a dessert and sweets festival. We think that the people at Sugar were pretty good sports about giving up the name “sweetfest” just so Redmond could have it, so let’s give them a hand and visit them over at the west Seattle Farmers market any Sunday to say hi. That said, it’s the perfect name for the festival. In fact, after sampling at four or five booths, I had to go have a sit-down and drink a bottle of water to force the sugar through my system.

I blame Punjab Sweets (located in Kent, they say they are a bakery and restaurant) whose “sample” consisted of a plateful of their entire sweet line — several varieties of fudge, some sort of sugary deepfried flour batter, gulab jamon, and several other desserts. But don’t think anyone else was shy. Over at Naked (I sure hope that site’s ok, because I don’t want to install Flash 9 just to see it) they were inviting you to try all their juices (verdict: OJ is great, but the protein drink of pineapple, apple and coconut was a little… thick). Caroline’s desserts were pretty enthused about their stock too — tiny samples of rice crispie treats — oops, I mean, “krispettes”. The triple chocolate nirvana is a little slice of heaven, and while they negotiate to bring them to a grocery store near you, they’re available at the online store on their website.

Theo’s Chocolates had made a showing, of course, and dispensing with the niceties of little paper cups or plates, had huge bowlsful of broken chocolate pieces from their 3400 Phinney Chocolate Factory line as well as some of their origin bars to sample. But come on: “Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate”?? Don’t do that to my chocolate. I went with a sample of the tamer coffee chocolate and ‘bread and chocolate’ bars instead.

The star of the show had to be (pictured above) the Sugar Rush Baking Company, operating out of Coffee to a Tea with Sugar, in West Seattle. One woman, visibly excited, came running up to the booth and gushed, “*I* live in West Seattle! Where are you guys??”. But we’re not just happy that they are located in West Seattle, as far from us as humanly possible. We’re also happy that they brought what looks like their entire dessert line with them, and were offering free samples of everything. From the minicupcakes pictured (which they were also giving away coupons for), to bars and slices, to cakes, you could get a sample of anything you wanted.

The air at the festival was one of high excitement, and honestly after that much sugar, I was ready to bounce off the walls myself. With food tickets selling for $2 and $3 a ticket, I was rather pleased to be able to get away from the festival with just the entry fee of $5 (including free parking), and a belly full of samples. It doesn’t get cheaper than this, folks. Now please excuse me while I come off my high.

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