The Melting Pot Festival 2017 at the New Art Exchange: Food from, and for, the Community

The Melting Pot festival last weekend at the New Art Exchange over in Hyson Green was a great afternoon out if you like a bit of ethnic food and a whole lot of community.

The festival  featured a lot of food and Art from the local community, there were stalls from the Women’s Culture Exchange, Ecoworks, Himmah, Screaming Carrot, Yemoja Foods, and Yumi.

We found ourselves drawn to the Food provided by the ladies from the Women’s Culture Exchange who are linked with the Notts Refugee Forum  (twitter).

They seemed to have the most interesting food and the best value as well as an offer of a sample of ‘everything’ for £5. It was like a women’s alliance pot luck dinner. There was a whole load of dishes already  awaiting in the serving trays, but even as we waited to get our ‘platter of yumminess’ even more ladies appeared with all sorts of goodies.

I had the feeling that depending on when you arrived and who had arrived you could get loads more great food to sample or rather chow down upon.

OK so I admit that once the kindly lady behind the stall gave me a bit of everything (and I mean everything) it might just look like a bit of a weird mess in a box. However each layer and each item was really tasty and I would so love to be able to meet with each of the ladies and learn how to make some of these dishes!

We had a vegetable stew, some Jollof rice, and some Pottage beans from Nigeria, Injera, and a Lentil Stew from Eritrea, Sadza and an awesome Lamb Curry from Malawi

We also had this very simple but tasty chicken and pepper dish from Ghana. It was quite amusing as the lady picked me out at least 4-5 bits of chicken, which was both very kind and much appreciated. I would have been just as happy with a spoonful packed with bell pepper and less chicken (just to be fair). The chicken was moist, juicy and gently spicy, the pepper were lovely and crunchy. This dish probably has a proper name, but all they gave me was ‘Chicken’ from Ghana 🙂

Our favourite of all the dishes was this one which was basically a pureed or mashed up aubergine sauce with some peanuts too. It was sweet from the peanut, creamy, and really quite fantastic. I could spoon this over a slice of bread all day long. Again I am not sure of the dishes real name, But I would love to dine with the lady that made it and find out more about this simple yet quite incredibly tasty dish.

We also just had to buy a cupcake to take home with us. I suppose with my American connection I really should have got one of the Orea cupcakes! To be honest they looked a bit grey and sad, so I went for the prettier and brighter “Vanilla and Raspberry Part Ring Cupcake instead 🙂

It was well good, you can see the pink biscuit ring, the raspberry jam, and the vanilla icing in the pic, but you cannot see the pool of yummy jam inside when you bite into the cake! That was a nice surprise 🙂

The Melting Pot Festival at the New Art Exchange was an excellent afternoon out in Hyson Green. It would be great if a few more people made the effort to look a little further away from the city centre to see what else our fantastic city has to offer.

There are so many communities and so many people serving great food locally, that you really do not need to be a slave to the chains. Let your mind open and take a stroll in amongst the real Nottingham!



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