Last weekend I had a chance to go to The World’s Fare which was basically a food festival.
“The World’s Fare is a grand celebration of equality and the diversity of New York City paying homage to the great Fair of 1964.” They claimed on the website that there would be 100+ food vendors from different countries. I wasn’t sure if there were exactly 100+ vendors but it was the biggest food festival I’ve ever been to.
The general admission ticket was $20 if you bought early. I was naïve, assuming that the price wouldn’t change so I wasn’t rushing. About 2 weeks before the festival, I decided to buy the tickets and, well, it was already $30 at that time… 1 week later, the price went up to $45/ticket. Lesson learned, you can’t wait for food!
They also had unlimited beer tasting or whatever which you pay about $10 more but I skipped it because I don’t drink.
The World’s Fare was held in Citi Field, which is a big stadium in Queens, NY. They used the parking lots to hold the festival.
Honestly, I didn’t expect much from this festival because I felt like I paid too much for just the entrance ticket. After spending time there, I told myself that I was so glad that I was there, and I really hope they will have this event every year from now on.
The Fare was very organized. They separated the continents with different placard colors such as blue for Europe, red for Asia, purple for Africa and green for North and South America. All the countries’ names were the same font and clear. Whenever my piggy husband and I got lost, we just called the other and said the color and country we were at, we could find each other easily!
Now it’s time for the main reason we were there: food! We were really overwhelmed with the choices here because there were too many vendors. We walked by every vendor at the beginning to pick which one looked interesting and we still had to go through the process again because everything looked great.
The first food we got to try was Arepas from Columbia. I’ve heard about arepas for a long time but never had a chance to try. That’s why when I saw them, I decided to get one right away. There were a few options that you could choose, with cheese or meat fillings. We picked the one with cheese because we knew we would have a lot of meat from other vendors later. You could also pick either a plain arepa or a cheese arepa, since we got the cheese filling, we decide to get the plain arepa. And it tasted very delicious. This is probably one of my favorite food made from cornmeal. I even bought a bag of arepa flour the next day with the desire to attempt to make my own arepas at home.
Our second choice was Indian food. There were 2 vendors selling Indian food. One was Dosa with a lot of filling options. The other was Indian Tacos. We got both to try.
- At the dosa’s vendor, we got an Onion Marsala Dosa. It was my first time having dosa, I just knew it was a type of crepe and I thought I would get onion cooked in marsala sauce and it would be spread inside the dosa. It came out more different than I expected. There were 3 sauces but I had no idea which one was which. The dosa was big with fresh diced red onion inside. It didn’t impress me much as I predicted it to be like that, a hard crepe. The sauces were amazing! They were full of different spices, especially ginger which I enjoyed so much.
- We got a chicken tikka taco to try at the Taco’s vendor. At first, we assumed that the taco would be normal because we had chicken tikka marsala in Indian restaurants so many times and what could make it different in a tortilla? Well, we were wrong. It was one of the best tacos we’ve ever had. It didn’t taste like a traditional curry we usually get. It was so tasty but still have the tikka marsala signature flavor. From something we didn’t expect much to an unforgettable experience, we were totally satisfied.
The third vendor we tried was Dominican Roast Pork. The pork was very juicy and flavorful. The skin wasn’t crispy, it was chewy, I prefer it that way. They put a type of bread at the bottom. The bread was flavorless by itself but when the fat from the pork dripped through the bread, it was a great combination. Leave the diet behind, I need to finish the pork first!
Omg, this vendor from Nigeria was amazing!!!! We picked Lam Suya, we had no idea what it was. We just knew it was grilled meat and we never tried Nigerian food before. We couldn’t believe how tasty it was. The lamb was covered in a thick layer of spices. It was salty and spicy and, I don’t know–flavorful. The meat itself was soft and moist. It was just addictive! We believe we need to have more Nigerian food in our lives.
A small break from having meat, we had Lobster Roll after the Lamb Suya. There were actually 2 vendors selling lobster rolls, one from Maine and one from the USA (that’s what they wrote on the placard). We picked the one whose placard said USA because they were extremely generous giving out lobster rolls and octopus rolls for sampling! Everyone knows lobster rolls are not cheap and they cut huge pieces for people to try. What also made this vendor great was they used pretzel buns!!! I love pretzel buns, they go well with everything. Back to the lobster roll, it was delicious, there were a lot of lobsters too.
I always miss satay so when I saw satay at the festival, I must get it. There were 2 vendors next to each other selling satays. I had a hard time picking which one I should get because they all looked good. One vendor was Malaysian satay and the other was Indonesian satay. I decided to go with the Indonesian one because satay is originally from Indonesia. I got beef satay because it’s rare to find beef satay here, most restaurants serve chicken satay. The satay was excellent!!! Maybe I haven’t had satay for a long time. I felt it was extra yummy! The flavor was wonderful. The peanut sauce was great.
I also got some rice balls from this vendor. I think they were like mochis but with sugar filling and covered in coconut flakes. I’m a mochi fan so of course, I liked this little snack. The coconut flakes were not sweet thank god, the sugar filling was sweet enough.
The last main dish we had was Paella!!! They had only 2 options for paella: rabbit and chicken paella or seafood paella. They sold out all the rabbit and chicken paella and there was just a little bit of seafood paella left. The seafood paella was very delightful, and they put a lot of seafood as well.
Finally, it’s time for desserts!!! I’ve had the Indonesian Steamed Cakes in my mind since I saw them at the beginning. They looked very interesting. There were 3 kinds of steamed cakes: java cakes with brown sugar and coconut flakes, pandan cakes, and cassava cakes. I got the first one because of the good-looking decoration. They burned the sugar on top of the cake, similar to glazing crème brulee. The cake was light and just had a good amount of sweetness that made it enjoyable.
I also got a Cream Puff to go because I love this type of cream puff so much. There were a few flavors and the Jasmine Milk Tea one got me. I didn’t get bubble tea during the fair because I was saving room for food. That’s why when I saw this flavor, I told myself I must get it. The cream puff tasted much better than I expected. The jasmine aroma was strong and the cream wasn’t too sugary. I wish I had got more cream puffs to go.
They gave ginger beer out for free which was very nice! The ginger beer was really good, I’m considering that I should buy it from Whole Food.
Besides the food, there were also some activities that you could enjoy while eating. In my opinion, the highlight of this festival was actually the Sumo Wrestling. I never watched sumo wrestling before so I was so excited to watch it. The big guy is a champion sumo wrestler from Japan. He was double the size of the other guy. The fight between those two was really fun and amusing. I think the sumo wrestling itself was already worth the tickets here.
There were some art paintings that also looked entertaining. I didn’t stay long enough to see the finished pictures, but they were great for sure.
Overall, as I said earlier, I would go again if they have this festival next year. I didn’t feel heavy after having all the food above, the food wasn’t greasy at all. I still regret that I didn’t have enough room to try more food. There were Bratwurst from Germany, Egg Tarts from Portugal, Lebanese food, Korean Baos, and so on, that I wanted to try. Well, next time!