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Northern Ireland food stars line up for Tesco Taste Festival 2016

By Jonny Bell

Stars of Northern Ireland's culinary scene are lining up for this year's Tesco Taste Festival.

On offer will be a wide variety of delicious Northern Ireland produce with over 60 exhibitors, a special FoodNI cookery theatre, entertainment and a visit from Ark Open Farm’s petting zoo.

There will be lots of fun for all the family and guest appearances from Mr Tayto and Mr Morelli plus live music over the course of the three days.

Organised each year by Tesco, the free annual festival, is the largest food and drink event of its kind in Northern Ireland with visitor numbers expected to top 25,000 this year.

Over 1million people have visited the event since it began eight years ago.

Tesco NI marketing manager Caoimhe Mannion said the festival honoured the quality, diversity and wholesomeness of locally and regionally produced fresh food and drink.

"It seeks to celebrate the provenance of food and drink by highlighting and promoting Northern Ireland’s abundant, quality produce to the world," she said.

Among those taking part are household names such as Dale Farm, Maine Soft Drinks, Tayto, Morelli's and Thompson Family Teas alongside some of Northern Ireland's more artisan producers.

Caoimhe continued: "The Tesco Taste Festival forms part of our 2016 support programme for Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink, valued at half a million pounds. 

"But every year, we assist food producers and suppliers in a wide variety of ways via artisan programmes, multi-store sampling, food fairs, listing opportunities, in-store promotion and more.

"The Tesco Taste Festival offers a rare chance for producers to interact directly with the public and visitors can sample local produce at its best for free and of course favourites can be found at Tesco throughout the year.

"So whether you're a gourmand who relishes fine dining, a regular foodie who gets excited about tucking into local food and regional specialities, or want to be the first to taste new product launches from Northern Ireland’s finest food companies, you'll definitely enjoy the gastronomic offerings the Tesco Taste Festival showcases."

The festival takes place at Custom House Square from Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 18.

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