Canadian Artisan Tasting Fair, 2013

3 Dec
The rain didn't keep these food enthusiasts away!

The rain didn’t keep these food enthusiasts away!

The inaugural Canadian Artisan Tasting Fair, held at hidden urban gem Wychwood Barns, played host to 40 different cheesemongers, bakers, and charcuterie butchers. Tickets were $35 and included a tote bag (for all of the cheese you were going to buy), $10 in coupons to purchase your favourite discoveries, and all the samples you could eat! Think: Delicious Food Show but a smaller carefully curated selection of food vendors in a way more intimate setting. It was crowded but you felt like you had a manageable selection from which to sample. We loved the emphasis on local and sustainable food production!

Sanagan's Meat Locker

Sanagan’s Meat Locker

There was a huge selection of cheeses from which to sample. Many of them award winning and all of them delicious. We were delighted to see Best Baa there – Clementine is obsessed with their sheep’s milk yogurt. Yummy and gentle on your tummy. Our highlights were definitely Dough on the Danforth (bakery) and Sanagan’s Meat Locker in Kensington market (butcher). HoM was particularly enamoured with Sanagan’s pork cretons. This French-Canadian dish consists of ground pork simmered in milk with spices like cloves, nutmeg, and allspice until it becomes a spreadable paste. With its wintery spices, this dish was perfect for a cold December day.  HoM may have gone back for THIRDS and then had it again for breakfast the next day.  At this rate the two containers he purchased may not last long. Dough has a SCHEDULE for all of the different breads they make – so that no one is disappointed. They’re also doing Panettone by special order! Clementine is really excited to try it fresh as opposed to the boxed version, which is ubiquitous in York Region.

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We also LOVED me-n-u. Their dishes are inventive, artfully presented, and really yummy. They also name all of their rice-balls. The above is called, Gangnam Style (bulgogi beef, cheese, and veggies). These guys are approaching food truck cuisine in a really fun way. We can’t wait to see them cruising around town in their own truck in 2014!

Food festivals are a dime a dozen in this city and they’re gaining in popularity (if that’s even possible). A lot of them lack a cohesive vision. The Canadian Tasting Festival has staying power because it caters to a discerning crowd ( who would gladly shell out the clams if it meant one-stop shopping for all of their favourite cheeses and cured meats) and we felt that it successfully showcased the bounty of independent and delicious locally made food from which we have to choose. Patronize your local baker, butcher, and cheesemonger! Until next year, Canadian Tasting Fair.

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