Toronto Food & Wine Festival - An Organic Experience
The Toronto Food & Wine Festival tested the waters at a new venue, Evergreen Brickworks. Needless to say the entire show had a completely different vibe than the year before at the MTCC. I was there on Sunday and the weather was perfect for the event!
This year, there was a much better variety of food and beverages. There was everything from ice cream to ice wine to farm-to-table to apple beer. New technology took the place of the paper tickets used last year. Your wristband or plastic pass could be loaded up with cash and then scanned by vendors. They really stepped it up!
Upon arriving we were bombarded by....bread! Ace Bakery and Churn84 were both at the entrance waiting. Churn84 had fresh bread and creamy butter for you to sample. It was THE richest butter I'd ever tried. They also had a booth inside where you could buy it. Mmmmm.
We grabbed our empty glasses and hit the floor. Samples everywhere! We barely knew where to start. My aunt selected my first glass from the Wines of Africa , The Wolftrap's Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc. I'd never had an African wine nor a blend. It was so unexpected. Aromatic, flavourful with a dry finish. What a great start!
Walking the floor, smelling all kinds of food, is bound to make one hungry. We made our way to The Dirty Bird Chicken + Waffles and were not disappointed. The honey sweet sauce on the waffle mixed with the tangy BBQ sauce on the chicken made this a match in heaven. The crispy batter made me wish I had more. This was one great showing! Can't wait to have it again!
My aunt knew someone here that would have something I'd really like and she was right. Her friend at Lemon Lily Organic & Natural Tea had a few samplings for you to smell and they were divine. They are very passionate about keeping tea natural, as it should be. Lemon Lily even makes custom teas! What?! I took home the Toasted Coffee Almond tea. It's a hybrid of coffee and tea, 2 of my things. Fantastic!
Time for more wine! Muskoka Winery it is! I tried cranberry wine last year at the show, but they convinced me theirs was better. I went with the Cranberry-Blueberry Wine. Wow. It wasn't what you'd expect. The tartness of the cranberry was really mellowed out by the smoothness of the blueberry. I really enjoyed it.
While checking out the Farm-to-Table aisle, we came upon Chocosol. They make chocolate. We became fast friends. They use cacao from Mexico as well as local ingredients to make their treats. We tried their albino chocolate and their protein cookies. Delectable. Not full of sugar, you don't need much to get your fix. I also tried their hot chocolate coffee. You don't need a full cup, let me tell you! Keeping me wide awake and filling me up, it was like a meal. Amazing though, they make chocolate you feel good about eating.
I couldn't finish the day without saying Hello to my friends at Lisa Marie. They are a friendly bunch who always seem to have fun, no matter where they are. I had to have their White Cheddar Grits with Smoked Brisket. And yes, it was just as good as it sounds. Creamy white cheddar smothered in tender smoke brisket. You really can't go wrong at Lisa Marie.
We talked to a lot of great vendors and I wish I could've sampled them all. The venue was also a welcome change, although I hear parking was problematic. The show staff there were phenomenal. The garbage cans were so small, but they were NEVER overflowing and there was never any garbage on the floor. The venue staff were so welcoming, telling us about the venue and inviting visitors to the farmers market that was still on.
I hope there are more events like this at Evergreen Brickworks!