This event showcases local Artisan Cheese makers, craft beer makers, bakers and sausage makers. This isn't the big automated huge warehouse manufacturers, it's the smaller high quality producers.
This event is put on with the Leslieville Cheese Market which is located on Queen Street East. A tiny little shop in Leslieville that sells quality, meats, cheeses and breads predominantly.
Some of the Cheese makers at the Tasting Fair included: Upper Canada Cheese Company, Monteforte Dairy, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., Back Forty Artisan cheese, Mountain Oak Cheese, Glengarry Cheesemaking and Gunn's Hill Artisan cheese. I think I sampled most of the cheeses today. I'm all cheesed out for the day now. I had so much. I think most of the vendors sampling were cheese.
There was also a lot of Pork products at the Fair from Sanagan's Meat Locker, The Healthy Butcher, VG meats, Speducci Mercatto.
And then there was also Craft Beer to wash it all down by Sawdust City Brewing Co., Barnstormer Brewing and the Granite Brewery.
Other vendors at the market included Propeller Coffee Co. who I first saw at the Delicious Food Show recently. Le Dolci who make cupcakes and other desserts, who also seem to be everywhere lately, EPI Breads who cater to people with different allergies, ready to cook food company Prepd, Foodie Pages was there with a draw, Farmer's Pantry with dips, STASIS preserves, Evelyn's crackers, and new to the food world in the city is the Cookery store, a kitchen store that also has cooking demos, and I am probably missing a couple.
I tried my first taste of Haggis from the Healthy Butcher today and I am happy to say that it tasted surprisingly good. It sounds a whole lot worse than what it is.
I think I tried most of the samples. I skipped the Beer since I am not a beer drinker though. But I do like to cook/bake with beer because of the yeasty chemical reactions with foods.
If you are gluten free, lactose intolerant, don't eat pork for religious or other reasons, don't drink beer or you are diabetic then this isn't the show for you.. but if you do then knock yourself out on the high quality of foods available and the best part is that you most likely will get to chat with the actual producers of the foods. They are generally the owners of the companies which are smaller businesses and this fair focuses on Local foods from Ontario and Quebec mostly.
I love to support local food producers because it's a tough go making a living and their care and attention to the quality of their products is the way food was produced more than 50 years ago and seems to be becoming more of a trend to go back to that style of food production. It can only be a good thing when you support this. You buy from someone that owns a business in Ontario or Quebec and also lives in the Province thereby supporting the same local economy. The money isn't going to fat cats with hidden bank accounts in Switzerland or such and each dollar they makes generates a whole community effect. Shopping at the fair reminded me of the food that I got when I was a kid. Real food and the stores were a lot smaller. There was actually an apple farm across the street from my house when I was a kid. We used to play beside the farm. Now it's a Church and Ambulance Headquarters... shame it's gone. Anyway back to the Artisan fair. It's a small event but if you like to meet the people that make your food then I think it's a good idea to try and get out to events like this.
Some of my favourite things were Sanagan's terrine samples, Le Dolci flourless cake, Leslieville Cheeses and I even liked the Haggis from the Healthy Butcher.
Unfortunately by the time you read this the show will be over for this year. But I hope that you can check it out next year or check out one of the vendors whenever you see them.