Because we always want to be able to tell you what’s going on in this city, we try to keep up with the locals… which is why we thought the Canadian Artisan Tasting Fair sounded like one hell of a place to start.
Held last weekend in the historic Wynchwood Barns, the space was packed tighter than a fresh chevre noir with food lovers and food purveyors of all kinds. There was as much craft cheese and beer in the barns to make the Superbowl shiver in fear. So we tasted and tried and suffered for you – just so you’d have the ins when it comes time to put out the perfect holiday spread this season. Available in specialty shops, online, and in some supermarkets, we suspect you won’t be disappointed should you pick up any of the following suggestions.
Soft – we suggest selecting some creamy Alberta’s Leap Brie from Allyouneedischeese.ca or checking out the Upper Canada Cheese Company’s Nosey Goat Nanny Noir – it’s made in the Camembert style and rolled in vegetable ash.
Goat & Sheep – we’d look for the continually show-stopping Grey Owl. The sharp flavour of this Notre-Dame-du-Lac, Quebec product can certainly be polarizing but for those who love a good rind, it’s a must-try.
Firm /Aged – we propose getting into the complexity of Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from P.E.I. or tangling with the West Coast power of Natural Pastures’ Farmhouse Gouda.
Fresh/Blue – look to Bella Casara’s Ricotta for the versatility you’ve always wanted from a cheese (it can be used for dinner or dessert). Try out our favourite name from the show with Ewenity’s Best Baa Feta, or pick up a 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix multiple award-winner in Le Bleu d’Elizabeth.
Lager – Beau’s Lug•Tread Lagered Ale is still our favourite. Okay, so it’s not strictly a lager, but you don’t like being pigeonholed either, do you?
Ale – The Great Lakes Brewery Christmas Ale is brewed with ‘honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon’. And at over 7%, it’s definitely going to make for a happy holiday.
IPA – Kensington Brewing Company’s Baldwin FishEYE PA (see what they did there) is as full of attitude as it sounds. The only way to shut it up is to drink it down.
Porter – Nickel Brook Brewery’s Maple Porter infuses pure Canadian maple syrup into its brewing process. That is all and that is more than enough.
Stout – Black Oak Brewing Co. has a Double Chocolate Cherry Stout. Best bring a fork with if you intend to take on this deliciousness.
Cider – With five types of cider on offer, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery has everything you could ever want in an alcoholic apple. Check out their Ice Cider for a dessert you can certainly have more than one of.
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