Saturday, June 17, 2017

Not just cheese - Great Canadian Cheese Festival 2017

I really love cheese and I really love going to Prince Edward County once a year to try all kinds of Cheese from mostly Ontario and Quebec along with all kinds of other Artisan products.  Picton is a small town that is becoming a Foodie paradise.  With so many wineries and cheese makers in the region it's a perfect place to visit.  This is my 3rd year going to the Great Canadian Cheese Festival and it's now quickly becoming a yearly tradition with some other stops made along the way.
It's held at the Crystal Palace Camp Ground which houses 2 buildings and exterior booths and food trucks and other stands.  Tickets are $50 per day or $75 for a weekend pass and that includes free parking and all the cheese samples you can stuff in your face.  There are a lot of wineries there as well sampling their wines. There are even a couple of goats and Water Buffalo to see and pet.

But of course the Star is the Cheese.  Almost a whole building full of cheese.   I picked up 2 cheeses this year.  This semi soft Artisan Cheese and Bothwell's Horseradish Cheese.  I just need to pick up some Roast Beef to create a fantastic sandwich.

There are hard cheeses, flavoured cheese, soft cheese and these spiced cheese curds.  A cheese for everyone.

I sampled lots of other things besides Cheese.  I tried preserves, special beverages, shortbread, Oils, sausages, nuts and a lot more.

I fell in love with these bottles of Gut Shots.  It's fermented Cabbage and vegetable juice.  I didn't pick up one at the Festival because I picked up the Vegan Kimchi but couldn't stop thinking about it so I picked up a bottle at Whole foods a few days later.  I got the Kimchi flavour Gut shot.  You only need to drink a tablespoonful a day to fix your gut bacteria.  It even tastes good and you could even use it in a dressing or marinade.

It was great to have some of Jamie Kennedy's JK fries while chilling on a park bench chatting with new friends.  A bit of Toronto in the country.

We went on the most perfect spring day.  The weather was hot but not unbearable.  It was great to bounce in and out of the buildings and sit outside and take a break while my friend petted this little Water Buffalo.

I kind of did a bit of grocery shopping while I was there with a mixed bag of stuff including the Kimchi and the Artisan Cheese I picked up some Red Pepper Jelly,  Lemon Olive oil and some Jewels Under the Kilt Chipotle Maple Pecans.  I would say a nice variety for sure.

We got very lucky because it rained the next day but we were blessed with a perfect day and even the traffic there was good.  The festival ends about 4pm so I now have a new tradition of going to Slickers Ice Cream and getting some of their fantastic Ice Cream.  I got the Roasted Marshmallow flavour.  Yes it was more dairy but it's so easy to eat on a warm day.  The next stop was Giant Tiger,  there isn't one in Toronto so it's always fun to see what they have on sale.  I picked up some water and some coconut chocolate sticks. The other stop was a chilling stop at the Drake Devonshire Inn right on the lake.  It was a bit chilly next to the water by that time but we sat on the patio and ordered some fantastic veggie appetizers while they provided some nice yellow fleece blankets to keep us cosy.  I really love that place.   We ended with a little ping pong and then we headed back to Toronto.  Such a fun day.  I hope we can have a repeat of it again next year.   Thanks Great Canadian Cheese Festival for organizing a great event.

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