This weekend is the weekend of the 26th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair here in Toronto. Wow, that means that there's actually been one almost every year of my life!! That's crazy when you think about it that way!
It's held down at Harbourfront Centre and is free, free, free! It's put on by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, which also produces the free Vegetarian Directory. There are tons of vendors all selling their delicious wares at wonderful prices. And non-food vendors too but you all know how my mind works...There is live entertainment, and if you're at all involved even in a minor way in the Toronto veg*n scene, you'll see tons of people that you know! In fact, I even bumped into my neighbour from first and second year university, how's that for craziness!!
Anyway, it was my first time going (!!!) and it's an important event as for me it always marks the end of summer. I went with my friend Kristyna, who I'm happy to say had the same priority as I of making ourselves sick by eating more delicious food than we should. I had three things I had to do, get a nanaimo bar from LPK Culinary Groove, buy Daiya Cheese, and get some kung pao chicken from King's Cafe. Sadly, there were no exhibitors selling any cheese, LPK was out of everything but non-vegan brownies and King's Cafe only had some curry chicken, though that was pretty amazing. BUT! That's ok! Because it was still awesome.
|Kristyna at the Food Fair|
I introduced Kristyna to tofu from Ying Ying Soy Foods, which I feel is my duty to people unsure about tofu everywhere. They offer only Nigari Tofu that is processed like cheese curds, a 2,000-year-old method using sea water and natural salts. My fave flavour is the sweet and spicy one, but we discovered the curry flavour is also delicious. You can get their tofu year round at the St. Lawrence Market or at Essence of Life Organics in Kensington Market, or a bunch of other stores according to their website. We also tried the gardenin "beef tips". It tasted a little too much like actual beef to us, so I'm not the hugest fan. And it's like pure gluten, but if you're ok with gluten and miss the flavour and texture of actual meat, then I highly recommend!
Kristyna shared an amazing double chocolate chocolate chip cookie from Sweets From The Earth with me. WOW. I later got a brownie from them, which despite it`s smaller size absolutely slayed me with its richness. Like, I actually had to leave after eating it, it was that intense. Luckily I waited until late in the day to have it. It was delicious, don`t get me wrong, and I highly recommend it, but it's definitely to be shared with a friend! Or maybe just enjoyed when you haven't already eaten everything in sight...
lightsweetcrude, an awesome jam band. It was here that we really saw that the fair attracted a very eclectic crowd. There was everyone from elderly people in scooters to a woman dancing using a hula hoop.
We found a mexican place that sold vegan food, such as mushroom tacos!! I feel like they're called El Cinto...?? They're not in the programme so unfortunately I can't be sure. I'll try and track down the name. I also tried a vegan jamaican patty. Even though there was so so much gluten, I had to try it! I was obsessed with Jamaican patties when I was younger. While it was good...it was a bit of a disappointment as it wasn't anything like the Jamaican patty I remember. I think that they could have pulled it off better with TVP and lots of spiciness! It was instead made of beans. Even that would have been fine, but it wasn't spicy at all. Became very delicious though when i put some of the super spicy Pav Bhaji Kristyna got from an Indian booth on it.
We laughed at this. If you know Toronto, you'll know that this is a tiny enclosed cement wading pool type of thing. And that the water isn't more than a foot deep. And that ten feet or so away is the lake. And that another little while off are the islands, with a huge beach. So, lots of places nearby to actually paddle. Yet these people chose to paddle here. So so very much a Toronto thing to do. Just like the fake grass everywhere! The grass at harbourfront is synthetic, and we got very nervous when we saw someone smoking on it. Such a Toronto thing. Sigh.
There's still time to go and experience the fun! And and and (!!) today they're having vegan iron chef!! And LPK Culinary Groove promised more nanaimo bars. exciting! Hope to see you there next year!!
SESSY UPDATE!! fixed the link to lightsweetcrude. sigh myspace is way too confusing for me. i feel old...