I went to the 17th annual Good Food Festival and Market this weekend at the International Center (near the Airport in Toronto`s west end). My Father and I thought it was our first time at the event until we walked the halls of the show and had a feeling of deja vu and think we may have attended a previous version many years ago.
Despite arriving about 30 minutes early we were still surrounded by a crowd and were several hundred people deep in a line to enter. People were in high spirits and the chaos was fairly well organized and it wasn`t the nightmare it could have been (we were fortunate to find out we had originally stood in a lineup for people who had pre-purchased their tickets and were able to move to another line without much pain).
The show was busy!
We didn`t know what to expect – I was a bit confused at first when we noticed that a lot of people had brought big bags and grocery trolleys. A 20-year veteran of the show explained that there were some samples and other products that were heavy (such as pickles) and her cart would save multiple trips back and forth to the car.
I really enjoyed the show – though it was different from what I would have guessed. there were a tonne of free samples; often of food I had not seen or tried. When you tasted something you liked you could follow it up with purchasing the product at very good prices. Most of the food would keep in the pantry (pickles, canned fruit) or the fridge (pastrami, cheese and the like). Samples were plentiful and I enjoyed the show a great deal.
There were many food demonstrations as well – the main attraction was the exposure to new foods that I had not seen before and I thought the show delivered on it`s promises here. The event bills itself as a festival of Home Cooking and Home Eating – and I thought it was exactly that. This was an exhibition featuring ingredients rather than dishes and, as such, was great for us. If you`re not into cooking at home or trying new products to cook, you may want to skip. If you`re looking for exposure to new things and groceries at good (and even great) prices, this is something to check out next year!