Food hopping in a July weekend

An old nursery rhyme comes to mind when James and I fanned out in search for some organic food goodness. The day was too nice to be indoors, so one piggy went to the market and the other one stayed home. Well, James hit a local farmer’s market near his home and I went to the Organic Islands Festival.

Yvonne joined us in this adventure and we found more than our wallets getting lighter by mid afternoon. With a hot sun beating down upon us, I felt more like one thirsty bloke.

So I sampled nearly everything drinkable at this event and found a bit of heaven cemented in an organic beer from Pacific Western. The Natureland HefeWeizen was perfect. I found this drink to be lovingly tender. I can love it sweet too, but I wasn’t ready to go grab a microphone and rock out like Elvis.

Although after trying a Schramm Vodka from Pemberton Distillery, I was more than ready to do anything. Made from potatoes, it had some wonderful lingering aftertastes. I’m sure there was a hint of cinnamon in that, and just like the beer, was super clean. Both were smooth.

But what stood out for me was the crispness of a cold malt on a hot day. The mix of barley and wheat worked in perfect symphony in the ichor I had just tasted. And it had a tingle of fresh morning dew dancing on my tongue. The froth was like a fine mist that just wanted to condense into a sweet liquid and when I opened my eyes, I said, “Wow.”

There was a clarity in the spring water used to create this drink, and the wheat hops made for a huge difference. There was nothing bitter about it.

Even though this drink had the organic label plastered on its bottle as its way to stand out in the stores, the difference is not skin deep. When compared to other microbreweries that I’ve tried, I think it beats Lighthouse Brewery and Canoe Club’s own brands easily.

To me, the only five star beers are the ones that come out of Germany, and everything else is a notch below. For Pacific Western, they’ve brought that world here and I’m glad. This drink is, after all, an authentic South German creation.

And when I wasn’t sipping a fine red bubbly from Summerhill Pyramid Winery, I was trying to find lunch.

Although this event did have a fair number of food vendors, most of them were of the take-home variety from farms wanting to establish a name for themselves. There were options to sample, but not to eat at this fair. I could find cake, but I was hoping for more lunch options. At one side of the fair was a hamburger stand making burgers from Glendale Farms and at the other was a really popular hot dog stand offering wieners from Galloping Goose Sausage Company and Starke’s Deli.

Glendale is well-known amongst the locals, but Starke’s Deli must be new. The European wiener they supplied for Hottie’s Hotdogs was very good. However, since I was still hungry, I tried the chicken smokie from Galloping Goose next and it left me smacking my lips for more. It wasn’t heavy with a lot of added flavouring, and it was just the simple taste of bbq’ed chicken over a grill which made me loving it more. The addition of sauerkraut, roasted onions and hot mustard (all organically produced) only enhanced its taste.

By then, I ran out of money and realized I’ll have to make the honey and cider roasted sunflower seeds from Sea Cider Farms last. After sampling these babies, there really isn’t any other sunflower related product to compare it with.


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