The summer may have kicked off just over a week ago, but for me, the season doesn’t start until the Canada Day long weekend. I must admit, I felt like a bear waking up from hibernation, and it takes a long time to get me going. When I do, I’m like the wind. Wherever life goes, I have my nose and stomach guiding me.
This past weekend, the Inner Harbour was abuzz with people checking out the last of the celebrations and the nice day had me lumbering around town. I had to see what the markets in the bustling city core had to offer.
A Flavour of Canada and the Folkfest Craft Market gave me the chance to wande Ship’s Point. I saw that Beaver House Fudge had a booth, and while I was tempted, I was saving my bucks for other treasured booty.
I saw that Puerto Vallarta Amigos and Smokin’ Bones were present. I thought about grabbing a bite at both places, but I was more swayed by the scents coming from those kiosks that weren’t an established business. I was looking for some ethnic love, and I hit up the Passion for Tango Society first.
I tried an Argentinean Beef Empanada ($4.50). That’s essentially a baked wrap. And on the first bite, I enjoyed the mildly spiced beef that was mixed with what I believe is chutney. I could’ve had more, but the price was a bit steep and there wasn’t enough variety. I’ll have to keep an eye out for what else this society does (and presumably also caters to), so I can try other Argentinean culinary delights. They’ve certainly got my attention.
And for once, I didn’t have to cause any international incidents when I wanted to mix it up with foods from other nations. I’d rather wait for the Greek Fest and the Annual India MELA Fest in mid to late August.
I was lured by the lineup at the Hungarian Society of Victoria and saw that they were selling freshly made langosh at $3 per pop. That’s a great deal when considering the size of these potato cakes. If I had any more, I’d burst. It was crispy and soft.
To the side were various sprinklings and I went for the combination of garlic salt and cinnamon sugar to really give this bread extra oomph. This bear needed to roar.
The day was getting warmer and I was hit with a sudden craving for a snow cone. I’ve seen them around and didn’t think much of the crushed ice version.
At Little Snowflake Factory, either their machine was acting up or they simply make the kind I don’t like. What I was looking at was granular and on a hot day, the bits of ice on top can evaporate into clear crystals before turning into water. I should’ve bought a small one at $4 instead of a regular one at $5.
A short walk to the Government Street Market resulted in finding the real deal. On my first spoonful (they even gave me a straw) in what Big Kahuna Shave Ice Company offered, I was reminded of my trip to Whistler, BC where I nearly sank into a bank of snow.
Yes, I should’ve worn snowshoes, but that’s what snow cones have to be like. It needs the illusion of a shell when the treat is handed to you, but when you poke at it and take that first spoonful, you should be eating freshly fallen snow. Or get pelted by it, and then you get your girlfriend to lick your cheeks clean.
I wished I went here for my snow cone fix first.
By the end of the day, I was wandering through Spirit Square and looking at the market to see what farm fresh produce was available. There was plenty to choose from, but what caught my attention were the products from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, Vibrance Food Cooperative and Camille’s. Respectively, I was swayed by the Blue Juliette cheese, romanced by a reishi, chaga and ginseng flavoured ice tea and kissed by Mother Nature herself–I found morels to dine on. I’ve developed a love for this wild mushroom, but there’s nothing better than going to dig them up yourself.
Now where are my galoshes? It’s time to go foraging like the true bear that I am.