sample, sample, and sample some more

And then sample. And sample again.

Welcome to the annual Good Food Festival.

This year, I brought a carload of friends along to check out the vendors, the displays...but mostly the samples.

Clamato Bar Hot Pickled Caesar
Among the highlights was the Clamato booth, mixing up half-a-dozen types of cocktails. Due to the booze content, this was one of the few booths you had to pay for a sample at, but the price was so low it didn't matter much. Most of our group enjoyed the Hot Pickled Caesar, a mixture of hot sauce, vodka, pickle juice and horseradish, garnish with a pickle. The other boozy sample we enjoyed towards the end was a frozen Kahlua drink, which were like a slushy White Russian.

Balls Series
Our vote for the oddest sign of the day, from a vendor selling balls for soups and such. For dirtiest product name, the hands-down winner was Grace Cock Seasoning.

Not Impressed By A Long Shot Wheel...of...Food Safety!
Left: We weren't impressed by the health claims or test of this tea. Right: But who can resist spinning a wheel of food safety?

The Mushroom
We wanted to take the giant mushroom home.

Most of us splurged at the well-stocked Irie Spices table - nearly all of us walked away with bottles of coconut curry sauce, while I also picked up spicy mango chutney and a large container of rice and peas seasoning. As for the sampling, Stoney Creek ice cream received high marks, as did a red pepper jelly sharing space with Niagara cheesemakers. Nice to see that the microwave bowl craze may be running out of gas, as I didn't see any of the large companies pushing these.

Items that won't be hitting my shopping cart anytime soon: hemp milk, mangosteen juice with boosters, the "better burgers" I wasn't crazy about last year.

Paul Meets Mr. Peanut
Trying to attract the attention of Mr. Peanut near the end of our visit. We failed this time around, though earlier, the Planters mascot snuck up on me while I was sampling some red pepper jelly.

Snack Express
Given the range and number of samples available, we were surprised to see the snack bar open. Guess one should never underestimate when the need for Pizza Pizza may hit.

More photos over at Flickr. Another take at TasteTO. - JB, some photos by PI


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