Highlights from the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2017

This year’s Gourmet Food and Wine Expo was this past Thursday through Sunday at its usual spot, the Metro Convention Centre North.  Most of the usual suspects, such as Magic Oven, Barilla Pasta were back on the food front (not sure how EXACTLY either are gourmet-gourmet, but they’re delicious nonetheless), but one favourite (of mine, anyway) missing from the alcohol front was the cranberry/fruit wines from Muskoka Wineries.  They said via social media that they’ll try to be back for 2018.

Punch made with rum from Barbados

Seal tartare

While I didn’t get a chance to speak with Muskoka Wineries this year, I did try fruit wines from Newfoundland, including cloudberry (it’s white, so you serve it like white wine – chilled.  It was a bit on the sweet side for me, however) and strawberry, which I liked.  The wines are supposedly available at the LCBO, but I did not see them online.  Other regions represented this year included Spain, California, South Africa, and of course, Ontario.  Beer and spirits were also available and I tried a punch made with rum from Barbados.

Boring samosa from Magic Oven

Tacos!

The food was kind of boring.  As mentioned, Magic Oven was back, and once again took up a large area, serving food from their catering menu.  I FINALLY tried their samosas.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find it to be all that good – it was a little too…supermarket freezer and mostly pastry rather.  A good samosa should be about the filling!  I realize that they want to promote their catering, but at least serve SOMETHING from their regular pizza menu – it’s what they do best!  Maybe a Margherita pizza with a spelt crust or something like that.  Fontaine Santé, a supermarket brand of hummus and other Mediterranean spreads was also there.  Now THEY had something a bit more interesting – hummus tacos (basically hummus and beans (for example) in a tortilla).  They also featured their new vegan frozen desserts.  A new Indigenous Canadian restaurant was there, serving seal tartare on bannock (which I tried for the first time.  I’m really unsure how to describe it as there was a lot of sauce, making it hard to distinguish the taste.  One other interesting item I tried was a dessert arancini – a rice ball stuffed with ricotta and an organic chocolate hazelnut spread!

Dessert arancini

I had a good time this year but spent $80 on sample tickets.  Since samples are getting more expensive, I think they need to start at $30 or even $40 rather than $20 per package!

Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz, previously known for her sites, DelectablyChic! (still “live” and still active on social media) and Shorty Stories, was born and raised in Toronto. In addition to writing, Cynthia enjoys cooking and is an avid supporter of the Canadian fashion industry. She is involved with various philanthropic projects, including music, arts, culture and mental health awareness.

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