We made it to Toronto’s Vegfest, this will be my 8th year attending. I think I might have missed a year somewhere along the line, but I’m there pretty much every year.
The past week was spent cottaging in Muskoka, and we got back mid-way on Saturday so I wasn’t sure if we’d make it this year. Plus if I’m going to be honest with you, I was kind of avoiding it – it’s a big and busy festival with lots of people, but we did make it, and grabbed some good food.
These aren’t all the highlights of our time, but it’s some of the stuff I tried, bought, or saw at VegFest.
First of all, Wandering Deli was at VegFest this year, and I wanted to mention that Wandering Deli is going to open a vegan cheese shop. There is an Indigogo campaign, so you could click over there and check it out.
View this post on Instagram
Our first vegfoodfest Saturday went pretty well! Chatted with so many new folks, saw some beloved market regulars come out, finally met some other much admired cheesemakers, had the best helper ( thank you so much to our former biz partner and forever friend James for helping us today!!!) The future of this winding path is looking pretty lovely. #hooorayforvegancheese
I’ve been happy to follow along with their cheese making journey (as a happy customer) for the last few years and it’s been cool to see them develop their brand, product, and get to this stage. They work hard, and make a great vegan cheese, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for them.
My first stop at VegFest was over at Nuts for Cheese, another great Ontario vegan cheese maker that is killing it. I’ve been eagerly awaiting their Black Garlic cheese wedge, but they were sold out. Mentioned it should be available at their usual spots (Sobey’s, Farm Boy, etc) soon, so I’ll keep my eyes open for that.
View this post on Instagram
Who IS she? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Acquaint yourselves with ?Black Garlic!? Launching FW19. Our new flavour features an activated Charcoal Rind with earthy notes of porcini mushroom and umami-caramel notes of fermented black garlic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Find her in select stores starting this September!
Next stop was EastEnd Vegan, they’re a Scarborough based almond based vegan cheese maker, and are available at YamChops and a variety of other spots in the city, including a few farmers’ markets. They had this awesome Jammin’ Jerk flavour that I don’t think I’ve seen in stores in the past, I wish I grabbed some more.
I wandered over to a new-to-me vendor called Chau Toronto, a project from an internationally trained chef (Chef Jane Tran) and bought some To-f#%ing Good Bao and some Vietnamese iced coffee with Chau-made condensed coconut milk. It was great, and I’m glad I decided to wait in the line that was forming first thing in the morning. Chau isn’t a 100% vegan thing, but they say they try to make vegan things at every event they go to.
JC had Lord of The Fries with S, but I missed out – seems like they were having a great day too! It’s amazing that the folks came all the way from Australia to share their stuff with us, but it’s A-OK by me – but I do wonder what it means.
I met up with JC and the small human at the Oat & Mill booth where they had ice cream that they really liked, and I didn’t try (though I had a taste of the blue one, because that’s what the kiddo was eating)
We talked to Tim at Culcherd, and it sounds like they’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up including a bunch of new products.
I tried a few of their new butters (garlic and a cinnamon sugar one, both of which are going to be perfect on bread – though perhaps not at the same time…) They also have a new everything bagel cheese going on. I bought a few cheeses to go – I usually pick their butters up from Unboxed Market (they sell the cheeses package free/BYOP.)
Then I got in line for Apiecalypse, and waited my turn – I had my eyes on a slice of the frito pie pizza and some magic squares. I used to buy large quantities of magic squares from Apiecalypse Bakery in Mirvish Village in the annex before the buildings all got knocked down, and I picked up quite a taste for them. I havent’ seen them at the pizza spot on Bloor, but it’s a different focus – so whenever Apiecalypse is at a show, I’m excited to get a few.
Some bonus mentions: Nature’s Bakery was handing out samples of their Fig Bars, and the kid was very excited about them. They make for a pretty decent snack food to take with us on outings. There was also Three Farmers, which makes one of my favourite savoury snack foods.
The trouble with leaving VegFest to Sunday is that many vendors have run out of things – especially new vendors that didn’t know what to expect – but I think we had a decent visit and got most of what we were looking for.