Recap: The Great Canadian Cheese Festival 2013

Monday, June 03, 2013

This past weekend, Prince Edward County was home to the third annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton's Crystal Palace. It was attended by thousands of cheese lovers and artisans from coast to coast. One was able to sample, purchase, attend cheese tours, cooking classes and tutored tastings, along with unique dining events on Saturday evening. Cheese lovers and foodies were able to mingle and connect with some remarkable products from Grand Prix winning artisanal cheeses to fine wines and craft beers.

The event was organized in the ideal location with picturesque scenery and a somewhat rural backdrop. The drive up from Kingston was about an hour but worth it. Why? Well first don't worry about not eating before hand because once you leave, your stomach will surely be satisfied. I know mine was! Not only did you get to eat a lot of cheese at the festival but to my surprise, the festival showcased salts, olive oil, mustards etc. I came home with cinnamon honey butter from Heavenly Honey and butternut and beer chutney from Major Craig's Inc., who were at the Taste of Ottawa Pavilion which featured around ten local specialty food producers. I was quite delighted.

The festival brought out all the passion of the cheese-makers and producers. You could truly tell that this was their life and the way they talked about their products was outstanding.

This being my first year attending the festival, I was amazed by all the hard work that was put into it. Thanks to the founder Georgs Kolesnikovs or known as THE cheesehead, coordinators, cheese lovers, volunteers and everyone else who made the two day event possible. From brie, ricotta to gouda, I was in cheese heaven. I will most definitely be attending again next year and purchasing advance tickets as well (because it has its perks such as the media event back in May)!

Andrew Craig primarily known as 'the Chutney Guy' was serving up some delicious chutney.

The Exultet Estates 2011 cru White Light was one of my top wine picks for the event but Huff Estates 2011 Resiling Off Dry is still the one for me.


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