When avoiding “travel sickness” (the opposite of homesickness), do what the tourists do! I refuse to get reverse-culture shock.
My hometown of Picton, Ontario hosted the Great Canadian Cheese Festival this past weekend. While this isn’t a food blog, I’m certainly willing to travel for great food festivals and lucky for me I didn’t have to travel far for this one.
Sweet dreams were made of cheese at TGCCF (I also can’t resist a good pun) and locals and tourist were out in full force at the Crystal Palace. Prince Edward County is a foodie heaven. Restaurants and wineries are in abundance along with a taste trail to take you throughout the best food The County has to offer.
Located just 3 hours from Ottawa and 2 from Toronto, it’s no wonder people visit Prince Edward County for events like the cheese festival.
The Great Canadian Cheese Festival
The main event span over two days at the Picton Fair Grounds. Vendors from all over Ontario and some from Quebec. You could wander in and out of the Crystal Palace and curling club to enjoy the samples and “Cheese Seminars” were held in the community centre.
From sweet to savoury, soft to hard, pasteurized and unpasteurized – there were cheeses of every kind. Goat cheese, cow cheese, and even water buffalo! There was even a live water buffalo at the event you could pet.
While the cheese was at the forefront of the event, you could also find vendors for wine, beer, ciders, and fine foods. Many of these foods will go hand and hand (like wine and cheese). If you’re not sure what goes with what, the vendors will happily tell you.
The foods & beverages also went well beyond pairings. Many of the cheeses are soaked in beer or wine to giving them even more interesting flavours. There were even beer jellies and maple syrups meant to be drizzled on cheese.
TGCCF is a haven for foodies and cheese lovers alike. The cheese festival is a fantastic opportunity to expand their palates and sample things they might not otherwise try. It is the perfect place to sample charcuterie, jams, tapenades and other complements to cheese. It will certainly bring people out of their mozzarella or cheddar bubble.
This was my fourth attendance at the festival and I’d have to say it was my favourite yet. The number of vendors keeps growing and there is more variety than ever before. I also love that this year, the event went away with tickets. Upon entering, most of the food samples were free. Other samples (primarily alcohol, but also larger food items like sliders and cheese curd cones) were available for a dollar or so each.
Don’t miss out on next year’s cheese festival! See you in 2018 🙂