I have always loved The One of a Kind Show, both as a visitor and even as a vendor back in another life when I did a line of kid's glass art called Buster Boy. These days, I am just there as a shopper and I rarely miss a show if I can help it.
A ton of my Xmas shopping takes place at the winter show but for me, the spring show ushers in my favourite time of the year and I take the opportunity to buy things for myself. That usually means that I am on the hunt for edible treats as well as dinner ware and cooking gadgets and today I just focused on the edibles. Hopefully I will return tomorrow to check out the pretty things to serve my new treats on.
The Show runs from today until Sunday March 29 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.The hours are 10am-9pm and until 6pm on Sunday with late night shopping on Thursday March 26 when they stay open until 11pm for all of you night owls.
You can get your tickets at the door or here, online for a 15% discount.
|we feasted on this delicious breakfast to fortify us for an intensive morning browse|
Chef Marcus Monteiro of the The Kitchen at Brassaii pulled out all of the stops with his Mediterranean inspired spread for the media breakfast. Media are a bit like toddlers and they get cranky on empty tummies so everyone was beside themselves when they saw what they were about to be fed. The little Moroccan Huevos Rancheros, topped with a little quail's egg might have went by the alternative moniker of "Caroleros Rancheros" and frankly, it was all I could do to stop myself from arm wrestling my table mates in order to steal theirs as well. Because I would like to be invited back next year, I restrained myself.
I set off with the lovely and talented, Mary Luz Mejia to check out the food corner and see what's new and exciting this year. I taste so that you don't have to but really, you should taste something from all ten of these vendors. Food for thought - go on an empty stomach.
Cassis Monna & Filles Booth B46
I was first drawn to this booth by the beautiful packaging of their products but I walked away with a jar of Cassis Mustard to add to my never ending collection of fancy mustards. They're the everything Cassis people with jams, sauces, mustard etc and everything I tasted was delicious but I have to stop myself at some point. I only have one fridge.
Himalaya Gourmet Booth B39
Sulana and Neville D'Souza will thrill and delight you with samples from their line of crazy pants Indian sauces, chutneys, pickles and dips. Their coriander chutney is one of the best jarred chutneys that I have tasted in years and they are both so lovely and charming that I dare you to walk away empty handed.
Little Shop of Lobsters Booth B26
New Brunswick Acadian by way of St Catherine's Ontario, these people are slinging some pretty tasty crab and lobster mousse as well as a seafood chowder that you can take home and they will hold on to your goods until you are ready to leave the show so you don't have to worry about seafood spoilage while you wander the aisles.
Nonna Pia's Gourmet Sauces Booth B53
Say hi to Norm, who is fresh off a successful turn on Dragon's Den is at the show with his line of Balsamic Reductions. Often, when you see those thick balsamic sauces that are meant to be drizzled over food, they will get their texture from the addition of a thickening agent. Nonna Pia's reductions are true reductions -from the use of imported vinegar from Modena with all natural flavourings down to a the long cooking period (up to 12 hours) needed to reduce the vinegar by about 60% , these are gorgeous and at $9 for a good size bottled, I think they are a steal. Norm, himself, is on hand to answer all of your questions and let you taste his wares.
5. Trois Quarts D'Ounce Booth B22
Stop by and say hi to Industrial Designer, Alexandrine and Chemist/Photographer Hannah and pick up a couple bottles of their gorgeous hand made tonic concentrated syrup. Not only do they offer their version of a classic tonic but now they also have a cola tonic. It tastes like a splash of coke thrown into a glass of really great tonic water and I am already kicking myself for not buying one. The thought of this with a shot of good rye on ice is making me light headed already. If you, like me, didn't grab one at the show, lucikly you can buy it on Etsy.
6.Monkey Butter Booth B24
Go meet the two charming sisters behind Monkey Butter, an all natural peanut butter, salt and sugar free (with the exception of a couple of flavours) with fabulous flavourings like Dark Chocolate Cherry PB, Maple Bacon PB, Salted Caramel PB, Mexican Hot Chocolate and more.
7. The Fishery Seafoods LTD Booth B35
These guys are here all the way from Salt Spring Island with their canned tuna and salmon, smoked and unsmoked. Even though I am not a huge fan of smoked fish, I was seduced by a can of smoked tuna and had no choice but to purchase one.
Saha Cuisine Booth B55
Saha is in the house with their line of all natural, addictive and preservative free sauces and marinades. In addition to their Middle Eastern and Thai products, they have a new Caribbean line I bought a jar of the Jerk Marinade and Mary grabbed a bottle of Green Seasoning.
Les Canardises Booth B45
I don't know much about these people because their web site is under construction but I do know that their fois gras products and the duck rillettes is to die for and in the end, do you really need to know any more than that?
10. Lee's Ghee Booth B57Grab a jar or two of this brilliant organic ghee. You can get it straight up or infused with things like sage, cardamom or my obsession, za'atar. It might seem a bit pricey at first glance but this stuff is shelf stable for a year, it's organic and ghee really does go a long way. When you think about how much a lb of grocery store butter costs these days, suddenly $30+ price tag for the medium sized jar doesn't seem so scary anymore.