Hosted by Simcoe County Farm Fresh Marketing Association Non-Profit Inc. This dining event is a cumulative one, showcasing our heritage with locally grown foods, then tempting our palates with the combined efforts of the farmers, producers and fine restaurant chefs.
With the Simcoe Museum’s pioneer outdoor buildings as the backdrop, the wood burning stone oven churned out flavourful flatbreads. The locale reminded this writer of the rich history of our foods; heirloom tomatoes, carrots and a plethora of vegetables were showcased in this perfect venue, alongside whole milk, fresh cooked meats, local honey, maple syrup, juice, wine, beer and coffee. Much like a progressive dinner, we wound our way along the paths, tasting the magnificent offerings from the vendors. Each local producer was matched with a local restaurant and the results were fabulous.
Our forefathers and mothers worked this land, tended the livestock, planted the seeds, tapped the trees, and harnessed the bees. Today the farm stewards continue the traditions and the results are relished for the depth of flavour, colours, and nutrients. Live music was offered up by “Pagans Folly”, with pipes and fiddles, their passion for Celtic music was fitting for the venue.
Lynn Ogryzlo, author of the “Ontario Table” cookbook, was in attendance for a book signing and invited all to sign the Ontario table-cloth, pledging support for local food. As she eloquently points out; “If every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food; we’d have an additional 2.4 billion in our local economy at the end of the year. Keeping our money circulating grows those dollars to $3.6 billion and creates 10,000 new jobs.”
I was struck by the palpable sensation of camaraderie among the vendors, the farmers, the chefs, all working together not only to provide us with a tasty afternoon spent sampling, but to encourage and educate us on the inherent goodness of our local foods. This afternoon takes us back to the time when we could taste the nutrients, rather then read it on a label. I found this event had a strong passionate undercurrent of inspiration for us; to feed our bodies, our souls, and our local economy with the goodness that is real food.
While Savour Simcoe is sadly but a once yearly event, we have the opportunity any day of the week to savour the flavour of the local bounty by dining at the local establishments that participated in today’s event.
I encourage you to shop and dine locally, and earmark the Simcoe Savour website, your taste buds will be glad you did!
-Written by: Penelope Morrow
Penelope Morrow is a writer, editor and food aficionado from Barrie; follow her tweets at @penelopejmorrow