September 11 to 13, 2015
“Veg Food will change your mouth’s mind.”
When I told a non-veg that I was heading to the Veg Food Fest, he laughed and told me to “have fun being hungry”. He couldn’t have been more wrong – I waddled away as full as can be.
For the past 31 years, the Toronto Vegetarian Association has been hosting the Veg Food Fest – the biggest of its kind in North America! I’m not exaggerating this time when I say it’s the biggest. There were over 130 vendors, bakeries, restaurants, live bands, merchandise, yoga classes, and cooking demos. This year saw the addition of a Wine & Beer Tent, a food truck area, and craft market by Etsy. There were also a lot of great animal support groups.
Between the six of us, A LOT of food was consumed. I’m just going to pick out some of the highlights and give you a little taste of our day.
Meditation Toronto: $1 samosas. Enough said. They were hot, spicy, and served with a tangy sauce.
Two Bears Cold Brew: Two Bears brews their coffee here in Toronto using a cold extraction processes, which produces a unique natural taste. I could definitely see myself getting my morning pep from this stuff!
Culture City: My friend can’t eat soy, so we were thrilled to find soy-free black bean tempeh balls here. They were perfectly seasoned and served with a choice of 3 of their locally-made sauces. These were probably one of my favourite snacks of the day.
King’s Café: Vegan Chinese Food? Yes, it is possible! There were enough warm skewers and spring rolls to keep our bellies very happy.
Nona’s: Everyone tucked into the gluten-free pasta with a bacon carbonara and an Alfredo sauce. The bacon carbonara was the crowd favourite, but both sauces had a rich texture that would satisfy anyone’s cheese craving.
Doug McNish: After hearing rave reviews, we were thrilled to have our first Doug McNish experience. Between the veggie burgers with sweet potato wedges and a polenta poutine, I can confidently say that they hype is real.
Crate 61 Organics: We were instantly drawn to the mountains of fragrant soaps, where you could select any 4 for $20. Scents included maple syrup, sweet almond, coconut, mango, and mint. My ‘Mango Tango’ soap has taken up residence next to my sink and it lathers well, leaving a delicious scent without being too overpowering.
Other honourable mentions of the day go to the many Tofurky samples we had, the new Black Forest cupcakes and ‘World Famous’ cookies from Bunners (pictured below), and the organic cacao & berry snacks from Giddy Yoyo.
Pros: Variety of cuisines, scenic venue, laid back atmosphere, and diversity of vendors and products, free entry.
Cons: There was no water to be found except for a (broken) vending machine, and not much in the way of fresh produce.
Written by TVJ writer Joanna G.