I picked up a few 'outrageous' lessons in local food when I traveled to Southwest Ontario.
The local food movement may just be the biggest culinary trend in the world, but there's still a lot to learn about what it really means. And West Lorne was ready to teach me some crucial lessons.
Rural doesn't mean boring.
During the Food Fight event, we had the opportunity to sample all of the concoctions and my favourite was #1, a creamy, two layered dish that listed vanilla and pistachios. And with a little luck, soon you'll be able to try it too! The Bank is turning all of some of these outrageously good products into an Outrageously Rural product line - hopefully by 2016 you'll be able to take the best of the cookery home with you!
To everything there is a season.
So how do you figure out the ideal season for your favourite foods? It's easy. A food is in season when you can find it in its original form from a local source. And the more local the food, the better it will taste. Eating food in season, when you can obtain it locally, is a sure way to enjoy a delicious treat - like the amazing blueberry tarts I had!
There's more to local than just 'rustic'.
One of the other culinary demonstrations I attended was hosted by Chef Stephanie Brewster, who made homemade steamed buns, roasted duck, and quick pickled cucumbers. It definitely crossed the line from rustic to fancy! It also introduced me to three new ingredients I had never tried before. I'm not sure it's something I'd eat every day, but I would definitely have it again.
When you save memories, you save heritage.
Turns out, Chef Emily knows what she's talking about and she's right about something else - you just need to get in the kitchen and cook. You never know what the future holds and I was so touched by her stories of collecting recipes from her elderly family members. The instructions may not be precise but there's no replicating the love that comes from a tested and true hand-me-down. The Bank shares this philosophy and it offers culinary classes that help to preserve heritage recipes and techniques.
This "Bank" has plenty of riches to share.
Time for you to weigh in! What does local food mean to you?
If you're in southwest Ontario, here's what else you should check out.
Elgin County's Behemoth Butter Tarts
Hotel Review: London's Hotel Metro
Fiesta Flavors and Fun in London, Ontario
My visit to West Lorne was sponsored by The Arts and Cookery Bank and I thank them for their support.