Events/ Featured Article

Gear up for the Holidays – Our Top Picks from OOAK

In the true spirit of shopping local as we gear up for the holidays, we visited the One of a Kind Show and Sale: Christmas Edition in Toronto. For 11 days 800 artisans from across Canada come together at the Enercare Centre offering Canadian handmade artisanal food, jewelry, clothing, housewares, art and more!

The show is arranged in five categories: Flavours, Fashion, Green, Rising Stars and Visual Art providing visitors with an abundant selection of locally made, quality goods from Canadian makers, artists and small business owners.

Here are some of our favourite Ontario food vendors to visit before the end of the Show on December 3.

Top 6 OOAKX17 Ontario Food Picks

The tasty Beef Biltong from Ontario Independant Meat Processors and Forence Meats is a must try. Delicate pieces of air dried Ontario beef are seasoned with sea salt, spices and mustard and are ready to be added to your charcuterie board or eaten as a delicious gluten-free snack.

Beautifully wrapped Coach House Shortbread made in Toronto is ideal to have on hand for impromptu entertaining or makes a perfect hostess gift. They offer nine sweet flavours and four savoury. The Cheddar & Chipotle, Orange Cardamon and Original are a must try!

Having Ontario garlic preserves on hand over the holidays makes entertaining a snap. Visit Bulbs of Fire and stock up on black garlic jam, smoked garlic jelly, garlic mustard and smoked garlic red pepper jelly made with garlic grown on their farm in Tiny, Ontario. Tip: Garlic is also an immune booster. Stay healthy friends!

Photo Source: Bulbs of Fire

The cooler weather calls for hearty, healthy meals and if you’re tight for time (who isn’t?!) in December, The Bean Ladies have you covered with 21 different varieties of bean products like soups, chilli and dips and desserts. Give their ‘Hot Chicks’ roasted chick peas snack a try!

Don’t forget the sauce! You won’t want to leave the show without Mamas Awesome Sauce from 50 Pesos. Made locally in Burlington, you can put this sauce on anything…yes anything! It’s freakin’ delicious.

Get creative and tap into your inner chef this season and incorporate maple into seafood dishes, sauces, salad dressings and more. Voisin’s Maple from Formosa has all kinds of Ontario maple syrup and maple products to cover you for the holiday season.

Photo Source: Voisin’s Maple Products

Nice Serve!

If you’re looking for a rustic, all-natural, photogenic serving option for holiday meals visit Otter Creek Woodworks for southern Ontario handmade charcuterie, cheese or cutting boards. Meet the maker from Tillsonburg and pick up whatever size of feasting board you need to serve your locally inspired offerings on.

Even though we focus on Ontario food and beverage, here’s a nod to our out-of-province favourites from OOAKX17. After all, Canadian made is still local.

A modern take on a 100 year old recipe from Manitoba makes Lemo Lemonade a hit! Made in small batches in Montreal, their carefully crafted syrups make yummy cold and hot lemonade drinks or cocktails with a fraction of the sugar found in commercial juices and sodas. It also tastes a whole lot better so stock up!

The Lemon Square does one thing, and one thing really well – lemon coconut squares that are perfect in every way. Located in Vancouver, we’re hoping they will set up shop in Ontario too, but until then, fill your tote, these treats are delicious.

Indulge in delicate, beautifully made goose fois gras, terrine, rillettes and pate from Quebec Oies. Although perfect for entertaining, you may just want to keep this find for yourself, the fois gras is that good.

Make your way to Toronto before December 3 and support Canadian artisans and makers, find the perfect gift and treat yourself to locally made goods. Go with an appetite and try out the new food truck section and sample all of yummy nibbles from the hardworking, creative, food-loving food and beverage vendors.

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