During the South Okanagan Winery Association’s Banee’ Celebration of Spring’s Wine releases this year, a whole bushelful of the Okanagan’s triumphantly artisanal culinarians offered samplings of their tastiest morsels.
Event was generously sponsored by the Watermark Beach Resort who made available their entire 2nd floor conference hall for the approximately400 assembled guests and exhibitors. Location overlooking Lake Osoyoos is a spectacular choice for weddings and other celebrations and gatherings. Culinaria was co-ordinated and produced by Anthony Buree’ of ABDM Design and Perseus Winery and Vineyards.
There were Spirit Truffles by Osoyoos’ Barbara Scheuren whose rich, creamy truffles dusted in powdery cacao have a spicy kick, like a Mexican hot chocolate, that only reveals itself once the chocolate has coated the back of your throat.
Blue Icing Bakery from Penticton featured their mini chocolate cupcakes dolloped with their signature heavy-on-the-butter, heavy-on-the-cream whipped frosting in ice-blue. Rich, chocolatey and not too sweet, their cakes and cupcakes are a favorite with brides-to-be when they are planning their receptions.
Poplar Cheese from out on the Naramata Bench was giving away generous slices of their renowned blue cheese. It’s mild and creamy without melting out the blue-cheese bite that fromage lovers crave. There are barely a handful of artisanal cheesemakers in the Valley, but even if there was one on every corner, Poplar is still worthy of the visit, whether you’re going wine tasting out on the Naramata Bench or not.
Sezmu Meats sliced off thick, juicy, med-rare cooked hunks of just roasted beef. Janice, the daughter of the founder who now runs the operation, was encouraging attendees to get their Freezer Pack orders in now for summer barbecuing and entertaining. A Freezer Pack consists of: 4 ribeyes or tenderloins, 4 flat iron steaks, 8 sirloin steaks, 10 lbs. of stewing meat, 20 lbs. of ground beef, 1 brisket and 3 roasts. She’s also coming out with lean ground burgers, just in time for the hot summer nights. A Pack costs $435 total and it’s a good idea to get your orders in now.
Wineries offering tastings included Road 13, Quinta Ferreira and Desert Hills among many others. The Iron Chef contest was Emceed by Terry David Mulligan and judged by local food and wine celebrationists Jay Drysdale, Rhys Pender and Kelly Robson.
Fun to hear them Fun speak about their month-long sojourn in Spain and how they can so easily recreate those dishes using the Okanagan’s local food crops such as fresh farm eggs, garlic, and ripe local tomatoes.
Some things look just too good to eat…
Growers use specially trained dogs to snuffle truffles (they don’t eat the sacred mushrooms like the pigs do…)!
Okanagan Truffles – grown on a small farm in the Northern part of the valley.