The Good Food & Drink Festival 2014 Recap

 The Good Food & Drink Festival is three days of food, wine, beer, cuisine trends, and new products – it’s basically foodie heaven. I checked out the festival this past weekend, and in between bites I learned a lot about what’s hot in food right now.

Apparently we like hiding things in our food so long as we know about it (even though we don’t actually want to find anything hidden in our food). After touring around for an hour or so I realized that there were at least 10 products that were “hiding” protein or servings of veggies in something that was never meant to have protein or vegetables. Blu-Dot Beverages makes an iced tea packed with New Zealand whey protein. Iced tea protein juice may sound a little ridiculous, but it’s really delicious and you’d have to eat full chicken thigh to get that much protein – and that isn’t nearly as portable.

bludot

After enjoying our protein tea we tried a few Made Good Granola Minis which tasted like tasty, chewy granola goodness but contained a full serving of hidden vegetables… seriously. It seems that in order for us to eat healthfully we need it hidden. On the other hand, every single food manufacturer we saw seemed to emphasize that they were GMO-free. It’s a strange trend that assumes we’re all children who don’t know how to eat properly… On second thought, some of us probably need this particular trend.

MAdegood

While the hidden goodness was tasty, my favourites of the show were all about decadence. The Pure Infused Maple Syrup that comes in five flavours including Lavender & Chai and Chipotle & Lemongrass had me weak in the knees and making noises that were totally inappropriate for a public venue. The Gourmet Ice Syrup – a non-alcoholic syrup made from the same grapes as ice wine and used for salad dressings, grilled meats, and fish – was heavenly. I bought a bottle of Ice Syrup and I’m a little concerned that I might just drink it straight from the bottle, like a fancy version of eating Nutella by the spoonful.

While syrups are beautifully decadent, there really is no greater indulgence than a cold beer on a hot day. With summer finally on the horizon I looked to the craft brewers to introduce me to something I’d never tried before, and Railway City Brewing Co. delivered with The Witty Traveller: a lightly spicy brew sweetened by anise seed and orange rind; but it was the clove on the finish that really sold me.

This summer I plan to grill with my Ice Syrup Vidal while drinking a bottle of Witty Traveller, and I’ll cure the inevitable post-grill hangover with a bottle of protein tea.

Did you attend the Good Food & Drink Festival? Let us know how you enjoyed the fest in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.

Shannon Hunter

Shannon is a twenty-something social media manager and freelance writer living and loving in Toronto. She's written about everything from relationships and dating to events and travel. Happiest when she's writing and within reach of a glass of red; Shan dreams of spending her days writing novels on a beach in Mexico.