The West Coast Christmas Show & Marketplace is one of Western Canada’s top one-stop holiday shopping experience that brings together unique gifts, gourmet foods, personal services, festive seminars and cooking presentations under one giant roof. This year, hundreds of vendors and legions of excited show-goers made the trip out to Abbotsford’s colossal Tradex for the three-day holiday extravaganza and View The Vibe was there to take it all in.
Greeted with a spectacular display of Christmas trees in the Festival of Trees, visitors immediately took in the sights and sounds of Christmas, as performed by local musicians. On Saturday and Sunday, Food Network darling and celebrity chef Anna Olson took the stage with workshops for perfect stress-free festive desserts and expert baking tips for the holidays.
Wandering through the endless rows of vendors, we had no trouble finding exotic gifts from around the world, including jewelry, accessories, toys and electronics, specialty gourmet seasonings and condiments as well as décor and specialty food items to make holiday gatherings extra special.
After our VTV team did some holiday shopping damage of our own, we rounded up our top holiday picks from this year’s West Coast Christmas Show, read on to learn more.
For the Gourmet Foodie:
Ritrovo Selections’ Bevivo Bianco Lemon Drinking Balsamic – Sweet and tangy with a super smooth finish, this citrusy Italian aperitif concentrate pairs amazingly with ginger ale and other holiday refreshments. Try it as a marinade for fish or add a few drops to your next ceviche. $17.95
Demerara Butter Crunch – In both bag (original) and bar form (six mouthwatering flavours), Milsean’s signature butter crunch is a decadent toffee poured over almonds and covered with dreamy white chocolate. $10
Trugs Gourmet Very Cherry Chocolate Jam – This tart jam with cherry brandy will have EVERYONE excited for Christmas breakfast – especially mom and dad. We love a dollop of this boozy “black forest cake in a jar” on vanilla ice cream for dessert. Warm it up for a quick compote. $6.99
For the Holiday Hostess:
Kitchening & Co’s Cookie Three Pack – This trio makes the perfect party gift. With four of each flavour (oatmeal raisin, ginger chocolate and peanut butter), it’s a gorgeous sampler of Carly Wintschel’s lesser-known culinary bestsellers. You can also find her trademark macarons at Urban Fare and Whole Foods. $18
Otimo’s Brazilian Cheese Puffs – These tiny but life-altering yummy Pão de Queijo, made from the manioc root, are not only dense and delicious, but also gluten-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, corn-free, soy-free and nut-free. Their new jalapeño flavour adds a spicy kick to these already delectable puffs of joy. Can you think of a better party appetizer for a social circle with dietary restrictions from A to Z?
La Chocolaterie’s Coconama Ganache Sampler – THE smoothest and most diverse ganache flavours come in an 18 piece gift set complete with tasting suggestions (“Good with Champagne,” “Good with Hard Liquor,” etc.) $14.29
For the Quirky Collector:
Window Arcades’ Sodalite Healing Stone Terrarium – While not exactly edible, you could grow herbs in ’em! These gorgeous hanging glass terrariums are beautiful and holistic health-minded. This sodalite terrarium features a deep blue stone that is said to increase spiritual perception. And it’s pretty. $36
The Vinegar Lady’s BWHAM! BAM! Blackberry Vinegar – Besides its fruity and deep flavour, anyone can appreciate this beautifully dressed balsamic’s gorgeous and sassy packaging. This blackberry vinegar is sister to its famous raspberry flavour – lauded by Araxi’s Chef James Walt as “by far the best fruit vinegar there is – fruit forward and full of flavour.” Try it à la Araxi with oysters. $15.99
Contributed by Alexandra Lam.