Experience culinary adventure at TASTE community grown

Prince Edward County is a longstanding leader in culinary tourism. Find out why at the annual epicurean event TASTE community grown. 

By: Melissa Larkin

Prince Edward County comes by its love of food honestly. This small island once provided 1/3 of canned food to all of Canada. In fact, it was once known as the ‘Garden Capital of Canada’ – a title that could still apply today. ‘The County’ is no stranger to growing good food, people and innovation the way nature intended – from the ground up. The best way to truly understand this is to experience it for yourself at TASTE community grown. An annual one-day festival, TASTE is considered eastern Ontario’s premier epicurean experience.

TASTE community grown brings together a tight-knit community of chefs, winemakers, cider and beer masters, artisanal food producers, farmers and artists for one day to create the picnic of a lifetime. Tents surround the historic Crystal Palace in downtown Picton. Picnic blankets and tables scatter the lawn as merry-makers allow the magic of this island to take over them. Hands are full sampling fine local wine, and indulgent dishes created with fresh, regional ingredients. Music pulses from every corner of the grounds – from ambient jazz to danceable rock n’ roll. Healthy competition is encouraged at the first annual ‘County Chopped’ event, where three local chefs are pitted against one another to make miracles happen with a mystery box of local ingredients. Workshops educate on gone-but-not-forgotten traditions of canning & preserving, sausage making and more, inspiring guests to sample today, and create tomorrow. A regional Farm & Artisan Market dots the perimeter of the grounds where guests will inevitably find a meaningful memento, or fresh, local produce to remember their time at TASTE community grown.

TASTE, now in its eleventh year, is Prince Edward County’s busiest weekend. Aside from the day- long festivities at the Crystal Palace, expect to have access to many off-site events. Enjoy harvest parties at several County wineries, and experience the hard work (and fun) that goes into making one of our finest products. Come early and take part in the acclaimed Prince Edward County studio tour – a tour of over 30 of the County’s finest art studios. Come late, and stay for ARTrageous, Prince Edward County’s newest art event. Taking place over the Thanksgiving weekend, ARTrageous invites visitors to play, celebrate and explore art in the County by taking part in bus tours to studios and galleries, countless workshops, lunch and learn talks, and a premiere gala event.

The opportunities to make a vacation out of attending TASTE community grown are endless. Fantastic accommodation packages at many fine B&B’s, Inns and resorts make your stay in the County enticing and affordable. Take advantage of the stunning fall colors at Sandbanks Provincial Park, sample your way through the dining possibilities at TASTE, and follow up with a reservation for dinner at your top restaurant. Think ahead to the Christmas season by finding the perfect gift at the autumn sales of local boutiques in Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington.

Experience the culinary adventure this County has to offer, TASTE community grown. For full information and details visit www.tastecelebration.ca or contact 613.393.2796.