Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saltscapes Expo Review

Hey All,

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Since I decided to take the week off from exercise I have just been relaxing and hanging out with the husband the past couple of days. Food wise hasn’t been too bad. We did indulge last night with a night of pub food, wine, beer and board games with the family.

Today is my last day of no exercise and then I’m back at it tomorrow. Matt and I decided to hit up the Saltscapes Expo today so I thought I’d post a little review of our experience.

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Saltscapes  - Truly the BEST of Atlantic Canada under one roof for one spectacular weekend! – 2010 Official Program

As you can tell it’s basically an expo of all thing Atlantic Canada. It’s based on the Saltscapes Magazine. We received a copy of the magazine when we arrived.

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We knew there was a healthy living/local food section to the expo that that’s what drew us there in the first place. They also had a tourism (featuring each Atlantic province and Maine), home cottage garden and unique retail marketplace sections.

When we arrived on the the first things we noticed was that the entire expo was being powered by Bullfrog Power with 100% green electricity. I thought that was pretty cool.

For a while we just wondered around for a little while looking at all the booths, tasting some of the foods/drinks and checking out some of the stages. They had five stages set up throughout the expo. These stages were: Experience New Brunswick Stage, Saltscapes Magazine Stage, Home Cottage Garden Stage, Healthy Living in Atlantic Canada Stage and the Culinary Stage. I definitely wanted to see the Culinary Stage. This featured some of the best chefs in Atlantic Canada.

We stayed and watched two presentations on the Culinary Stage. The first was Chef Alan Crosby who is the Chef at White Point Beach Resort.

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He was making some pasta ravioli dish. We were a few mins late for this presentation so I’m not sure the name of the exact dish but it looked very yummy. He also has some great tips about using fresh herbs and how to cook pasta. He had some great ideas that we will be using the future.

After he was done we walked around some more and picked up some local blueberry juice.

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Van Dyk Wild Blueberry Juice to be exact. This stuff is awesome tasting and if you look at the ingredients list there is only one ingredient.

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No Sweeteners, preservatives or additives. Also, you only need to drink 1/3 of a cup at a time. It’s not made to drink large amounts unlike orange juice. I think it’s going to be really good on its own or even added to smoothies. It’s a great source of antioxidants.

“One-half cup of blueberries delivers as much antioxidant power as five servings of other fruits and vegetables.” ~ Dr. Prior, Director of the USDA research studies

We also enjoyed some local music.

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And I had a small scoop of Raspberry Gelato from FoxHill Cheese House. This was a great, sweet treat.

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We then headed back to the Culinary Stage to watch the Culinary Competition between Alan Crosby (who we had saw earlier) and Renee Lavallee who is the chef at Five Fisherman in Halifax (she won this competition last year).

The way it worked is they gave each chef 4 or 5 local ingredients and they had 45 mins to make a dish from those ingredients and they would be judged by both the judges and the audience. Today the ingredients they had were scallops, cabbage, a local syrup (I can’t remember the name), organic local honey and summer savoury. Both chefs also got a sous-chef from the audience to help them. During the time they had the chefs discuss their meals, give hints about cooking, have the audience ask questions and have other local venders talk about their products. It was pretty entertaining and very cool to see the chefs had to come up with some interesting and tasty meals on the spot. Unfortunately, my back really started to hurt so we had to leave a few mins early so I can’t tell you who won.

In general, it was a really good expo but I just had two complaints:

First, since the expo was suppose to be local I was pretty disappointed with some of the ‘unique venders’. Some were local but there were a few venders selling things like Guess bags. I can tell you those are definitely not made locally.

Second, most of the food section was selections of jam and maple syrup. I understand that we here in Nova Scotia like our jams and maple syrup but I would have really like to see a little more variety.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself and would go back again next year. My favourite part was definitely the Culinary Stage. I love to hear from chefs and listening to their tips on new and different ways to make cooking and eating exciting.

Thanks Saltscapes for the great experience!

~ Katie :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that sounded like so much fun!