SIAL Canada is an absolute haven for food-curious people. Just imagine it, 1005 businesses gathered from more than 50 countries in ONE location. I was amazed, there’s just so much that comes with each business, from the packaging to the taste of the product. Next year, SIAL will be held in Montreal, so I was lucky to be apart of this year’s final edition in Toronto.
As SIAL has just wrapped up, here are some stats:
- 1,005 exhibitors and brands from 50 different countries;
- 240,000 square feet of exhibition space;
- 16,578 trade visitors from some 60 countries;
- 32% visitor growth compared to 2015 (last edition of Toronto).
I had the opportunity to talk to vendors from all over, specifically highlighting particular countries and cities that I found interesting. I only wish I had more time to spend here, although I attended SIAL on two of the three days, it was not enough as there was just so much to discover! Of the fraction of vendors and products I discovered of the whole show, here it is all summed up:
- Feta Greek cheese, Delta Greek Dairy
- Iliada EVOO, Kalamata DOP
- Red Passion Fruit Jelly, Azores Gourmet
- Chili spiced piccolo cucumbers, Gurken Prinz
- Jambon de Parme, Fontana Ermes
The first though in my mine with these products, was the perfect mix for a salad! We have rich EVOO which are said to really bring out the olive flavour, sour & spicy gherkins, creamy greek cheese and a sweet touch of red passion fruit jelly. The proscuitto of course, will have to be appreciated on it’s own!
The EU has 51 states, 23 of which were present at SIAL. And of those 23 states, there were 60 vendors which varied from fine proscuitto meats to winery industries. SIAL was a great opportunity for EU to create links to Canadian businesses and promote their food and beverage products which are significant for quality, authenticity, diversity and safety.
The European Union is amongst the many countries attending SIAL Canada, the EU is attended as the guest of honor with 60 different vendors. Throughout the three-day period at the EU pavilion, there was a variety of cooking shows with Canadian celebrity chefs and EU-Canadian product pairing classes with a focus on the high-quality European ingredients. For the highlighed list of EU products and vendors present, visit this link.
Morocco had a section of its own, demonstrating specialties in its dry products and juices. Agriculture is a big part of Morocco’s industry. The Marrakech boxed juices line was interesting as they only juice fruits that are in season, the variety was broad, from clementine juice to pomegranate to tomato juice! I had the chance to take home a box of couscous and a spice mix. I’ve never made couscous with spices, as I usually go the lemon and cucumber route, but this will be interesting!
- Bay Leaves, Morton & Bassett
A visit to Morton & Bassett, and I was surprised that the Bay Leaves was their token item to represent San Francisco! Incredibly aromatic, just the feel of these dried bay leaves are nothing like I’ve added to my stocks before. I can’t wait to use this fragrant ingredient.
- Organic Artichoke Spread, Delicious & Sons
- Pate, Cheese and Tomato Spreads, Iberitos
- Corn nuts & Fava beans, Churruca
The artichoke spread These pods by Iberitos came in individual servings of 25 grams, I picked these up not being able to read a thing on the covers, and trying to go by the pictures (which there was hardly any of)! To my delight, I have an assortment of cheese dips, liver pates, and tomato paste. I used one for breakfast the next morning with some sandwiches and crackers, and it was the perfect serving between two people (and a dog).
- Caesar Rim, Walter
- Salted Caramel with 70% Dark Chocolate, Rochef Chocolatier
- Milk Chocolate Covered Almonds, Rochef Chocolatier
To represent Canada, there wasn’t anything else I found suitable than a caesar rim! Walter excels at this, along with their small batch created, all-Canadian and all-natural caesar mix, I find their rim to be superior. Made of cane sugar, and almost resembling bbq chips at the lick, it’s just the right sweet and savouriness to pair. Here are also gluten-free chocolates from Rochef Chocolatier in Quebec. Products available on the consumer shelves and for professional use, their chocolates are provided to only offer the highest quality without the use of hydrogenated palm oil.
Thank you to all of the businesses who provided these products for me to try out. At least half of these products are not yet in the Canadian marketplace, so I’m thrilled to see what kind of feedback it receives.
With new products like these, these are items that I wouldn’t regularly pick up at my local grocer. The next upcoming weeks will be all about cracking these items open and assembling dishes with them. I’ll be over on my Instagram-stories and sprinkle in some Instagram posts here and there of what comes to be with these products!