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Savour Stratford and My Fermentation Workshop

It’s hard for me to believe that this will be my third year attending and covering Savour Stratford. In 2010 pork belly on steamed buns was still a novel idea, at least outside of actual David Chang restaurants, and the most popular food truck was selling apple beignets. Last year, I sat in on more of the Saturday events and through workshops on wine, beer, whisky, and charcuterie got a better sense of how much the festival has grown to become a full-weekend event. As usual, the Grand Tasting (and especially the Perth Pork Products table) was a highlight. There are some significant changes in the cards for this year’s festival.

The street food trucks and vendors are really moving forward. For instance, the very popular and only months-old Gourmet Gringos will be serving their menu of traditional Latin American tacos, quesadillas, and empanadas.

Savour Stratford’s programme of educational talks has also expanded and many are now being held in the Stratford Chef’s School but I have to admit to a bit of a bias here because I am presenting one of them. On Saturday, September 22 from 2 – 3 PM I’ll leading a hands-on workshop called Water, Salt, and time – The World of Fermenting.

What am I going to cover? The focus will be on ferments that encourage bacteria to create an environment that makes vegetables more delicious and preserves them for long storage. Think pickled turnips, full-sour kosher dill pickles, and the end-of-season, everything-from-the-garden hybrid between sauerkraut and kimchi called kraut-chi. I think we’ll cover useful territory both for the beginners who have never considered brining cucumbers and leaving them in a cupboard for a couple weeks and for the advanced fermenters who want to trade tips on things which sea salts work best.

Familiar territory for readers here, I guess, but this will be the first time I get to show off my food nerditry in front of such a large, in-person crowd.   If you’re in the area stop by and enjoy one of the tastings or seminars, if not stay and make a weekend of it and you’ll experience one of Ontario’s most complete food events.

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