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Taste perfection at Hummingbird Chocolate Maker, a producer of craft small batch dark chocolate. Their Hispaniola Cacao Bar won the top honour at the Academy of Chocolate Awards. SOMA Chocolatemaker in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District is known for small-batch treats. Follow the year-round Apple Pie Trail or one of Savour Stratford's Culinary Trails; the Chocolate Trail, the Pumpkin Trail or the Bacon and Ale Trail.
Did you know the melt-in-your-mouth butter tart is widely considered to be a quintessential Canadian dessert? Common in pioneer cooking, the first known published recipe was found in The Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook from 1900 in Barrie. This would explain why Ontarians are so unapologetically passionate about their tarts.
Wellington County's Butter Tarts and Buggies invites you to taste tempting varieties of butter tarts. No self-respecting Canadian should miss the biggest self-guided butter tart tour in Canada, the Kawartha Northumberland Butter Tart Tour, and weigh in on what the best ingredients are for the perfect tart. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, treat yourself to the ‘Canadiana Collection’; a signature assortment of tarts that include the Nanaimo Bar, the Trudeau, the Marie Dressler, the Stompin’ Tom, the CANADA 1-5-0, and the Maple Ice Wine.
The Upper Canada Cheese Company produces exquisite semi-soft artisanal Guernsey milk cheeses.Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, just outside Thunder Bay, is one of the only farms in Ontario making creamy Dutch Gouda cheese. In Lancaster, stop in at Glengarry Fine Cheese for some award-winning, aged Lankaaster. Gunn’s Hill Cheese in Woodstock, part of the Oxford Cheese Trail, boasts all Canadian dairy milk cheeses. Turophiles shouldn’t miss the Cheese Museum in Ingersoll. Taste daily fresh cheese curds at St. Albert Cheese Factory.
Ontario’s micro-breweries are anything but ordinary. Enjoy the ‘Netherworld Pumpkin Spiced Ale’ at the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie. Mill Street Brewery in east Toronto won Canadian Brewery of the Year for three consecutive years. Creemore Springs brews with an old world philosophy to create good old fashioned pure natural beer. Sample a pint of Grizzly Beer from Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery or celebrate years of carefully crafted premium Pilsner with Steam Whistle Brewing. Great craft beers in Eastern Ontario include Barley Days in Prince Edward County, Beau’s, Clocktower Brew Pub, Kichesippi, and Big Rig in Ottawa, and Perth Brewery.
Speciality brews salute the lakes and rivers and endless wilderness of the north at Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Thunder Bay, Lake of the Woods Brewery in Kenora and Lake of Bays Brewery in Bayville.
Tour Ontario’s only Sake brewery at Ontario Spring Water Company in Toronto, or sample finely crafted spirits at small batch distilleries such as Dillon’s in Beamsville, Still Waters Distillery in Concord, Toronto Distillery Company or Kinship House of Fine Spirits in Bloomfield. Toast the apple with a dry-hoped Cider from Spirit Tree in Caledon or a premium hand-crafted apple cider at Thornbury Cider. Sample creative flavours at County Cider in Prince Edward County such as peach, pear and blood-orange infused ciders.
The Caesar cocktail is a Canadian invention, and an essential ingredient in any brunch menu (May 18 is National Caesar Day). Here are five Toronto innovators who have taken the Great Canadian Caesar to the next level.
- The Canadian Caesar, Mildred's Temple Kitchen (taste the fresh horseradish)
- The Bloody Jerk, The Harlem Underground (garnish includes fried chicken, waffles and plantain)
- The Cherry Street Bar-B-Que Caesar (comes with a smoked side rib)
- The Landing Cure, Hunter's Landing (lobster tail, bacon, pizza ... this is a meal)
- The Sleazer Caesar, Dundas & Carlaw (skewer of giant pickles, beans and a pepperette)
Follow one of Ontario’s self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes to sample some of the best craft beer, local cider and fresh food that Ontario’s Greenbelt has to offer. The maps feature local craft breweries and cideries, farmers’ markets, delicious Feast ON restaurants and more.