Sip, Savour, Repeat

It was a cold, wet and windy Oct 21st, but I was very happy to be at the Farmers Institute for Sip & Savour on Salt Spring Island after its’ three-year hiatus. I warmed up straight away sipping a simple, clean and sunshine sweetened pale yellow squash soup made using farmer Gordon Hanford’s organic produce, with some fabulous Lime Chili Dry Rub Pork Ribs created by El Loco Taco. Next, a favourite of mine; Salt Spring Island Kitchen‘s savoury Tomato & Chevre Tartlet. Beautiful in its’ presentation, and tangy- sweet on the tongue – just timeless.

Following my nose to the heady scent of apples revealed Salt Spring Wild’s Farmhouse Scrumpy. This fermented, aged apple cider created a party of tart, dry fruit for my taste buds and a bright honey scent for my nose. SSW’s newest release; Burnt Apple Tequila, a still cider with rich, smoky caramel and lemon flavours – which cut perfectly through another helping of crispy – fat El Loco ribs I might add! – stood out for its perfection. At Elephant Island Winery‘s display, I encountered a delicate dry pear wine that brought to mind summer salads with creamy, rich dressing and fresh cheeses. It’s sold out though so a reminder to get myself some next year.

From SSI Fish Market came something completely different; a crispy, crunchy, surprisingly nutty dried fish topping sprinkled on a silky smooth pale pink salmon mousse – some of which was going home to my larder for sure. Having saved myself room for dessert, I stopped at Harland Chocolate‘s mile-high display for a sample of Cafe Au Lait fudge and Dark Orange Hot Chocolate to savour sublimely. For me, grazing isn’t complete without a good strong coffee so for the finale I gravitated to SSI newcomer Bean Drinking Coffee for a smooth inky cup, and paired it with a bite of Laughing Daughter‘s Gluten Free Organic Joodse Botterkoek; a sublime Dutch almond cake so buttery it should be criminal. With so many stellar local wineries, breweries, chefs and producers in attendance I’ve managed only to highlight a few of the ones that created a memory for me that day, however now that SI & Savour SSI is on a roll again I happily look forward with anticipation to discoveries next year.

-By Kirsten Tyler

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