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Tuesday 24 June 2014

Gluten Free Cravings Food Fair in Sherwood Park, AB

A few weekends ago, we hit up the Gluten Free Cravings Food Fair in Sherwood Park.  I had missed out on last year's fair because by the time I heard about it, it was already said and done.  While a small percentage of the population is truly tested and gluten intolerant, there's lots of folks that choose to eat gluten free by choice.  I was excited to go this year as I have a few friends that have Celiac Disease and I wanted to see the tasty renditions local businesses were able to invent.  In the past, gluten free food was either extremely bland, lumpy, flat, or made you think you were chewing on cardboard.... luckily, we've gone a long way from that!  Disclaimer: SP Cravings had kindly invited us and given us a few sampling tickets to boot, so on a sunny Sunday afternoon, we headed off with our camera and empty tummies.  Thoughts and opinions on food as always are our own.

The venue was a bit on the small side for a family orientated food fair with many booth crammed into the hall they rented, although once you made it out into the outdoor patio area, one could stretch their legs and soak up the sunshine.  We randomly picked a line up and joined the packed room.  First up was Little Crumbs Bake Shop (located inside Cafe O'Play) in the Riverbend Area.. they're a nut free bakery and had some GF items on hand for folks to try.

Enjoyed the salted caramel macarons.. crisp on the outside, and soft with just a slight chewiness on the inside.. mmm! (no pic)... love their displays.. so cute!

Didn't get a chance to try their cake as there were lots of folks jostling in line for a sample, so took a pic of the lovely ladies manning the booth instead.

Little Crumbs, Cafe O'Play
Address 5667 Riverbend rd.  Edmonton, AB T6H4X9
Phone (587) 985-5499
Hours Mon-Wed 9am-6pm, Thu-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-3pm, Sun 10am-2pm
Cafe O'Play on Urbanspoon

Next up, we hit up the Sherwood Park New Asian Village, mainly because it was a hop and skip to the booth :P

We picked up a crisp rice papadi (it had savory notes to it like a Chinese shrimp cracker yum!), a deceptively plain looking but tasty vegetable pakora (think deep fried happiness with a bit of curry flavoring), and one of my favs - a super cinnamony rice pudding (in the little dip cup)

Little Asian Village
Address 200 - 10A Main Blvd  Strathcona County, AB
Hours Lunch: Mon- Fri 11am-3pm, Sat-Sun noon-3pm; Dinner 5pm-10pm daily.
Phone 780 – 464 – 6662
New Asian Village on Urbanspoon

Opa Souvlaki was the next booth and they were dishing out their tasty Greek salad, tzatziki sauce and skewers of chicken (minus the skewers).

Opa Souvlaki
Address Sherwood Park Mall, 2020 Sherwood Dr  Strathcona County, AB
Phone (780) 570-5786
Hours Open daily for lunch and dinner
Opa! on Urbanspoon

Next up was some tasty pasta in Alfredo sauce from Pasta Pantry and a garlicy Caesar salad, but the pasta was the star of the show.  It was a bit overcooked and not al dente, but it was sitting in a chaffing dish, and the Alfredo sauce.. nomnom! Their pesto was killer (little green blob) and will definitely have to pick some up the next time I'm in Sherwood Park!

Pasta Pantry
Address 101 Granada Blvd  Sherwood Park, AB T8A4W2
Phone (780) 467-3777
Hours Mon-Sat 11am-8pm, Closed Sundays
Pasta Pantry & Trattoria on Urbanspoon

We made a beeline to Crave Cookies and Cupcakes.. you'd have a hard time telling the cupcakes were GF!  The texture of the moist cupcake, the fine crumb, the decadent buttercream... chocolate chocolate baby! Nomnomnom!

And the lovely ladies from Sherwood park's Crave Cookies and Cupcakes.. sorry I caught one of you mid-blink!
Crave Cookies and Cupcakes
Address 7929 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 1V1
Phone (780) 409-8486
Hours Tues-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm, Closed mondays
Crave Cookies & Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

The Pan Tree was sampling some ooper healthy squares.  They were a bit too healthy and high fibrey for us, but if you're into that, go for it!

The Pan Tree
Address 220 Lakeland Dr, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 0N
Phone (780) 464-4631
Hours Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thur 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sunday- Closed

Hey Cupcake! had a little tier of iced (gluten free) cupcakes for folks to sample.  While I liked their buttercream better than Crave (just a bit lighter and less sweet), their cupcakes had a denser, heavier, whole-wheat texture to them.

Hey Cupcake!
Address 270 Baseline Rd  Strathcona County, AB T8H2A3
Phone (780) 467-2253
Hours Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm
Hey Cupcake! on Urbanspoon

Urban Organics had some tasty coconut chips/flakes (making mental note to buy some later), a super healthy tasting cookie to sample and a big gift basket prize for a lucky someone.
Urban Organics
Address 130 -1020 Sherwood Drive
Phone 780-570-5528
Hours open daily 10am-6pm

We had a nice chat with Irving Farms family - From the left to right, Cameron, Alan and super enthusiastic Nicola who was a delight.  They of course had their infamous lean sausage (delicious cold or hot) to sample.

Irving Farms Fresh
Here's a link to where you can buy Irving Farm Fresh products
And here's a link to where you a go to a restaurant and eat their sausages, bacon, ham.. nomnomnom

We stopped by the Steeped Tea Co table next where we sipped on some fragrant tea and munched on some tasty hummus and chips.  The teas are mainly blends with a few herbal infusions.

Loved the pretty set up!
Steeped Tea Co
Phone  780-462-4551

Square One Rye Road served up a mean, lean and super tasty Tuna Aguachiles -Raw tuna, aguachile, lime, avocado, on a crisp fried tortilla chip.  It was sexy. It was delicious... and I was sad it was only a few bites (one for my boyfriend hahaha!) I totally wanted a plate of these!

 The chef and lovely helper at Square One!

Square One Rye Road
Address #32 993 Fir St  Sherwood Park, AB
Phone (780) 705-4321
Hours Open daily 11am-midnight
Square One on Urbanspoon

We didn't forget the managers from Sherwood Park's Save-on-Foods that had a huge helpful list of all the GF products their stores carried.  They were sampling some chips and GF yogurt.

We really enjoyed the cheesecakes and tiramisu from Wow! Factor Desserts.  They had a retail store as well as a side that sells to commercial restaurants.  Here's a pic of one of their berry topped cheesecakes and a rich indulgent looking one and the lovely lady running the booth.

Wow! Factor Desserts
Address 152 Cree Road  Sherwood Park, AB
Phone (780) 464-0303
Hours Open Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm, Closed Sat-Sun
WOW! Factor Desserts on Urbanspoon
The Glow Juicery was on hand where you could try a multitude of freshly squeezed vege and fruit juice blends.  I enjoyed a few of them (some will definitely wake you up with its punch of flavor), while my boyfriend found them a bit too powerful tasting (he hates the taste of vegetables lol).  Their juices can be ordered online or found at the Chopped Leaf in Commerce Place downtown.

Last but not least was the Epicure Selections booth.  You could sample some of the spice mixes sprinkled over a cucumber slice or nibble on a super dry garlic chive (?) donut.  I'm pretty familiar with their products as I have a friend who sells them, and its always nice to have a salt free and gluten free alternative to a salt shaker... or when you're too lazy to figure out what type of seasonings go into what :P

Until next year's SP Cravings Gluten Free Fair, we're excited to head out and pick up some new tasty gluten free offerings from local business in Sherwood Park and Edmonton area we discovered! :D

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Opa Souvlaki is called Opa of Greece now and the booth that was at the Gluten Free Cravings is the location at Emerald Hills (#210, 5000 Emerald Drive, Sherwood Park).

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