What’s on Alberta’s plentiful summer food festival menu? Glad you asked.

Posted on June 19, 2017 | By aBerry

The long-awaited languid days of summer are here. Finally. And that means one thing for those of us who love to savour the flavour of anything freshly picked or locally made. 

Biting into freshpicked corn dripping in butter. Popping juicypurple huckleberries straight from the bush into your mouth, like candy. That first sip of your favourite cold and hoppy craft brew on a hot summer day.  

We are spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the province’s exploding culinary scene this summer. Thrown into the blender of this summer’s festivals and events is Alberta’s booming food truck scene, creative chefs and a chance to meet local farmers and ranchers. 

 We’re hard pressed to pick favourites, but here are a fewCheck the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance or Travel Alberta for a fuller list 

To market, to market – June through fall – You don’t have to drive far to come across a local farmers’ market. Outside of Calgary and Edmonton city markets, you’ll find stalls of fresh produce and more in towns and cities from Medicine Hat to Cochrane and Camrose, all the way north of Edmonton into Peace Country. Check out Alberta Farmer’s Market for a full list.  

Taste of Edmonton, July 20-29

The Taste of Edmonton food festival is more like a 10-day music and food extravaganzaAlways changing things up, it has new additions this year, like Taste Piazza and Taste of New. The Piazza is big open square with picnic tables and comfy patio furniture flanked by special culinary events with a new cooking theme each day. One of the highlights is the not-to-miss Canadian Food Championships, featuring chefs who are competing to make it to the World Food Championships in November. And we haven’t even mentioned the great Canadian lineup of musical acts. 

Open Farm Days Aug. 19-20 

Head for the backroads and get to know the local farmers and ranchers who work hard to bring us the best of Alberta’s agricultural bounty. Alberta Open Farm Days is a chance to check out some of the more than 90 farms, ranches and agricultural operations in our backyards. Each stop offers a distinct treat – demonstrations, onsite chefs cooking with what the host farm grows or raises, plus suppers in a field and cook-off competitions. Check out the website to get a custom itinerary of places to stop close to where you live.   

Taber Corn Fest Aug. 25-27

The Town of Taber, a little more than two hours south of Calgary, is famed for its delicious corn, so much so that it celebrates the golden ears of goodness over three days in August. There’s a long list of things to do, but it’s all headlined by this iconic vegetable. Not only will you get to savour cobs of corn in hot and dripping butter but also cornbread and chilli, which both get their very own cook-off competitions.   

Huckleberry FestivalAug. 25-27

Never heard of a huckleberry? That’s likely because you’ve mistaken it for a blueberry. Alberta (and B.C.) are home to this delicious pearl of purple goodness that grows at high elevations. There’s even a festival for it, near Pincher Creek at Castle Mountain ski resort  the Huckleberry Festival. In summer, the slopes are green and full of blooming huckleberry bushes. Getting to the ripe-for-the-picking site is half the fun – riding the Huckleberry chairlift. Don’t forget to bring your basket!  

Babas and Borshch – Aug. 26-27 – Alberta’s Ukrainian heritage is colourfully and deliciously on display at this fun event in Andrew, AB.about 90 minutes northeast of Edmonton. You’ll get your fill of sweet and savoury pierogies and borshch (or borscht, no matter how you spell it). Stick around for the Zabava (translation – a big ol party) on Saturday night where you can tuck into even more Ukrainian fare and watch high-energy dance troupes.  More details at http://www.babasandborshch.ca. 

Taste of Calgary – Aug 10-13

Head to Calgary’s Eau Claire Market for a giant congregation of Calgary restaurants and food trucks featuring a global feast of food. There will be local chefs demonstrating their cooking talents on stages, plus pours from local craft breweries and distilleries from around the province. Check the website in July for final details. https://www.tasteofcalgary.com 

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