Thursday, 28 June 2012

K-W Multicultural Festival

K-W Multicultural Festival
Victoria Park 
Kitchener, Ontario

June 23 and 24, 2012.

In her opinion:
We went to the K-W Multicultural Festival last year for the first time and I became hooked. So when Edgar suggested we go again this year, I was all over that idea.  The festival is a mixture of food, entertainment, craft stall and community awareness programs. But basically, I'm there for the food. What an opportunity to try food from different cultures without going to a restaurant and having to pay outrageous prices for something you may not like.

This year we tried food from the Philippines, Zambia-Tanzania, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Egypt, Turkey and Vietnam.

Overall, it was very good. I enjoyed the Filipino offerings...very safe. Basically excellent spring rolls, bbq chicken, skewers, rice and noodles. Very very good. This plate of food could have been from anywhere in the world as it reminded me of even Portuguese food aside from the spring rolls and noodles.

Last year, I walked by the Ethiopian food stand and kept on seriously, I didn't even want to look at it! But this year I walked right up to it with my money in my hands and ordered the Doro Wot plate with consisted of Doro Wot (chicken and egg stew), Minchet Abish (ground beef stew), Enjera or Injera  (flatbread)and some type of feta like cheese called Ayib. The Doro Wot was very good, a little hot but good. The Michchet Abish was a little bland but I know it had been toned down quite a bit for the non-Ethiopians at the festival. 

The Zambian-Tanzanian food stand was next door to the Ethiopian stand so we decided that we needed to try it as well.  We opted for the Sample Plate...this included a bit of everything. It included Nyama Ya Nkuku (chicken stew), Kayela (bean stew), Nkuku (bbq chicken), spinach, rice and Kachumbari (tomato and onion salad). Everything was very delicious. I loved the Kayela, so so good. I reminded me of a Portuguese bean dish. This entire plate was very flavourful and delicious.

We stopped by the El Salvadorian food stand next. I was craving pupusas and apparently so was everyone else at the festival.  This was by far the longest line that I stood in that day. But it was so worth it. These pupusas were stuffed with chicharron (a pork paste mixture). They were served with curtido and a tomato salsa. They were freshly made as you waited and absolutely delicious. By far my favourite food of the festival.

Given the heat, I found refuge with my six year old in the shade and allowed Edgar to pick out the next choices that we would try at the festival. He stopped by the Egyptian food stand and picked up a lamb pita. These pita had bbq lamb, onions and peppers with lettuce and tomato in a garlic sauce.  I found the lamb a little over done for my taste but overall the pita was delicious.

He also stopped by the Turkish stall and picked up some Turkish desserts. He picked up a couple of the cheese pockets or Bogaca, a yogurt cake and a Sutlu Borek (a phyllo dessert with cheese and honey). The desserts were excellent.

Finally, Edgar picked up Vietnamese roasted/bbqed corn. This was so good. The corn was absolutely delicious. It could have been roasted/bbqed corn from anywhere in the world...that's the thing about crosses cultural barriers.

Overall, the K-W Multicultural Festival was awesome. Can't wait for next year. It would be nice to see other cultures Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc. as well.


Filipino BBQ

Filipino Food Stand

Filipino BBQ Plate

Ethiopian Food Stand

Ethiopian Food Stand

Ethiopian Non-Vegetarian Plate

Zambian-Tanzanian Food Stand

Zambian-Tanzanian Food Stand
Cooking Pupusas
Turkish Desserts
Turkish Desserts
Egyptian Lamb Pita
Vietnamese Roasted Corn

Zambian-Tanzanian Sample Plate.


In his opinion:
The Multicultural Festival in KW is a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with the community, experience the community information booths, the ethnic vendors, connect with people, watch the ethnic entertainment on stage and...Who Am I kidding? I'M THERE FOR THE FOOD..and nothing else! I mean, where else can you get so much different ethnic food in a 100 yard radius??

This year there were a lot more food vendors than last year and I like that you can see the actual ethnic person cooking their own food, unlike having  Mexicans cooking French food or something like that.

I surveyed the vendors and after a quick glace I decided to skip the usual suspects, and by that I mean the ones i know I can access easily through local restaurants. We skipped Greek, Chinese and only tried corn form the Vietnamese vendors.

Instead we focused on the less usual ethnic foods and the wonderful combinations that they had prepared for us. We had Zambian-Tanzanian, Ethiopian, Filipino, Egyptian, El Salvadorian and Turkish selections.

I will not elaborate too much on the content of the foods as it has been covered above but I will give you my opinion of the best and the worst of the selections and some ok in between.

Best: surprinsigly the Zambian-Tanzanian takes first place. Great combination platter mix of rice, chicken, veggies and beans. They all displayed great spice balance and a perfect variety for a well proportioned meal.

Runner up: Turkish deserts. What an amazing selection of sweets and pastries and to think I stayed away from the more popular Baklava and thought  I would regret it, but no. Special mention to Sutlu Borek and yogurt cake.

Most disappointing: The lamb pita from Egypt was not very good. The pita itself was good but the sauce combination was unpleasent and the lamb was borderline inedible, charred and tasteless.

As mentioned above this Festival lacks in some great ethnic foods represented in our region, Portuguese, Polish or German, but almost makes up for it with the selections from Africa.

I plan on going to next year's event and maybe this time I will even attempt to catch a show or two. Special mention for the Region of Waterloo supplying their Tap Water truck...YUM.....and the cash machines being all out of order before lunch on the Saturday.

This was a HOT, HOT, HOT event and not only for the 29 degrees celsius of the day.

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