Approximately 480,000 people are expected to attend Taste of Edmonton (TOE) this year. Billed as the largest food festival in Canada, there is no doubt that this event, now in its 31st season, is one of Edmonton’s best-attended festivals.
Does it mean people truly get a taste of what Edmonton’s food culture is all about? I hope not because we are more than this. We are better than this. Technically, yes, this is a taste of what some restaurants have to offer to almost half a million people who will pay $2.50 to $5.00 per sample-size portion but please don’t think this represents the finest of Edmonton’s culinary offerings.
It would make good sense for participating food vendors to offer enticing dishes with the end goal of persuading customers to seek out that restaurant for a meal in the future. It should not make festival-goers pitch the mostly uneaten item in to the garbage and feel the food was a waste of money. Unfortunately, the general consensus is exactly that, and this is not a new revelation; this food discord has been building for years. The quantity of food vendors has risen; sadly, the same can’t be said for the quality of the food.
Edmonton Sun writer, Graham Hicks, didn’t mince any words over how he felt about this year’s food, and, although Graham and I may differ in our opinions when it comes to restaurants, I wholeheartedly side with him on this one.
About one in three dishes are deep-fried so finding food with fewer calories was a challenge. Here’s what I tried that made me sigh — and not in a good way:
There are definitely some delectable dishes offered at Taste of Edmonton, but they are few and far between. Here’s some good news: