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Chef Led Tour of the Calgary Farmers Market with Calgary Food Tours #Momblr

Fratello Analog Cafe - Merry About Town The Calgary Farmer’s Market is one of my favorite places to visit in town. You see, I am a foodie (I’m pretty sure you knew this) and I love to support local vendors/farmers when I can. I must admit, though, that I have let convenience and schedule keep me away the last few months. Since the market is only open Thursday – Sunday, there are weeks that I just can’t seem to get there. However, after my visit during our chef led market tour by Calgary Food Tours, I will definitely be making the effort to visit more often.

Dewey, Evan and I set out for the market bright and early on Saturday morning. Arriving just before 9am, the market was quieter than I’ve ever seen it. We met with our tour guide, Chef Judy, and the two other tour participants. Our first stop was Fratello Analog Cafe for coffee. Analog has perfected the “pour over” method of making brewed coffee. I was skeptical at first but you can definitely taste the difference. I could *almost* take it without cream and sugar which is saying a lot for this latte loving girl. As we moved through the market, Chef Judy gave us her thoughts on the different vendors and why she chose to highlight the ones she did. The two other tour participants were from North Carolina so I chimed in with a few tidbits about the differences between the Southern US and Canada. There are so many differences that would never be picked up by someone who hadn’t lived in both places. (An example….in the Southern US, going north means that the weather gets colder. Here, most farms are in Central Alberta which is north of Calgary but has a better growing season because of the mountains. It totally makes sense when you know the context but to an outsider….bizarre.) Thankfully Chef Judy didn’t mind that I kept butting in.

Talking to one of the family members behind Silver Sage Beef - Merry About Town

Chef Judy knew all of the vendors and it was great fun to talk to the owners and taste their wares. We visited Silver Sage Beef which is my favorite place to buy steaks. I loved hearing their story and meeting one of the sons of the owners.

Checking out the Produce at Gull Valley - Merry About Town

Another vendor that is one of my faves is Gull Valley. Evan loves their Green Zebrino tomatoes. They are green with dark green stripes when fully ripe and super sweet.

Evan tasting the wares - Merry About Town

Evan’s favorite stop was The Saskatoon Farm. He had two samples of pie with whipped cream. Saskatoons are one of those things that people from here take for granted and those from other places have never heard of.

Learning about Field Stone Fruit Wines - Merry About Town

One of the vendors I had never visited before was Field Stone fruit wines. I figured fruit wine had to suck. Not surprisingly, I was wrong. We even bought a bottle of Saskatoon dessert wine to enjoy later.

Other vendors we visited were Sylvan Star Cheese, Wapiti Ways, Olson’s High Country Free-Range Bison, Lund’s, Innisfail Growers Co-Op and Spragg’s Meat Shop. Many were vendors I had visited before but some I had not. I really loved hearing the background behind products I knew and loved as well as learning about new ones. Chef Judy kept the conversations going and added a humorous element through the entire day.

Our tour ran a bit longer than the published time. While you do get to do tastings, it is best to eat breakfast before you arrive on the tour. After, take some time to explore the market and visit one of the great food vendors for lunch. We had a burger from Silver Sage Beef and it was divine. Dewey and I are already making plans to take in the Calgary Tours 17th Avenue or Inglewood tour this summer. However, I’m not sure I would take Evan on another food tour. He loved the market one but by the end he was ready to be done. The Calgary Food tours are wonderful for out of town guests to introduce them to what Calgary has to offer or for Calgary natives who want to explore areas (or markets) that they aren’t familiar with. Two thumbs up for the tours but, again, be mindful of your child’s age and ability to be patient through a tour centered around talking about food instead of eating food. 🙂 Kids DO love the market, though, so definitely visit if you haven’t. They have a large indoor play area just for kids!

Details:

Chef Guided Tour of the Calgary Farmer’s Market

Presented by Calgary Food Tours

When: Saturday mornings from May – October 9-11am

Hosted by: Chef Judy Wood

Price: $30 per person + GST

Looking for other fun, family things to do in Calgary? Make sure to check out the Momblr site for videos of families on the loose in Calgary.

Disclosure:  I am part of the Calgary Hotel Association Blogger Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own. 

Heather

Sunday 22nd of June 2014

I didn't know you could do tours there!! That's so cool. I love that 'pour over' coffee - it really is different.

Merry Kuchle

Sunday 22nd of June 2014

I had no idea either!

Jo-Anna

Sunday 22nd of June 2014

This looks so great! I had no idea you could take a tour through that market - we just may do that because the Calgary Farmer's Market is our fave!

Katie

Saturday 21st of June 2014

I haven't been to the Farmer's Market in ages - I really need to get back there!! Weekends are busy, but this really is a wonderful place to go. There's a French-Canadian booth called (I think) Taste of Quebec that has the BEST suc la creme. And I've gotten free-range chicken at the market that's amazing. Like, we had to cut WAY back on seasoning because the chicken had so much flavour all by itself!