Ruth writes: Yesterday, a couple of friends went with me to the annual Canorient Food Fair. How I love these church fairs! Although Canorient isn’t a church, it was in a church hall. It cost $2 to enter. The food of course was extra. Canorient is an organization of Catholic Christians from India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Most are Goan. It is over 40 years old and has over 500 members.
As you know, Goa is part of India, for 450 years a Portuguese colony, which explains the religion. India took it over in 1961. It is south of Mumbai.
The parish hall at St. Andrew’s was crowded when we entered. We grabbed the only free chair at a table and left our coats there, hoping to return with some food. Then we made our way around the room looking for something interesting to eat.
Goa’s food is different from that of the rest of India. As it is neither Hindu nor Moslem, its cuisine does include beef, pork, and other meats. One of the vendors graciously explained over the din that it is spiced with red chili, vinegar, cinnamon and cloves. Everything has coconut, she said. Much was fiery hot.
I didn’t have to return to our chair to eat. As I went around the room taking pictures, vendors kept handing out free samples: sweets, stewed sausage meat on bread, meat balls. The meats were wonderfully spiced. By the time I had photographed several of the 20 vendors, I was sated. Vendors told me that some of their offerings were unavailable elsewhere in Toronto. On sale were “bun kebabs,” hot spices, cup cakes and pickles too. I bought some sausages and pork to take home. I collected business cards.
Most vendors seemed to operate out of their homes. They were very friendly and generous with their samples and information even though they were busy dishing out food for sale to their many customers.
Canorient has other upcoming events, like a Poker Night and Christmas parties. Most cost more than our $15 limit so we don’t list these. Its website is: www.canorienttoronto.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Anta Rosario at 647-304-1134.
Hopefully www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com will remind you of the Canorient food fair next year. My friends Tess and Rita also loved it. In the meantime, please email us if you find other interesting Christmas fairs at email@example.com.
Malcolm & Melita Pinheiro. Copyright ©2014 Ruth Lor Malloy; CanOrient Food Fair in Parish Hall, St. Andrew’s Church, 2547 Kipling Avenue; Ophelia Pimenta. Pimentas Foods. Copyright ©2014 Ruth Lor Malloy; Iona Miranda (left) with Goan Sausages. Copyright ©2014 Ruth Lor Malloy ; Auntie J.J. with her Coconut Drops. Copyright ©2014 Ruth Lor Malloy; Mareli Boutique Bakery’s shoe cupcake. Copyright ©2014 Ruth Lor Malloy ; Friends Tess and Rita at CanOrient’s Food Fair. Copyright ©2014 Ruth Lor Malloy.