Aug 1, 2010

Vacation Day 1

So, the first day of our "staycation" was going to the Heritage Festival here in Edmonton.  Apparently, this event has been going on for 35 years...We first went two years ago, and it is the most amazing thing that you will ever see.

There are pavilions all over the place that represent 85 different cultures.  You get a chance to see their clothing, buy some goods, and of course, taste their foods.  I didn't have my camera with me, so my pictures are grabbed from the Internet (I couldn't see copyright ownership, but if you own one and wish for me to acknowledge your work, PLEASE let me know!!)  The pictures are not necessarily relative to what I'm talking about -- they're just gorgeous!

I believe this was a child representing Kenya
So, the first place that we went was to the Fiji Site.  They have this amazing curry that's unlike anything that I've ever had.  We chose a Goat curry that came with Roti (a flat bread that could be described as nan, but doesn't do it justice, it's so delicious!).  They also had this punch...a mix of mango, watermelon and orange juice.  Fantastic!

I also stopped at the Canadian Pavilion (just it's second year there!) and got myself a poutine. Many of you lovely readers will not know what a Poutine is -- so I'll explain it (and it sounds gross, but it is oh-so-tasty!) A Poutine is a plate of french fries topped with cheese curds and slathered in gravy. mouth is watering again at the thought of it.  New York Fries (the restaurant) makes a pretty good one...but I'm not sure if their poutine is specific to Canadian Franchises or not....

Dancers from Nepal
We also stopped at the Caribbean Site.  My husband and kids had this fabulous curried chicken and another kind of chicken (that I really like) called Jerk Chicken.  I myself got a Jamaican Beef Patty -- oh so spicy and delicious, hot and spicy and packed in a thin yellow (spicy) pastry!  Mmmm!! (oh, how I'd love to go to Jamaica one day!)

By then, the kids were "full" so we had to stop for Elephant Ears.  Now...who knew that so many different countries make elephant ears!  It seemed to be mainly European countries (Croatia, Hungary, Romania) -- they all have different names for them, but Elephant Ears is what I'd call them.  If you don't know what an Elephant Ear is -- it's basically a huge flat doughnut that's sprinkled with Icing Sugar.  My husband, being both diplomatic and suffering from an insane sweet tooth bought one from EACH pavilion to see if they all tasted the same...

We stopped at the Indonesian site -- they have this fabulous drink called "Bali Delight", it's basically just shredded cantaloupe or honeydew with ice -- but it's so, so, so delicious and refreshing.  Mmmm!  My husband and brother in law (I think that i forgot to mention that he was tagging along) got this Chicken Satay thing -- grilled chicken with peanut sauce and coconut rice.  I could barely eat any more, I was so full!

Dragon Dancers, these guys are amazing!
But, being full doesn't stop anyone at the Heritage Festival!  We stopped at the Guatemalan site and got this thing called a Loco Mango -- they have a whole, fresh mango that's peeled and almost petaled somehow...then they roll it in lime juice and some spices -- it was fantastic!  I also had to stop at the Ecuador Pavilion for a "Platano Conjelado" (frozen banana dipped in chocolate) - while hubby and his crazy sweet tooth went to the French Pavilion and had a Chocolate Crepe.

But -- the Heritage is not just about food -- we got to see these Japanese drummers (which for some reason, make me cry with the raw beauty of their drumming), we got to see the Chinese Dragon Dancers, there were women from Malay doing some sort of traditional dance (all knee bending and hand movements -- very beautiful).  The Aboriginal Pavilion always has amazing dancers (and again, makes me cry with the beauty).  The Afrika OYI (I don't know what that means, but it's in their title) they had a DJ and drummer there, and you couldn't help but groove as you walked by their tents, Turkey had belly dancers, Poland, Greece, Israel, Nepal, Lao, Arab...they all had some sort of demonstration/dancing going on.

All in all, I have to say that if you come down to Edmonton at the end of July or beginning of August -- (you MUST come to see the Heritage Festival.  It's only 3 days long, but it's so worth every minute that you spend there (free to get in too -- you only pay for tickets...$1 each!!)


Keahn said...

Sounds simply amazing and YUMMY -- a great combination! :) BTW, how are we doing on THE FAITH CLUB group?

Hethr said...

It's still happening -- gotta finish this next chapter, Which I should be able to do before I buy paint for house painting today!

Erin said...

Sounds fun, but we've never been. Maybe next year we'll try to be in tow for it. :)

I'll skip the poutine....I can't stand the stuff ( I know, very un-Canadian of me)

Jeremy said...

We've gone there many times over the years (I miss it, living in Saskatchewan now). The food is amazing (I'm salivating just remembering), the shows and demonstrations are spectacular.

C said...

Asalaamu alaikum

So I set up my wish list like you told me but it doesn't show a way to add it to your blog or anything and when I typed in your email it said you didn't have a wish list. Hmm...

Hethr said...

C -- I've emailed you!

Tina. S said...

Never been to the heritage festival BUT I have been to Jamaica and I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you go!!! It is THE most amazing, beautiful country. The food is wonderful, the music is wonderful, the people are wonderful! I loved everything about and was sooooo worth every penny that we spent!

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