A couple years ago I took my nephew to the Tomato Festival at Covert Farms in Oliver, BC. The whole day focused on the tomato; there were crazy games like tomato pitch and putt, tomato catapult and tomato toss. There was an Iron Chef competition – “ of course they had to use tomatoes in their recipes. And there were other workshops, food and entertainment. I asked about the food “waste”, but the organizers assured me they only used tomatoes that even the gleaners didn’t want. The mushy remains were either fed to the pigs or composted. I would pronounce this a tom-ay-to festival. Sadly, this family event is no longer, but you can still go pick your own tomatoes and tour around the farm.
If you’re more interested in an upscale tom-ah-to event and you happen to be traveling (or travelling) to California in early September, check out the Kendall-Jackson Estate Winery event. Sample the 170 heirloom varieties in the tomato tasting tent. And of course pair them with with an incredible Sonoma County wine. Stroll along Bruschetta Boulevard where chefs make their prize bruschettas. Or learn how to make salsa and maybe even learn how to salsa dance. There are different activities each year.
Tomatoes not your thing? Food festivals abound in the growing season. In the lower mainland where I live, there are blueberry, cranberry, apple and even honeybee festivals. Good family fun and a great way to celebrate and support local food and farmers.
As for tomatoe, the “e” seems to have fallen out of favour. Or is it favor now?