Looking for food and drink options outside of downtown Seattle? Head 19 miles south to Kent, where you'll find a diverse selection of eateries and beverage producers. From craft beer and liqueurs, to a Mexican steakhouse and Asian and Eastern European snacks, here are several places to eat and drink in Kent, Washington.
If you've lived in Seattle long enough, odds are you've at least heard of Tulalip Resort Casino. For us, it's been the radio ads publicizing Tulalip's summer concert series that gave us awareness of the resort. We've even driven by many times during our semi-annual trips to Seattle Premium Outlets and Skagit Valley. But it wasn't until a weekend in July that we actually set foot inside of Tulalip Resort Casino.
In an age where meal kits and subscription meal delivery services are the norm, it seems only natural that one of the oldest public farmers markets in the United States jumps on board. Dubbed the Pike Box CSA (short for "community-supported agriculture), the program is put on by Pike Place Market to offer fresh, Washington-grown produce to subscribers.
Besides beautiful beaches and scenery, Hawaii has a world-renowned culinary scene, and for good reason. Not only is there a wealth of delicious food grown on Hawaii's farms, but there are also many talented chefs and culinary influences from around the world.
What makes an easy meal? It's not only a simple recipe, but quality ingredients. These three meals check both of the boxes because they are not only easy recipes, but they all make use of delicious, locally sourced beef from Crowd Cow. Read on to learn more about Crowd Cow and get step-by-step recipes. Or simply watch the video below!
Some of the best pears you'll ever eat come from Seattle's Metropolitan Market. Dubbed The Holiday Pear, these seasonal fruits come from the Rogue River Valley in Medford, Oregon. They've been grown there for three generations by the Meyers family. What makes them so special? It's mainly the climate of the Rogue Valley, which sees warm days and cool nights. The result is an incredibly soft, sweet pear that you can eat with a spoon. True to its name, you'll only find The Holiday Pear late in the year, starting November 15. Besides eating the pears straight up, there are also easy ways to dress them up as the perfect appetizer for your holiday get-together. If you've got an oven and a few extra ingredients, try out these two recipes. These recipes are very easy. Even if you're not a pro in the kitchen, they should be pretty straightforward. Check out the included video demos for a step-by-step presentation. Let me know what you think! If you have other favorite pear recipes to share, let me know in the comments below!
Baked Pears with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
3 large Holiday Pears
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup chopped candied walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Wash pears and slice them in half. Cut out the seeds.
- Set the pear halves in an oven-friendly dish.
- Sprinkle dried thyme on the pear halves.
- Bake pears in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until soft and golden brown.
- Pull pears out the oven. Sprinkle gorgonzola cheese and chopped walnuts on the pears.
- Let the pears cool for about 5 minutes. Enjoy them warm!
Baked Pear and Feta Biscuit Bites
1 can of Annie's Organic Flaky Biscuits
1/2 cup of sour creme (or creme fraiche)
2 large Holiday Pears
1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbles
1/2 cup of arugula
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Open the can of biscuits. Lay out individual biscuit dough pieces and cut in half.
- Smear sour creme (or creme fraiche) on each biscuit half.
- Slice Holiday Pears into long pieces and place them on raw biscuit dough.
- Sprinkle feta cheese crumbles on the biscuits.
- Bake biscuits in the oven at 350°F for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Pull biscuits out of the oven. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Place fresh arugula in the biscuit halves. Enjoy!
Arguably the best way to brew coffee is using a Chemex. At first glance, this glass container might look like it has nothing to do with coffee. But it's designed as a pour-over style coffeemaker with the intent of removing coffee oils. The result is a cup of coffee that tastes uniquely different. Learn more about our method below, including a video demonstration.
Best coffee for Chemex?
The Chemex brings out all the nuances of flavor in coffee, so it is very important to choose the best coffee. When selecting coffee, first consider the roast and then the country of origin. You'll probably have to experiment a bit before finding the best coffee that suits your taste. Personally, we prefer medium roast coffees, generally from Ethiopia as they tend to be more bitter almost like a dark chocolate.
What's most important is to buy your coffee as whole beans. Store it in an airtight container until it's ready for use. Buying ground coffee isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you'll get the best flavor and quality by using freshly ground coffee.
Using a Chemex
There are several different methods of brewing coffee with a Chemex. The main points that vary are the tools. Many prefer to use paper filters, while others (like us) prefer using a reusable metal filter. The difference is mainly in the resulting taste and flavor. We find that metal Kone filters allow just a bit of finely ground coffee sediment to seep through. The result is a cup of coffee with more body and a richer flavor, as opposed to the coffee produced with a paper filter.
Another optional tool is a gooseneck water kettle. A regular tea kettle can work, but the gooseneck gives you more precision as you pour water.
Tools You Need
Generally speaking, you need the following tools to properly brew coffee with a Chemex:
- whole bean coffee (we love this Stumptown roast)
- airtight coffee bean container
- a coffee grinder like the Capresso 560
- a Chemex
- Kone metal coffee filter (or paper filters)
- gooseneck water kettle
Video: How to Brew Coffee with Chemex
Check out this video we made on how to use a Chemex to make a perfect cup of coffee. Can't see the video below? Click here to view it on YouTube.
One of the many reasons that travelers flock to Singapore is to get a taste of the country's famous food scene. There are plenty of different types of food to eat in Singapore, and in this post, we'll talk about where to find these dishes.
What is a Hawker Center?
A hawker center is an open-air complex housing many stalls that sell cheap food. This term is generally used in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. If you're looking for a quick, cheap meal in Singapore, a hawker center is your best bet. Most dishes will cost between S$2.50 to S$5.00, which is a total steal! While the hawker centers may appear cramped and cluttered, don't let appearances fool you. These humble food stalls serve some of the cheapest and most authentic food in Singapore. Just be warned that many hawker centers are crowded and perhaps intimidating for first-time visitors. So take your time and carefully check out all of your options!
Lau Pa Sat (aka Telok Ayer Market)
Located in Chinatown, Lau Pa Sat is also known as Telok Ayer Market. Originally built in the 19th century, it is a true Singapore landmark with a very distinctive design. The market is located in Singapore's financial district and is very clean and accessible for tourists and daytime office workers. Food hawkers sell everything from Hainanese chicken rice, popular Indian foods, and even Japanese noodles and Turkish kebab sandwiches.
Most evenings, the streets outside of the market are shut down to traffic and diners are encouraged to enjoy a cold beer and sticks of barbecue meat (satay) fresh off the grill.
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore
Open daily, 24 hours
Constructed in 1982, the Tekka Wet Market has been a go-to place for fresh produce and dry goods for all types of ethnic Singaporeans, but mainly the local Indian community. There is also a large hawker food center filled with stalls selling ready-to-eat meals and snacks, mostly of the Indian variety. With 284 stalls, Tekka Market is the largest wet market in Singapore. Since undergoing heavy renovation in 2008, the market has become cleaner and better organized.
This is the place to visit if you want to step into the shoes of a Singaporean and see where they buy their meats, produce and other home cooking ingredients. Tekka Center also has a vibrant food court where you can find Chinese, Western, and Muslim foods. But Tekka Center food hawkers specialize in Indian food, so don't miss the chicken briyani, tandoori chicken, roti prata, and ginger hot tea.
Address: 665 Buffalo Road, L1 Tekka Center in Singapore.
Very accessible via the MRT's Little India metro stop.
Open daily from 06:30-17:00
Tiong Bahru Hawker Center and Wet Market
Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore and it is home to a famous hawker center and wet market of the more spacious places to grab a meal in Singapore. The Tiong Bahru Hawker Center is located directly above the wet market, so it's a great place to shop and eat. Many of the foods are more Chinese-oriented, including Hainanese chicken rice, Cantonese roasted duck rice, wanton noodles, chwee kueh (steamed rice cake), and char siew bao. When you're here, also make a stop at Tiong Bahru Bakery for some of Singapore's best French pastries.
30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore
Open daily from 6am-11pm
Chinatown Complex Hawker Center
This is one of the largest hawker centers in Singapore with over 260 food stalls. As a result, food lovers can find all of Singapore's famous dishes here, including satay, chicken rice, dim sum, laksa, BBQ stingray, chili crab, and black pepper crab. Don't forget to save room for popular desserts including ice kachang, cendol, soya beancurd, and tau suan. This hawker center is very popular and located in the heart of Chinatown.
335 Smith Street, Singapore
Over To You
Have you visited hawker centers and wet markets in Singapore? What were some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
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Looking for more travel planning inspiration? Follow our Best of Singapore Board on Pinterest for more ideas for your next adventure!
Seattle's newest tourist attraction is one aimed specifically at chocolate lovers. After 25 years, Seattle Chocolates is opening the doors of their Tukwila factory for Experience Chocolate: a guided tour of their version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. As a small yet powerful woman-owned company, the newly modernized space is awash with splashes of magenta pink throughout. The visitor's area is broken into four main rooms that comprise different sections of the 30-minute guided tour. Upon entering, you'll spend time in the retail space. Peruse the 20+ flavors of the company's famous chocolate truffles and purchase some to take home with you. When your tour commences, you'll start off in the seated Chocolate Classroom where you'll learn about the history of chocolate and the Seattle Chocolate company. Next, your guide will issue hairnets and then take you into the actual working factory. You'll walk down a magenta mezzanine where you'll get a bird's eye view of the chocolate-making process. Finally, your tour concludes in the Tasting Room where you can sample as many chocolates as your heart desires.
Seattle Chocolates offers the Experience Chocolate tour Monday through Saturday from 10am-3pm at their factory in Tukwila. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from the Seattle Chocolates website. For safety reasons, children under six years of age are not permitted on the tour. Wondering where to buy Seattle Chocolates other than the factory? Check out their store locator, or visit Amazon.
Seattle Chocolates Factory: 1180 Andover Park West, Tukwila, WA
Seattle Chocolates Tour Photos
Whether you're a long-time foodie or Inspired by Crazy Rich Asians, you'll find a foodie's paradise in Singapore. Many local Singaporeans themselves claim to be ultimate foodies, and it's very easy to see why when you're navigating the country. Food is abundant and very accessible, no matter what your budget. Almost every neighborhood has a local food center where hawkers set up shop every day to sell their specialty dishes for incredibly affordable prices.
Like most cities in Asia, the food scene in Hong Kong is world renowned. From street food so good that the Michelin Guide made a category just for it to high-end bars and restaurants, food in Hong Kong suits every taste and budget. Given the Western and Eastern influences on Hong Kong, you can find both traditional Asian foods as well as spendy Western options. In the Soho area, we found lots of restaurants with menu items and decor that felt just like a bar or eatery in Seattle. Craving a fresh-squeezed juice, Chemex-brewed coffee, açai bowl, or all-organic raw vegan cuisine? All of that was readily available in Hong Kong but at very spendy prices. Below is a Hong Kong food guide, divided between cheap street food and more expensive restaurants in Hong Kong.
Street food in Hong Kong is legendary. It is the reason that the prestigious Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau added a street food category. The street food stalls are known locally as Dai Pai Dongs, and they offer one of the best food experiences in the city. Food stalls serve everything from dim sum, noodles, stir fry, and even seafood. In addition to great flavors, Dai Pai Dongs offer a glimpse into daily life in Hong Kong. Street food stalls are scattered throughout Hong Kong, mainly in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, and Kum Tong While not much English is spoken or understood, food stall menus have accompanying photos that you can point to make an order.
A traditional staple of Cantonese cuisine, roast goose can usually be found hanging in the window of a butcher shop alongside Peking duck and roast chickens. Authentic roast goose is often served whole or cut into small pieces with the skin attached. Enjoy roast goose with plum sauce.
Phoenix talons (aka chicken feet)
After seeing "phoenix" on many menus, we finally had to ask Google what they were. It turns out the word "phoenix" is synonymous with chicken in Hong Kong. The idea of eating chicken feet still weirds me out and the dish was not sampled on this trip, but they are reportedly fried and steamed to become so soft that the bones can easily be chewed.
This popular golden baked dough consisting of eggs, sugar, and flour, these puffy waffles are sweet and crunchy on the outside with a soft interior.
One of the staple types of food you'll find in Hong Kong has become a Western phenomenon as of late: dim sum! When in Hong Kong, be sure to sample these three main types that are essential to the Cantonese dim sum tradition:
- Har gow (steaming shrimp dumplings): These juicy shrimp dumplings are wrapped in a thin translucent wrapper.
- Siu Mai (shu mai): Traditionally filled with chopped pork, siu mai may also include a filling of pork mixed with shrimp. Siu mai may also be filled with chopped scallion, ginger, black mushroom, and water chestnuts. This fragrant, seasoned filling is wrapped in a thin yellow wrapper and then topped with crab roe or diced carrot.
- Char siu bao: Growing up in Hawaii, I ate copious amounts of manapua, the Hawaiian version of the Cantonese barbecue pork bun known as char siu bao. Char siu itself is tender, sweet pork filling, while bao refers to the surrounding bun. In Hong Kong, char siu bao is typically found on dim sum menus.
Despite its name, Hong Kong pineapple bread does not contain any trace of actual pineapple. Instead, the light sweet bread that can be found in nearly every bakery in Hong Kong is named because its shape resembles a pineapple. Flavor-wise, it's a very subtly sweet flavor since its main ingredients are sugar, eggs, flour and lard.
Mongkok Markets of Kowloon
Take the train over to Kowloon and hop off at the Price Edward MTR station. From here, stroll over to Mongkok where you'll find a handful of colorful markets that can be explored by foot.
The Ladies Night Market
Among the most popular night markets in Kowloon is the Ladies Market. Beginning at Argyle Street near the Mongkok MTR station, this lively market is three blocks long. Vendors sell
Goldfish Street Market
If you're seeking a truly exotic market experience, you won't want to miss Goldfish market. True to its name, market vendors sell a variety of interesting animals including fish, lizards, Rhino beetles, turtles, and salamanders. Stop by during the daytime for the best photo opportunities.
Fa Yuen Street Market
More practical than the Ladies and Goldfish markets and a short walk away from both is the Fa Yuen Street Market. Items sold here are more practical in nature, but there are also some quirky items for sale. This is also a market best visited during the day.
Located at the foot of the Bird Market, the Flower Market is also true to its name. Here you can find many varieties of plants, flowers, and bonsai. Orchid arrangements are particularly popular. A daytime visit is recommended to the market in action. It is also worth visiting the week before Chinese New Year and during the holiday itself to see the most impressive floral arrangements.
Temple Street Night Market
One of the busiest flea markets in the area, Temple Street Night Market offers both local cuisine and a market where you can buy clothing, souvenirs, antiques, and jewelry. It's also known as Men's Street since men's fashion is particularly popular here. The market begins at 2pm every day and is the most lively around dusk as hundreds of stalls light up the area. Local Hong Kong street food is also served here, mainly seafood and hotpot.
Hong Kong Restaurants and Bars
Shisha and Hookah Bars
If you're like me and not a big fan of alcoholic beverages, rest assured that many Hong Kong nightlife spots offer shisha (hookah) with ample varieties of flavored tobacco. Shisha is a nice nightlife activity that can be cocktail free if you choose. Or you can have your shisha water pipe filled with alcohol instead of water if you're going for the ultimate buzz. Be warned that like the cocktails, shisha is expensive in Hong Kong.
Best Shisha in Hong Kong
SEVVA BAR - 25/F, Princes Building, 10 Chater Road
Situated on the 25th floor of the Prince Building, SEVVA offers stunning 360-degree views of the city and harbor. While cocktails are on the spendy side, it's worth the indulgence to enjoy the breathtaking cityscape views from the outdoor wooden terrace. A food menu with intimate indoor seating is also available. Tip: visit at night and watch the Hong Kong city light show from this view!
The Coffee Academics - Multiple Locations - 38 Yiu Wa Street in Causeway Bay
As coffee-obsessed Seattleites, it was only a matter of time before we craved a quality cup of joe. Thankfully, The Coffee Academics came to the rescue! A coffee chain specializing in the roasting of specialty coffees, The Coffee Academics has a bunch of locations throughout Asia. Their menu has a smattering of delicious coffees sourced from around the world. With urban chic interior decor and free Wi-Fi, The Coffee Academics is a great place to lounge and catch up on work. Unsurprisingly, the coffee chain is popular among digital nomads and Western travelers seeking their high-quality caffeine fixes and free Wi-Fi.
Classified Hong Kong - Multiple locations; Wan Chai - 31 Wing Fung Street
When we needed a break from Hong Kongese fare, Classified offered familiar European cuisine in a casual cafe setting. A menu sampling included charcuterie platters, antipasti platters, pasta and salads, and even all-day breakfast. The restaurant is a chain with locations throughout the city.
Kau Kee Restaurant - 21 Gough Street
There are a plethora of noodle shops in Hong Kong, but among the most legendary is Kau Kee. Nestled on Gough Street in Central Hong Kong, the hole in the wall eatery has over 90 years of history. It has also been on the Michelin recommended "Bib Gourmand" list for years. The restaurant is easily distinguished by a long line of people waiting to get a bowl of the famous beef brisket noodle soup. We ordered the recommended brisket soup along with a bowl of beef tendon curry soup with e-fu noodles. Cheap and delicious!
Din Tai Fung - Multiple Locations
Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung has become a popular restaurant chain with locations worldwide. Stop by to indulge in Din Tai Fung's famous soup dumplings.
Yum Cha - 2/F Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road
Instagram foodies may be familiar with the cute "vomiting buns" that have become a viral online phenomenon. Contrary to what the name may suggest, these buns are a cute visual spectacle. They are custard-filled buns that "vomit" their filling when squeezed. Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to Yum Cha during our stay. We'll definitely make a stop on our next trip!
Over To You
What are some of your favorite dishes and food hotspots in Hong Kong? Let us know in the comments below!
It's no secret that Portland is a big foodie town. But did you know it's home to one of the nation's hottest food festivals? Since its debut in 2011, Feast Portland has grown at a staggering rate, most recently attracting almost 18,000 attendees. What makes this such a popular festival? After years of watching the festival happen from afar, we finally ventured down to Oregon to check it out. And now we have to agree: Feast Portland is one of the best food events that we've ever been to. Here are 4 reasons why we'll be attending as often as we can.
1. It's 4 days long.
There's no shortage of one-day food festivals or those that have the same line-up for several days in a row. In the case of Feast Portland, the event goes on for 4 days in a row. Each day has its own full schedule of events, both official and unofficial, and there are even after parties. Think South by Southwest, but for food. In short, it's a food lover's paradise.
2. There are 40+ events spread throughout the city.
Rough estimates say there are at least 40 events related to Feast Portland that go down in the city in a 4-day time span. All events take place in a series of venues across the city of Portland, which helps spread out the crowds. For out-of-town attendees, this also means ample reasons to explore new parts of town.
If the thought of 40+ events sounds overwhelming, not to fear. The events are categorized and you can attend the ones that pique your interest. There's everything from intimate Hands-On Classes and Drink Tanks to Fun-Size Events and small Dinner Series. Or you can opt for these 5 main events that you should definitely attend.
The Sandwich Invitational
Held at the RoseQuarter, this showdown invites 19 all-star chefs to whip up their very best sandwich. They can go for a classic interpretation, or completely bend the rules of what comprises a sandwich. As an attendee, you get to try as many of the sandwiches as you can fit in your stomach. On-site judges determine the winners.
Grand Tasting (Friday and Saturday)
For two days, Pioneer Courthouse Square in the heart of downtown Portland is filled with more than 80 vendors for the Grand Tasting. There's everything from food and drinks to artisan bakeries, ice cream, and more. Come hungry, as you can easily have multiple meals here.
Located at Zidell Yards, the Night Market is a bit outside of the other main events. But it lends to fabulous views of the downtown Portland skyline and Tilikum Crossing. This delicious outdoor event is Latin-themed and features the culinary creations of over 20 chefs.
One of the most popular Feast Portland events, Smoked! invites 22 world class chefs to the Pearl District to cook up their very best BBQ. Each tasting station is decked out with its own outdoor grill and you can often witness chefs and their culinary teams hard at work. It's a tasty and visual spectacle that's a meat lover's dream.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, there's no better tradition than weekend brunch. Feast Portland's Sunday Brunch Village tops off the 4-days of gluttony with some of the nation's best brunch makers. You'll often get everything from traditional American brunch staples to ethnic dishes you wouldn't normally try.
3. There's local and national culinary talent.
Feast Portland certainly highlights many local chefs and food brands. But they also do an excellent job of curating events with a good mix of notable national talent. At many of the events mentioned above, you'll find some of the hottest chefs and restaurants from other culinary cities including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and more.
4. It's all for a good cause.
Perhaps the best part about Feast Portland is that it's all for a good cause. Net proceeds are donated to Partners For a Hunger-Free Oregon, which works toward ending childhood hunger in the community. As of 2017, Feast Portland has raised over $300,000 for the organization.
If you're a foodie, attending Feast Portland is an absolute must. Many people travel from out of town for the annual event and hotel specials can often be secured. One of the festival's sponsors, Alaska Airlines, also offers many nonstop flights from cities around the USA. If you're thinking about attending, be sure to buy tickets in advance as they often sell out. See you next year!
To see Feast Portland in photos, click here.
Last weekend, the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA) Festival brought out droves of Seattleites eager to sample and vote for some of the Pacific Northwest's best ciders. Held at The Woods tasting room in the SoDo area of Seattle, this was also an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the tasting room that recently opened to the public. Rustic, industrial, and laid back, The Woods is the official tasting room of Seattle Cider Company, the city's first cidery since Prohibition.
PNWCA 2015 By the Numbers
- 2 Years of PNWCA
- 145 Entrants
- 14 Categories of Cider
- 3 Winners for each Category
- 30 Ciders on Tap at PNWCA 2015
The second annual PNWCA saw 145 entrants divided into 14 different categories, with gold, bronze, and silver medals for each category. Winners are listed below. Our personal favorites were definitely Schilling Cider's Grapefruit cider (light, mellow, and not too sweet) and D's Wicked Green Apple Cider (robust, natural apple flavors).
This is one of many cider events we have had the privilege of attending since the beverage began to popularize in Seattle. Other notable events in the Seattle area include Capitol Cider pairing dinners in Capitol Hill, as well as the Taste Washington event.
2nd Annual PNW Cider Awards 2015 Winners
Modern Dry Gold: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Bright Cider Silver: Cascadia Ciderworkers United Dry Bronze: Grizzly Ciderworks The Ridge
Modern Sweet Gold: Cockrell Hard Cider Original Silver: Anthem Cider Bronze: Spire Mountain Cider Red Apple
Traditional Dry Gold: Left Field Cider Co Little Dry Silver: Twisted Hills Craft Cider Kingston’s Fate Bronze: Seattle Cider Company Washington Heirloom 2014 Bronze: Sea Cider Ciderhouse Kings & Spies
Traditional Sweet Gold: Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Bloom Silver: Twisted Hills Craft Cider Calville’s Winter Bronze: 2 Towns Ciderhouse 2013 Riverwood
Modern Perry Gold: Left Field Cider Co Pear Dry Silver: Nashi Orchards Chojuro Asian Pear Perry Bronze: Spire Mountain Ciders Sparkling Pear
Traditional Perry (only 3 entrants) Gold: Tieton Cider Works Sparkling Perry
Old World Gold: Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider Lorrie’s Gold Silver: Sea Cider Ciderhouse Bittersweet Silver: Liberty Ciderworks English Style
Ginger Gold: Apple Outlaw Ginger Bite Silver: Sixknot Cider Gingerella Bronze: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Ginja Ninja
Wood Aged Gold: Finnriver Farm & Ciderhouse Fire Barrel Gold: Sea Cider Ciderhouse Prohibition Bronze: Tieton Cider Works Cidermaker’s Reserve
Fruit Gold: Blue Mountain Cider Company Peach Hard Apple Cider Silver: Honey Moon Raspberry CiderHead Bronze: Sea Cider Ciderhouse Bramble Bubbly
Spice/Herb Gold: Honey Moon Rhubarb CiderHead Silver: Seattle Cider Company Three Pepper Bronze: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Cherried Away
Hopped Gold: Square Mile Cider Co. Spur and Vine Hopped Silver: Finnriver Farm & Ciderhouse Dry Hopped Silver: Swift Cider Dank Hop
Single Varietal Gold: Nashi Orchards Mountain Rose Gold: Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse Pippins Bronze: Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider Revelation Newtown Pippin
Specialty Gold: Spire Mountain Ciders Dark and Dry Apple Silver: Red Tank CHOPS! Bronze: Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse Wild English
Best in Show Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Bloom
The 18th annual Taste Washington event was held at Century Link Event Center during the weekend of March 26-28, and it drew its highest overall attendance over the course of 4 days. Featuring an impressive line up of 225 wineries, 70 restaurants and 60 culinary exhibitors, it is the the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event. As the numbers indicate, Taste of Washington is first and foremost a wine event put on by Visit Seattle and the Washington State Wine Commission. Indeed while a somewhat recent arrival from a global perspective, with its over 700 wineries, Washington’s wine industry is established and its reputation as a wine growing region is well known. With its similar to Mediterranean climate on the East side of the cascades, it’s a fertile land for growing grapes, the wine-making industry is thriving and so is the tourism around it.
Taste Washington 2015 By the Numbers
- 6,307 Overall attendance
- 4,991 Grand Tasting attendance
- 234 Wineries at Grand Tasting
- 800 Wines poured
- 200,000 Number of pours
The food at Taste Washington featured all the representatives of the local favorites and the latest trends along with some rarities. Just to name a few, our standout favorites were:
- rabbit terrine with fennel
- foie gras
- german style cured meats from Leavenworth
- more types of cheese than wise to consume including one with coconut
- top grade ahi served skewered on a straw full of lemon juice
- clam chowder and oysters (due to popularity had to be rationed)
- pannacotta with sweet peas and cod
- marinated octopus
- buckwheat blini filled with ricotta served with pickled rhubarb and pea shoots
The displays by the vendors were also artistic and attractive. The VIP room was fully decorated to feel like a rustic winery with barrels lining the back and a large table abundantly covered with bread, cheese, and flowers to go with the wine being served. There were also live demonstrations on stage including one of how to skillfully prepare morels which the audience got to enjoy as well. Ice-cream was being made live with liquid nitrogen by Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt, which was quite the spectacle due to rapid evaporation caused steam. There were crafts and artists present too like the custom wine bottle and accessory maker Fresh Northwest Design.
The Rising Popularity of Cider
All this accurately reflects the abundance of Washington’s food and wine, however, there was one category featured which may be the most uniquely Washingtonian - the cider. While it may seem that cider is a recent trend, it is in fact, a very historical beverage that has been enjoyed for nearly 250 years. Even some of our Founding Fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were cider drinkers! If you haven't already noticed, we are BIG fans of cider here at Gemini Connect, as indicated by our frequent visits to Capitol Cider, and we were delighted to see the relative abundance of cider at Taste Washington.
This year, there were over 20 top quality cider makers present, representing a growing and thriving cider industry in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the traditional orchard growing areas of Wenatchee and Yakima, it turns out that cider producing apple grow very well in Western Washington’s cooler marine climate which resembles that of Northwestern France, Germany and England - historically the areas where cider has been popular.
Favorite Ciders at This Year's Event
- Alpenfire Calypso
- Aspall English Dry (England)
- Dragon’s Head Pippin
- Finnriver Dry-Hopped
- Sarasola Sidra (Basque Region of Spain)
- Seattle Cider Co. Dry
- Snowdrift Seckel Perry
- Tieton Frost
- Whitewood South Sounder
The Northwest Cider Association is the biggest of cider association, and it features producers from Oregon, Montana and British Columbia. They estimate that local cider production has gone from 250 gallons a year to as much as 45,000 gallons annually. That is a staggering 17,900 percent increase in the past few years. For the US as a whole in 2014 cider was a nearly $1.32 billion industry, up 46 percent from the previous year. As as the undisputed leader - 70% - of the USA’s $225 billion apple industry, Washington state is positioned perfectly to lead the booming new cider industry too. Many of these cideries are outfitted with showrooms and an increasing number of accommodations for the sake of tourism. This is very good news for the state’s agriculture and economy. Overall, Taste Washington was a success that showcased our state’s amazing offerings and make us appreciate living here.