On the second day of the Edmonton Heritage Festival, we whipped out our pavilion map and got down to business. We planned out which pavilions we wanted to visit to try to maximize our time more efficiently. We knew there was no way we were going to be able to hit every pavilion in three days. But we were darned sure we were going to at least visit some tried and true favourites!
We started out at the Cambodia pavilion. Their lemongrass chicken on rice was beckoning. They didn’t skimp on the lemongrass, either! It was perfection, even though the rice could have used a bit of sauce:
This dish only served to whet our appetite for more, so we ventured across the park to one of my mandatory go-to dishes; a combo plate of tzebhi zigni (spicy stew meat) and timtmo (lentils with onions and spices) on injera from Eritrea:
Injera is a spongey, sour bread that really plays well with this kind of food. You eat this dish with your fingers by tearing off a bit of injera and using it to scoop a bit of meat or lentils. Then you just open wide and pop it in your mouth. The meat was incredibly spicy, to the point it nearly brought me to tears. But this is exactly the way I like it! Just looking at this makes my mouth water all over again!
Another new addition to the heritage festival this year was a train, which shuttled people from one end of the park to the other. We didn’t use it ourselves, but people seemed to enjoy it. It felt like the association really stepped up their game this year.
After a short break from the food, we got our second wind. Mark enjoyed the 40th Anniversary combo box from the Japanese pavilion at last years’ heritage festival, so this time we tried something a little different: the Okonomi-Yaki, or vegetable-filled pancake.
The ginger was a nice addition, but the flavour was a little on the plain side. Especially after the spice-bomb of the Eritrean food! The presentation was lovely though:
While we munched away, we realized we were just in time to watch a demonstration of Medieval fighting techniques at the Wales pavilion. This is put on every year by a local living history club called the Knights of the Northern Realm:
The Welsh pavilion is great, as they always have volunteers demonstrating spinning and loom techniques in the tent. This is a nice departure from just having static displays or photos, as you can talk to them and ask questions about what they’re working on:
We ended the day on a sweet note (or at least, I did!) by grabbing some ice cream palda from Azerbaijan. This was a combination of starch noodles, ice cream, rose flower extract and willow extract with raspberries on top. I’m not sure what willow extract tastes like, so I can’t say whether I could taste it, but rose water is one of my favourite flavour additions, so I was a happy camper, even though the noodles made it a bit messy to eat/slurp:
Mark, on the other hand, ordered the kufte, which are marinated meatballs. I don’t usually care for meatballs, but these were really delicious, and kind of tomatoey (that may have been the sauce). I couldn’t stop eating his food!
At this point we were full to bursting, and decided to call it a day. After all, we had one more day to indulge all of our cravings and we needed to pace ourselves!
Read about the Edmonton Heritage Festival Day Three here.