In keeping with today's emerging interest in food, Upper Canada Village hosted its second annual August Moon Food Festival over the weekend.
"Food is a very trendy thing right now, said Gabriele Thomas, education youth program and domestic supervisor. "Lots of people are interested in different kinds of food, with the slow food movement, local and organic foods."
Most of those things were a given in the 1860s back then all your food was slow food. "It wasn't fast food," she said.
"Most of what you consumed was grown in your garden with only a few exceptions."
The fair aimed at touching on different aspects of food, how it's grown, cooked and preserved, both historically and in modern day.
Samplings of were held throughout the village by, villagers and local, modern-day growers and vendors, who joined in on the food fair.
Village gardener, Wayne Taylor, offered tastings of some of his 45 varieties of tomatoes, including heirloom tomatoes, ferris wheel, flin flon, and Henderson's winsall, among many others.
"The brandy wine is our signature one that all the chefs rave about, said Taylor.
Down the road at Cooks Tavern was a tasting of different kinds of drinks such as lemon syrup, ginger beer and rhubarb spring drink.
"You didn't have soft drinks in the 1860s," said Thomas.
Further down, Loucks farm presented jams and jellies such as carrot jam, apple jelly, and pumpkin preserve served on bread snippets oat cakes, and crackers, made in the village.
Next, The Tenant Farm gave a pudding demonstration and tasting.
"Puddings were wildly popular in the 1860s, she said.
Made of stale bread or cake, milk, cream, vanilla sugar and spice, puddings would have been cooked in a black pot over a fire.
They were a staple dessert back then, she said. "(Now) the only one that really remains is the Christmas pudding; the others have fallen out of favour."
The fair also featured presentations on preserving and drying food for the winter time, in modern day and in the 1860.
"We don't have the same pressure that people in the 1860 had," said Thomas.
"If their potato crop failed, they could not go to the store and get potatoes."
Now, she said, even if our local crops fail we can get them elsewhere.
As well as a horseradish demonstration and pig roast, among other food-related attractions, village interpreter, Wayne Prunner, conducted a demonstration on meat and cheese smoking.
Local vendors at the fair included Glengarry Fine Cheese, Connaught Acres and Cheryl Beasly Bread, and Temple's Sugar Bush.
Guests of the fair were provided with authentic recipes of their samplings, taken from period cookbooks.