A Polish-Mediterranean Weekend
The weekend ahead marks the 11th Annual Polish Festival on Roncesvalles, which has eclipsed Chicago as the largest festival of Polish culture in North America. It's a great reminder of the Polish roots of this blossoming neighbourhood but even the festival itself is a reflection of the changing neighbourhood demographics and the diverse tastes and identities of residents and visitors alike. So while there's plenty of pierogies and kielbasa available from a variety of vendors, all kinds of flavours come to the table all up and down the strip - including a special sampling at The Mercantile.
Jonathan from Fresco Specialty Foods is easily one of our most attentive suppliers. Not surprising, perhaps, since it really is a family business - with much of the olive oil in his product line coming from family groves in the southern Peloponnesian region of Greece. The koroneiki, Athenolia and Patrinia olives of this region were not subject to the blight that affected so much of the Italian and Spanish crops over the last couple of years so production was uninterrupted and pure. Fresco's organic offering is unfiltered and raw so that's the one you'll want to use most for dipping and on salads while you'll prefer to use the regular with pastas, grilled meats and vegetables.
Jonathan will be out front of the shop Saturday and Sunday until 4:00pm sampling several of his traditional olive oils as well as a few more products that are part of Fresco's "California Collection" - including olive oils infused with basil and Boyajian lemon and Balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy, infused with lemon and Mission figs.
Try them out front with Jonathan and then step through our door to pick up a bottle or two to take home.
Enjoy the festival!