Take a day trip to a butter tart festival.
It’s no secret that I love butter tarts—a lot.
I also love taking day trips to attend various festivals and special events.
So, imagine my joy when I first learned that there was a festival dedicated exclusively to this great Canadian treat.
In the town of Midland, Ontario on the shores of Georgian Bay there is an annual festival honouring the delicious butter tart. Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival started in 2013 to humble beginnings and has grown to become a major event for the town of Midland. Tens of thousands of visitors now flock to the small town every June to take part in this sweet event. There are hundreds of vendors selling their baked goods from all across Ontario and beyond. Last year, upwards of 200, 000 butter tarts were sold at the festival alone. The festival brings in an estimated 65,000 butter tart lovers who pack the main street of town on their own Butter Tart quest.
Butter Tarts Galore
With so many amazing bakers across the province, there are so many different interpretations of what a butter tart should (or could) be. I love all kinds of butter tarts from the classic to the gourmet, and I love to discover new ones whenever we travel in my quest to find what I feel is the perfect butter tart. I am not a huge fan of raisins, but my love of a good butter tart can overpower my dislike of raisins. For me, it is all about the overall experience I have when I bite into a butter tart. How did it all come together? What is the result? That is what really matters.
The Truly Canadian Treat
Everybody has their own personal preferences for butter tarts, and certainly, not everybody will agree. Some people will prefer a butter tart with raisins or without, while others may like a tart with currants, or walnuts or pecans. Maybe you prefer a crust made with lard, shortening, or butter, or a mixture. Some people prefer a gooey consistency to the filling, while others like a more solid texture. There are even vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and many ‘wild-style’ butter tarts.
The options are endless.
There are over 200 vendors at Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival, so you will surely find a butter tart that pleases your palette and sweetens your soul. In addition to many butter tarts, there is also free live entertainment, performers, artists, food truck vendors where you can get a great lunch, and the merchants of Midland will also be open for business.
When the organizers heard about my butter tart quest, they reached out to ask me to be one of the judges at this year’s event. I gladly and readily accepted their invitation and will be a judge in the traditional category for professional and amateur/home bakers. I am excited to be a part of this fun event, and can hardly wait to try some delicious butter tarts.
When is it?
You can attend Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival on Saturday, June 8th, 2019.
It runs from 9 AM – 5 PM on King Street in downtown Midland.
Canadians Love their Butter Tarts
Recently, Chatelaine Magazine named the butter tart as the ultimate Canadian dessert. Canada Post recently issued a series of stamps depicting Canada’s iconic desserts, and the butter tart was included in the set. Clearly, there is a huge love for butter tarts in Canada. This is made evident by the huge success of the Midland Butter Tart Festival and other festivals like it that have popped up recently.
All Canadian Events has recently started hosting butter tart festivals in various communities across the province. Communities like Fergus, Niagara Falls, Paris, Orangeville, Milton, and many more.
You can find a full listing of their events on their Facebook page.
Many other local community-based butter tart festivals have also begun to pop up around the province as well. These festivals are wildly successful. They attract many tourists and visitors to the area and promote local businesses.
Planning a road trip to the Kawartha area? Be sure to check out the #Buttertarttour while you are there.
Check out this Podcast on The iconic Canadian Treat – Butter Tarts.
If you know of a fantastic bakery making what you think are Ontario’s Best butter tarts, we would love to hear from you. Let us know about them, so we can plan a future road trip to check them out and include them in our #ButterTartQuest. Contact Roguetrippers with your suggestions.