The Ottawa Tulip Festival

By on May 12, 2013


So what is a foodie to do after celebrating Mother’s day with the family…go and seek out what Ottawa has to offer in terms of yummy treats during the beautiful Tulip festival. Now I must confess, I was completely full from the brunch that I had just consumed. But knowing how I am – all it takes is one good whiff of some delectable treat and miraculously the fullness disappears…or at least temporarily anyways.

City Hall ground’s are full of international food fares that one can try, be it from such countries like the Philippines, Columbia, Lebanon, Indonesia and Germany. Being that I was full I was looking for something lite but yet something that I had never tried or been exposed too…and with that I was seduced with the sweet looking tropical drink that Columbia had to offer. The Raspado, a myriad of tropical fruits consisting of passion fruit, bananas, strawberries, cherries, and oranges all cut up and placed in a cup that has a nice layer of shaved ice and generous portion of sugar cane syrup to sweeten the flavors (I was told that in Columbia there are three additional fruits added to the cocktail but unfortunately in Canada we don’t have access to them). Just when you think the drink is ready to be served, freshly squeezed lemon juice is poured over the fruits to bring out their natural flavors. At this point I was giddy just to try this tropical cocktail. I was told in Columbia the Raspado is served with rum and is very popular and I can see how this would be a very dangerous drink as it would go down rather smoothly…for me it would be a ‘kill me quick’ in the sun.

Right before serving, a drizzling of sweetened condensed milk covers the fruits. Yes, I said condensed milk. The sweetness of the sticky goodness marries well with the citrus acid from the fruits. The  Raspado, is served with either a fork or spoon (in my case both since i didn’t want to make a mess) and more importantly with a straw – a light refreshing snack of sorts. I couldn’t get enough of this drink, it truly is a fruit cocktail – both beautiful to look at and delicious to taste.

As I took in this treat watching people enjoy the vintage airplanes flying over us I had to go and thank the men at the Colombian stand for the great concoction that they created, and with that I was asked if I wanted more sticky goodness for my remaining drink…how could I refuse such a request?!

Raspado’s will definitely be part of my ‘summer diet’…but with some rum!

A multitude of fruits are embedded in the Raspado
Condensed milk being added to the fruits…yum yum!!
And voila…bounty of yumminess!!

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Having attended numerous culinary and charity events over the years, I have had the pleasure of tasting incredible dishes, and when something stays with me...it's worth pursuing!!😋
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Get the inside scoop on Jason Laurin, owner of @essencecateringca
in the winter issue of @luxeottawamagazine 
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Jason Laurin has catered many VIP's, including the HRH Princess Margriet of Netherland when she visited Ottawa this past spring, during the tulip festival 🤩🌷 
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His dishes speak for themselves...simply divine‼️
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