By LIZ BRUCKNER
Just because many large-scale manufacturers prefer to keep their doors closed to public eyes doesn’t mean every food producer follows suit. These homegrown Ontario producers welcome visitors to see their manufacturing process and—best of all—do some unofficial taste-testing.
Mapleton’s Organic Ice Cream
During this fun, family-friendly and farm-based tour, you’ll learn about the steps, processes and ingredients responsible for milk, ice cream and yogurt production. You’ll also get a chance to ride the hay wagon, meet the animals, get lost in a two-acre cedar hedge maze, learn about ecological crop rotation, and down a delicious sample or two in the process. Moorefield, Ontario • map it
The Candy Factory
The Candy Factory churns out chocolate, fudge, toffee, brittles, lollipops, fruit jellies and more. While Health Canada prohibits visitors from being in direct contact with products being packaged and shipped for sale and consumption, owners here have crafted a viewing area and education video to allow passersby a look at the company’s traditional candy- and chocolate-making methods. Collingwood, Ontario • map it
Black River Cheese
Nestled near the picturesque town of Picton in Prince Edward County, this 111-year-old cheese factory was established in 1901 as a co-op for local dairy farmers, and remains true to form today. Visitors are invited to check out the cheese-making facility and store, where curds and ice cream samples are served on the regular, and taste the cheddars that have earned Black River Cheese many awards. Our favourite: Maple Cheddar. Athol, Ontario • map it