Pizza with Integrity
Posted by: Megan, Marketing Manager
One late summer evening during a drive to Hecla Island for a weekend get-away, I discovered something truly amazing on a Manitoba farm approximately 90 minutes north of Winnipeg. That something was wood-fired pizza from Integrity Foods.
From the 3rd weekend in June to the 3rd weekend in September, owners Dora and Cornelius transform their farm into a gathering place for Pizza Night, where friends and family meet up for delicious pizza, good company and a beautifully scenic backdrop. Located just outside of Riverton, off of highway 8, this rural bakery and farm specializes in ancient grains, organic ingredients & sustainable farming practices.
- Crust is made with organic spelt flour. Gluten free option is available, call ahead to order.
- Sauce is their own special blend.
- Meat is sourced from local farmers.
- Cheese is Manitoba made Bothwell Cheese. Vegan cheese is also available.
- Veggies are from their garden when available.
When I arrived at the farm, I honed in on the large pizza menu chalkboard. This is where the hard part came in…deciding which amazing pizza to try – Prairie Bison (ground bison, sautéed onion, & mushrooms and Bothwell Mozzarella cheese), The Bavarian (Farmer sausage, sauerkraut, Bothwell Mozzarella cheese, topped with garlic), Veggie (seasonal vegetables, topped with garlic and hemp seeds), The Mediterranean (sliced egg, green olives, red pepper, Bothwell Tex Mex cheese), among many others. Check out the full menu here.
As a vegetarian, I was torn between the Veggie and building my own pizza from the list of available toppings. After much deliberation, I chose the Veggie – I was too indecisive to select my own toppings.
While I waited for my little piece of cheesy heaven to bake in Hildegard, the outdoor brick oven, I delightfully explored the farm: the retail area and bread stand (purchased some blueberry spelt muffins), the pets (donkey, kittens, chickens, geese and goats), browsed photo albums, meandered through the garden, strolled along the forest trail, scoped out the children’s play area and investigated the impressively clean composting toilet (one of many sustainable practice’s on the farm)!
About 10 minutes later, my name was called….my wood-fired pizza was ready!!! And I was HUNGRY! We were short on time and took the pizza to go, which is easy to do because they are served in traditional pizza boxes. If you’re not in a hurry though, you can eat your pizza at a picnic table, in the gazebo or grab a blanket from the stack and dine al fresco under the prairie sky. You can also find a secluded spot on the farm and enjoy the rural sights and sounds.
As we continued the car ride to Hecla Island, I took my first bite of the pizza…the crust was divinely hearty (not heavy), the veggies were fresh, the sauce was amazing, the hemp seeds added a nutty flavour to the profile, the garlic had just enough punch and the Bothwell Mozzarella cheese was melted to perfection. The whole pizza was gone before we got to the hotel. Belly and heart full from the experience at Integrity Foods, I was already looking forward to my next visit.
The last four Pizza Nights of the season will be held (rain or shine) September 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th, from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy amazing pizza, a pristine farm, welcoming hosts and a lot of warm & fuzzies.
Can’t make it out? Don’t panic! Integrity Foods pizza crust and other goodies are available for purchase at many Winnipeg & surrounding area retailers – discover where to purchase. Get your crust, make some sauce, gather those toppings and pile on your favourite variety of Bothwell Cheese. Yum!
The Integrity Foods experience is part of the Agritourism culture that is gaining popularity among those who want to learn more about where their food comes from and the people who make it. Have you partaken in any Agritourism activities in your community lately? Share your experiences with us in the comment area.