WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton residents gathered on the rain-soaked Wilton Town Green on Monday to sample some of the local cuisine at the seventh annual Taste of Wilton.
More than 20 restaurants, bakeries and wine shops participated in the event, which is hosted every year by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce.
"It's nice to showcase what Wilton has to offer any time we have the opportunity," said Janeen Leppert, executive director of the Chamber. "It gets all the restaurants and wine shop sin one central location, and benefits the merchants and the community as well."
Nancy Saxe of Sweet Pierre's and Susan Schmitt of the Painted Cookie gave residents some of their chocolates and personalized cookies. This was the first year Schmitt was participating, and the third year for Saxe.
"I enjoy it," Saxe said as she gave out imported gourmet chocolates. "It's always good to get out and let people try what we have, especially if they may not have been in the store."
Lars Anderson, general manager of the Little Pub, served up samples of the pub's bacon jam with roasted garlic goat cheese.
"We're all excited to be here, and we hope to come back for years to come," Anderson said, pointing to the bacon jam. "It's on one of our most popular burgers, and it's one of our best products. It takes a few hours to make, and we probably make around 60 pounds of it per week."
Marcelino Martinez and Amanda Bogdanowicz of Bistro 7 gave out samples of bacon meatloaf and an eggplant caponata tapas spread, made with ingredients from local farms. They were also sampling a new house-blend extra virgin olive oil that owner Breno Donatti spent a month in Italy learning to make.
"I always wanted to learn to make my own olive oil," said Donatti, who said the Taste of Wilton event was a good opportunity to give people a chance to try his creation. "I like the contact with the community. We know most of the people we see here, but we always find people who haven't been yet."
Longtime Wilton resident Vera Pastorello recently opened Sabrina's Cake Shop in Norwalk and said events such as the Taste of Wilton were a good way to let people know about the new business.
"We're very happy to be a part of it. I've done a few events like this and it's really helpful for us," she said.