Monday, November 17, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, Nov. 17, 2014

The Grazing Goat
I enjoyed my lunch at The Grazing Goat on 20th Street this past week. The falafel wrap included lots of fresh greens and halved cherry tomatoes as well as a cucumber-rich tzatziki, and the truffle fries are addictive. The restaurant is spacious with lots of room between tables so that you can have a private conversation.

I compared the lunch and supper menus and there are more vegetarian options at lunchtime.

Night Oven Updates
I mentioned last week that The Night Oven Bakery is now selling bialys (like a bagel but baked not boiled). Bryn Rawylyk tells me that he is always researching recipes that will take advantage of the full range of heat produced by his wood oven. Bialys and pretzels can go in when the oven is really hot, while bread goes in a bit later.

I thought that canelés (small custardy pastries) were always sweet, but apparently not. Bryn occasionally makes a savory version – you can try it out at Flock and Gather’s upcoming craft sale, Dec. 5 and 6. And if you’re in New York City, Canele by Celine sells only canelés, including parmesan and basil.

Judging the Best Baguette 
In my opinion, it’s hard to beat a soft, creamy cheese and a good baguette. But how do you define a good baguette? I like a crisp, crusty exterior and a chewy crumb.

Much as I love whole wheat bread, I have yet to try a whole wheat baguette that can compete with a white one. They may be a high-quality bread, but they lack the crust and the chew that I'm looking for in a baguette. Plus, whole wheat baguettes, by their very nature, have too much flavour (that surprised me; perhaps I don’t want the taste of the wheat to compete with the taste of the cheese).

In Paris, there’s an annual competition to judge the best baguette and here’s an article about trying to identify the best baguettes in New York City.

10 Fantastic Food Markets
If I had a bucket list, it would probably include visits to all the world’s top food markets. The Food Tank highlights 10 of the best. I’ve been to the Borough Market in London and La Boqueria in Barcelona, and they’re both fabulous.

Homemade Xmas Gift Ideas
If you prefer to bake rather than buy your Christmas gifts, here are a few ideas:

Northern Light Orchards shared a recipe for Haskap Maple Whiskey Jam

The Guardian newspaper has recipes for Blue Cheese Poppyseed Biscuits and Hazelnut and Dried Blueberry Chocolate Loaf.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products.

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Inglewood, Calgary

The Inglewood neighbourhood, just a few blocks from downtown Calgary is a world away from the towers and franchised stores. In just a few short blocks, there's an interesting combination of independent food and art/design stores.

I started my neighbourhood visit at Choklat where you're invited to design your own chocolate. This was new to me and I had a hard time selecting the “perfect” combination of centre, dip and coating. This is a bean-to-bar chocolate store – no ready-made ingredients here.

Silk Road Spice Merchant is in a wonderful old building with a pressed-tin ceiling. You could spend hours sniffing and sampling all their spices. Presentation, product and service are first class. If you just want a small amount, they’ll weigh it out and put it in a small bag for you so you can try something new without spending a fortune.

I had lunch at one of Wild Grainz Artisan Bakery’s outdoor tables (there is lots of outdoor seating all the way along 9th Avenue). They use local ingredients, no preservatives and traditional techniques. A sign on the wall proudly announces that all their breads take 3 days to make.

Bite is a large, quality food store, a combination of health food store, delicatessen and restaurant (and there’s a wine bar just outside). It was so much fun looking at all the products and I bought a wonderful Wisconsin cheese that had been aged in balsamic vinegar.

I was more than happy to discover Tea Trader and went home with a new variety of oolong.

I had great fun wandering around one store with upcycled furniture and household items, but I’m afraid I can’t remember its name.

See also:
Market on MacLeod, Calgary

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Market on MacLeod, Calgary

I had less than a week in Calgary in October, but I made sure I visited at least one of their markets.

The Market on MacLeod is, I believe, relatively new. And it’s super convenient, even for pedestrians, as it’s only two blocks from the Heritage LRT station.

You enter via a seating area, so I wondered if the market was primarily a food court, but that wasn’t the case. There were certainly lots of vendors selling hot lunches, but they were also selling frozen and take-out food.

There were also fruits and vegetables, dairy, cakes and chocolate.

Here are just a few things that caught my eye.

I loved the mini paletas (Mexican fruit bars) from Sabores, and I was even happier when I realized they were organic with 100% natural ingredients. I bought a slice of Mexican cake that was very good.

The stuffed olives from Angela’s Olives were spectacular. I had the Cadillac mix, which was stuffed with almonds and marinated with feta cheese and herbs.

The curries from A Touch of India (Dostana) were fabulous and there were lots of vegetarian options.

I also picked up a vegetarian taco pie from Simple Simon Pies. They offered samples of all their pies, which I really appreciated.

Sylvan Star Cheese is based in Red Deer, Alberta. I definitely recommend their Old Grizzly, an extra aged sharp gouda.

I recommend visiting the Market on MacLeod if you’re in Calgary.

See also: Inglewood, Calgary 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 10, 2014

Coming later this week - two stories from Calgary

Tastings, Saskatoon Co-op Wine, Spirits, Beer
Here are two of the upcoming tastings at Saskatoon Co-op Wine, Spirits, Beer.
Nov. 13, 7 pm – Port wine tasting
Nov. 21, 7 pm – Orofino wine tasting with winemaker John Weber

Wine & Cheese Tasting, Nov. 15 
Riversdale Delicatessen is hosting a wine & cheese tasting with Doug Reichel, Fine Wines Sask, on November 15. Contact them quickly if you’re interested as tickets are selling fast.

Black Market Market, Nov. 30 
I just read about the Black Market Market on Nov. 30, and it sounds like fun. They describe it as “Berlin flea market meets Christmas market” and there will be treats from The Night Oven Bakery.

Did you catch my story about the 8 Street China Supermarket?

Choo-It Coffee
Choo-It is planning to roast coffee and make cold-brewed coffee. With cereal and coffee in their repertoire, it’s almost a complete breakfast.

Bialys Comes to Saskatoon
The Night Oven Bakery was selling bialys on Saturday. That was something new to me, so I googled it. Apparently bialys is not well known outside of New York City. It originated in Bialystok, Poland, and is similar to a bagel, but there’s no hole in the middle and it’s baked not boiled.

Gardening on Campus 
It’s great to read about university gardening projects. The article describes a CSA, a farm and nature preserve, and a couple of learning/teaching gardens.

What’s Your Favorite Cheese? 
Can our taste in cheese identify our personality? Who knows, but it’s a fun exercise.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

8 Street China Supermarket

Adithya Ramachandran, Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens, sent me a message: “If you’re looking for vegan imitation meats, check out the Chinese grocery store on Louise Avenue. They have a freezer full of everything from beef to squid.”

Well, I had to check this out, and it’s true that the 8 Street China Supermarket has an amazing collection of imitation meats.

The Vegan Lemongrass Chicken is excellent. It’s in a spicy sauce that goes perfectly in a vegetable stir fry over rice. I’ve also purchased a package of Vegan Citrus Spareribs but haven’t tried it yet.

Adithya says the Vegan Lemon Chicken was too sweet for his tastes, but his wife is looking forward to trying out the Vegan Sea Cucumbers – she’s more adventurous than I am!

The store has lots of other interesting products. I’d like to try the Fresh Dried Guava and the Red Bean Jelly Ice Cream Bars. The Dumplings and Sesame Seed Cakes sound interesting too.

If you’re curious or looking for something different to try, I’d recommend visiting the 8 Street China Supermarket on Louise Avenue.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, November 3, 2014

New at the Farmers’ Market 
Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens is selling chickpea microgreens. They are so cute – little feathery leaves – and full of flavour and texture. A great salad addition.

 I’m looking forward to trying the Lemon and Hemp Hearts chocolate – this month’s special from Those Girls at the Market.

New Products at Dad’s 
 I spotted a couple of new products at Dad’s Organic Market this week. There was a raw, vegan, organic CheeSauce from Rawfoodz as well as naturally fermented kraut and ginger carrots from Firefly Kitchens.

Earth Bound Bakery 
How could anyone resist the croissants at Earth Bound Bakery! The options change frequently, but this week I enjoyed a savoury croissant with squash, sage and cheese and a mango-raspberry-blueberry cheesecake croissant. Delicious.

Riversdale Deli Tastings 
I watched Chef Darby make wild mushroom risotto at Riversdale Deli this past Saturday. It was very tasty! He plans to hold regular tastings to introduce products and producers so I suggest you keep an eye on the Deli’s Facebook page.

My Saskatoon 
I met with Lauren Sekulich of My Saskatoon last week. My Saskatoon’s goal is to promote and share information about local businesses. You can find profiles of some local food establishments on their website.

Interesting Articles 
Egg-based products are a multi-billion dollar business – and that means there are an awful lot of penned-up chickens. Josh Tetrick decided to tackle the problem by creating a plant-based egg substitute. His mayonnaise is now on sale in places like Walmart and Safeway.

Year-end must be approaching. Here are predictions for the top 5 food crazes for 2015 – from ancient grains to cauliflower steaks.

Toshiba turned their semi-conductor factory into a salad farm. The packaging is pretty cool too.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Monday, October 27, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, October 27, 2014

Bodega Melipal 
Meet Victoria Pons, Bodega Melipal’s winemaker:
4-5:30 pm, Oct. 30, Saskatoon – City Centre Liquor Store
7 pm, Oct. 30, Saskatoon – tasting at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Store
Oct. 31, Moose Jaw – winemaker dinner
5:30 pm, Nov. 2, Regina – tasting and hors d’oeuvres at Café Drip

Night Oven Bakery
Night Oven Bakery makes awesome bread. I also really, really like their veggie sausage rolls with house-made seitan.

Our Reps. at Terra Madre 
I’ve been excitedly following Nicole and Kristy from Daybreak Mill as they post photographs from Terra Madre where they are representing Slow Food Saskatoon. Here’s their photo of Slow Food Canada’s booth.

Urban Agriculture 
Los Angeles City Council is promoting urban agriculture by offering tax breaks to property owners who lease their vacant lots for urban farms. What a great way to encourage property owners to turn their vacant lots into productive farms rather than parking lots.

Biddy’s Tea Room 
I’m going to be dogsitting in Norwich, England, over Christmas so I’ve started looking at all the places I may be able to visit. Biddy’s Tea Room looks like a great place to have afternoon tea, but I’m also fascinated by the way they’ve extended their offerings with evening programming.

Once a month they have a Bake-Off. Aspiring bakers bring in their cakes: winning entries may have their recipe included in the bakery’s cookbook, and everyone can enjoy eating cake.

They also host a Swishing (clothing exchange) once a month.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post regular profiles of culinary entrepreneurs, new restaurants and new food products.

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).