Monday, February 18, 2019

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 18, 2019

Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Open for Business
The Saskatoon Farmers’ Market will remain in its current premises until the end of 2019. The City of Saskatoon cancelled its search for new tenants when they realized the roof needed major repairs. It’s good news for Farmers’ Market shoppers, but I don’t understand why it took so long for the City to recognize that the building needed repairs.

Job Opportunity
Jackson Wiebe, Collective Coffee, is looking for a new team leader. Recommend the successful applicant and you’ll get free coffee for a year.

Coffee and Donuts
Venn Coffee Roasters has Darkside donuts every Saturday and Sunday.

Darkside Donuts got a great review in The Globe and Mail this week: “Darkside Donuts uses a blend of Saskatchewan organic flour and heritage-grain flour, the latter of which the baker grinds himself several times a week. . . . ‘There’s an emptiness to regular, bleached white flour,’ the baker says adamantly. ‘I truly believe in the flavour of grain. We have five farms that we source from and even some farmers that grow grain don’t think about the diversity of flavour of grain. I always liken it to apples or tomatoes ... every crop varietal that you grow tastes different.’ ”

Edmonton’s Vegan Producers
Local entrepreneurs are selling vegan cheese, chocolate, and soap at Edmonton markets. I’d love to see vegan cheese being sold at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

Eggplant slices had been marinated in balsamic vinegar - excellent idea!

Herbology, an Edmonton company, is crowdfunding to grow their business selling spices and botanical blends that enhance health as well as flavour. There are botanical blends for focus, mindfulness, endurance, recovery, and lust.

Urban Agriculture
Urban agriculture could improve food security, but there are barriers that would need to be overcome – access to land and ensuring that the people who need the food receive it.

Monotonous Agriculture
Three crops take up almost 50% of the world’s farmland: “much of the genetic diversity of crops globally is being lost, due to the loss of small scale farms and replacement of locally-adapted crop varieties and lineages with a fewer number of commercially available crops . . . . Political and financial support for small-scale farmers, especially in developing regions of the world, would represent a major step in conserving the world’s crop diversity.”

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan nature/environmental initiatives and events.

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 11, 2019


Fair Trade Valentine’s Day Bash, Feb. 22 
Enjoy fair trade wine, luscious desserts, and music at the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation’s Valentine’s Day Bash from 8-11 pm, Feb. 22.

Portuguese Wine Tasting, Feb. 22 
Join Doug Reichel Wine Marketing to taste 5 Portuguese wines at 7 pm, Feb. 22, at Metro Liquor.

Evening of Jazz, Mar. 2
Join Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation for dinner and live jazz music at the Greenbryre Golf Club on Mar. 2.

The Story of the Roxy, Mar. 10 
Join the Saskatoon Heritage Society on Mar. 10 for their annual luncheon and silent auction. Randy Pshebylo will discuss the history and development of Riversdale’s “theatrical jewel” – the Roxy Theatre. Tickets can be purchased through e-transfer to (please include your name, email, and no. of tickets in the message box) or by calling Peggy Sergeant at (306) 652-9801.

Seedy Saturday/Sunday & Other Green Thumb Activities
EcoFriendly Sask has posted a list of Seedy Saturday and Sunday events throughout Saskatchewan as well as a variety of other gardening-related activities.

Chopped hazelnuts were the perfect complement to the squash soup

Marketing 101 for a Plant-based Diet 
If environmentalists want people to eat less meat, they need to make it sound more attractive. For example, a British supermarket café “changed its ‘meat-free sausage and mash' to ‘Cumberland-spiced veggie sausage and mash’ and saw sales soar 76 percent. When a Panera Bread store in Los Angeles renamed its ‘Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup’ to ‘Cuban Black Bean Soup,’ sales jumped 13 percent.” 

Digital Platform for Local Producers
Vancouver-based Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD) has launched an online platform for local artisans, small shops, and independent grocers. Could this type of model assist market gardeners and other food producers who often struggle to find an outlet for their products?

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan nature/environmental initiatives and events. 

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

Monday, February 4, 2019

Flavourful Saskatoon, February 4, 2019

Global Malnutrition, Feb. 7 
The College of Pharmacy & Nutrition is hosting a World Pulses Day roundtable on addressing malnutrition from 4-7 pm, Feb. 7.

Best of . . . Chocolate and Desserts
Indulge your sweet tooth with a look at the best chocolate shops across Canada and the best restaurants and cafés for desserts in Saskatoon.

Food for Thought
The Nature of Things with David Suzuki is hosting a series of programs about dietary science and our relationship with food that looks really interesting.

When Is a Food Court more than a Food Court?
Two trendy new food halls are opening in heritage buildings in Edmonton. “Food halls are the newest concept in the restaurant industry. Prominent in big cities such as Toronto, London and New York, food halls bring together top chefs who collaborate on a complementary eateries in the same space. Distinct from food courts (which tend to favour fast foods for people with some place else to go), food halls are a destination for diners, featuring artisanal cocktails, trendy menus and a warm communal space. Food halls have more of a local flavour, and more local, independent restaurants and chefs,” said Beljan. “When you’re thinking of a night out or somewhere to go before or after the game, that’s where food halls come in.” I have to confess they sound like fancied-up food courts to me – is that really the environment you want when you’re spending big bucks on a fancy meal?

Fourth-Wave Coffee
An Edmonton coffee shop owner believes that there is a fourth wave of coffee which returns to an emphasis on community and customer service.

The Plant Milk Craze
Plant milks – from soya to almonds to oats – are all the rage. But why? A food industry analyst believes that it’s not about nutrition or sustainable plant-based living - “The forces driving us towards plant milk are really something bigger: a manifestation of a collective anxiety that something is wrong with our bodies. That we aren’t as healthy and happy as we could be – or perhaps, should be – and something, or someone, must be to blame.There’s a lot of people discovering dairy intolerances and gluten intolerances and that kind of stuff, but actually I think what you’re looking at is much more intolerance to the life we’ve been living,” said Arbib.”

Cultural Appropriation
How do you differentiate between Middle Eastern recipes from Palestine and Israel? Is it okay for a white person to cook Mexican food? Chef Adam Liaw says he finds the idea of cultural appropriation of food difficult: “Food is one of the great unifiers,” he said. “Before you speak someone’s language, before you understand their history, before you walk a mile in their shoes, you eat the same food that person eats, and get some insight into how their life works, the way their culture works. So I don’t really believe in cultural appropriation in foods because it’s such a wonderful window into other aspects of the multicultural societies that we live in.”

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events.

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sunshine and Happiness in Appledore

This is my second time housesitting in Appledore, Devon, and it has again been a restful, productive period full of tranquil, happy moments. I hope that my photographs help to explain what is so special about this little fishing village. I am immensely grateful to Linda and Kevin for sharing this lovely place with me.

The river estuary is the heart of Appledore. I love to walk along the quay at all times of day as the water rises and falls with the tides and the sky moves from light to dark.

This is “my” street with two of its twisting side lanes and tunnels. It leads downhill to the quay.

Irsha was once a separate community and a fierce rival of Appledore. It’s now a quiet, winding road leading to the lifeboat station.

I would so love to see this wisteria in bloom.

And, last, but not certainly not least – Fenn, a quiet companion, who nonetheless knows what she wants and gently pats my arm when it’s time for a ribbon-chasing game.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sunshine on the South West Coast Path

Sunshine is a relatively rare commodity in Great Britain, so when the forecast looks promising I head rapidly out the door.

I joined the South West Coast Path, which stretches for 630 miles from Minehead to Poole, at Westward Ho! I know – it’s a very unusual name for a town. Located just south of where I’m staying in Appledore, Westward Ho! was named after a novel by Charles Kingsley in the hope that the name would attract visitors to this small seaside resort. Apparently it worked and continues to work today drawing in surfers and families to enjoy the long stretch of beach.

The South West Coast Path heads out along the coast with slopes of gorse and vibrant green fields dotted with flocks of sheep on one side and charging waves breaking against the rocks on the other.

Small pebble beaches interrupt the cliffs and there are views along the coast to Clovelly and across the open sea to Lundy Island.

There is an abandoned house on the outskirts of Westward Ho! that captures my imagination. Did a large Victorian family spend many happy family holidays here, or was it the scene of violence and great sadness?

I enjoyed a meal at the Pier House overlooking the sea, and I amused myself, as always, with the names and décor of the various beach huts.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 28, 2019

Saskatoon Spruce Cheese 
I’m thrilled to learn about a new cheesemaker in Saskatoon and looking forward to trying his raw milk Caerphilly-style cheese that has been aged on spruce boards for at least 60 days. Saskatoon Spruce cheese is available at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, Bulk Cheese Warehouse, and The Cure.

Nosh Is Closing 
I was so disappointed to learn that Nosh Eatery & Tap is closing at the end of January. It’s been my family’s go-to place for birthday celebrations and other special occasions. It was well-made, beautifully presented food that just happened to be vegetarian/vegan (see photos above and below). And we could choose from the entire menu rather than a handful of specially designated items.

New Owners for Calories 
Calories restaurant has new owners! After 23 years, Rémi Cousyn has sold the restaurant to Taszia and Karan Thakur. It’s good to know that they plan to continue to support seasonal food and local suppliers.

Transition Town Totnes 
Transition Town Totnes has been a world leader in promoting local food production and environmental sustainability. I met with one of their volunteers in December who gave me further insight into their activities.

Power Bars 
Here’s a healthy, homemade bar to fuel your outdoor activities (or provide a quick lunch at your desk!.

Canada’s New Food Guide 
Canada’s new food guide appears to have two main aspects. First of all, it provides a graphic image of the types of food we should be eating. Secondly, it lists healthy eating habits, such as cooking more often and being aware of food marketing. There is a greater emphasis on plant-based proteins and a move away from meat and dairy, which may bring about changes in the agricultural sector. Concerns have been raised that it doesn’t respect Indigenous or Asian cultural traditions. That may be true, but it’s also worth considering that traditions change. The Sunday roast was part of my British upbringing – it no longer is – for me or for many British people.

Fake Meat 
“The existence of realistic fake meat products raises interesting questions about what meat really is. When we say we love meat are we really talking about a set of nutrients? A certain flavour or texture? Or a set of cultural memories of shared meals such as Christmas turkey and Easter lamb?

". . . Concern for our health is one of the main reasons we are now buying vegetarian sausages and burgers in such quantities, according to survey data. The catch is that there is not necessarily anything particularly healthy about a vegan hotdog. Many see them as just another set of overly processed industrial foods in a world that is already awash with what food writer Michael Pollan calls ‘food-like substances’. . . .

"The rise of fake meat is not yet a true food revolution because it leaves our preferences untouched. The real change to our food culture will come the day that someone designs a steak that tastes like a carrot.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

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

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Exploring Clovelly

A jumble of houses lines a steep cobblestone road leading, at the very bottom, to a sheltered harbour. I’m sure you’ve all seen photographs of Clovelly, but it still surprised me to leave the visitor centre, start down a path through green fields and trees, only to see more and more rooftops appearing below me.

The village is a major tourist attraction with a huge visitor centre at the top of the hill full of gimmicky knick-knacks. Holiday lets aren’t allowed in the village, but there are shops, a tea room, and bed and breakfasts. I’m glad I visited in winter when there was only a handful of visitors.

I particularly enjoyed heading off the main track and exploring the narrow alleys, flights of stone steps, passageways, and quirky private gardens.

Donkeys used to be used to carry supplies downalong to the villagers. They’ve been replaced by sleds and now provide donkey rides for kids in the tourist season.

Part of the joy of visiting Clovelly was the journey on top of a double decker bus through narrow country lanes and small villages. Do not drive in the United Kingdom unless you are very, very good at reversing!