Monday, May 21, 2012

Flavourful Saskatoon, May 21, 2012

Food news and events in and around Saskatoon – heirloom vegetables, black pansy/red clover/rose petal syrups, Castle dining, and healthy, local cafeteria eats

PayDirt Farm CSA 
My family has just signed up for a bi-weekly delivery of chemical-free, heirloom vegetables from PayDirt Farm in Wakaw. The CSA is a new venture by Grant Black and Patricia Robertson, local writers who are keenly interested in good, slow food.

As a writer, I’m infatuated by the names of some of the vegetables – Monstrueux de Viroflay spinach, Southern Giant Curled mustard greens, North Holland Blood Red scallions, Cosmic Purple carrots, Rainbow Sweet Inca corn, and Purple tomatillos.

A full share costs $400, while a half share costs $250. Contact for additional information.

Vendor Night, SaskMade Marketplace
SaskMade Marketplace is showcasing Bedard Creek Acres’ unique syrups at 4 pm on May 24. There will be samples of Red Clover Blossom Lake Diefenbaker trout; artisan lettuce drizzled with Black Pansy Syrup and Gravelbourg Mustard vinaigrette; organic quinoa and cucumber salad with Rose Petal Syrup, red wine vinegar & lime; and triple-swirl cheesecake topped with a blend of all three syrups.

Live Music at Souleio
Souleio Foods will be showcasing Canadian musicians twice a month all summer long on Saturdays from 4 to 6 pm. Like their Facebook page to be informed of the date of the next event.

I had a strawberry basil iced tea at Souleio recently and appreciated the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet. The basil added an interesting herbal note that harmonized nicely with the strawberry sweetness.

Vegetarian Dining at the Bess
I don’t tend to eat at hotels, even when I’m travelling. However, we had heard that the Delta Bessborough showcased local food, and the menu indicated lots of vegetarian options, far more than most Saskatoon restaurants.

We enjoyed a quiet dinner overlooking the green banks of the river. I would highly recommend the Spiced Lentil Cake and the Fried Mushroom Polenta. The Kidney Bean Ratatouille is also very good, but it more closely resembles chili than ratatouille.

Drew Hornell is now the Bessborough’s Executive Chef as Ryan Marquis has moved on.

Fresh n Local
Fresh n Local is an online grocery delivery service specializing in local, sustainable food.

I’m delighted to see that it stocks some of my favourite products – eggplants and sorrel from Floating Gardens, power bread from Earth Bound Bakery, lentils from Hestia Organics, and Three Farmers camelina oil.

There’s free delivery with a $50 purchase.

Farm to Cafeteria Canada 
Farm to Cafeteria Canada programs are designed to connect local farms with schools, hospitals, universities and cafeterias. Their Facebook page provides a wealth of information about what is happening across Canada, from school lunches to urban agriculture in Cuba.

Canadian Food Policy
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, who spent the past week visiting Canada, raised alarm that 800,000 households do not have the means to put proper food on their table.

Food Secure Canada is a national alliance designed to improve food security in Canada and globally. Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada outlines the issues and proposes solutions.

Eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive. A US Agriculture Department study found that most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods cost less than foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

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

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Gopher photo: A.P. McKinlay

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