Monday, March 31, 2014

Flavourful Saskatoon, March 31, 2014

Black Summer Bok Choy
Chris Buhler says that Floating Gardens’ Black Summer Bok Choy is the star of their greenhouse crops. As an owner, Chris should know, so I was delighted to give it a try.

First of all, bok choy is super nutritious with loads of Vitamin A, C, and K. It’s also a good source of calcium, potassium, and manganese. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it’s a common ingredient in Chinese, Philippine, and Thai recipes.

I tried the younger leaves raw in a salad and liked the added texture and flavour - the lettuce seemed very limp and bland in comparison. I also cooked them; they had a touch of lemon as well as a peppery bite. I'll definitely buy it again.

Variety is the spice of life, so change things up a little this week by trying a vegetable you’ve never eaten before. I’m glad I did.

Hill Berry Acres 
Dehydrated fruit is a convenient way to include fruit in your diet, especially in the winter. I’ve been adding dehydrated sour cherries from Hill Berry Acres to my morning cereal for the last few months.

The cherries are locally grown by Charlene and Bruce Hill near Imperial, SK, and I really appreciate the fact that they do not add anything to the fruit as so many producers coat dehydrated fruit with oil or add extra sweetener.

100 gram bags are available in Saskatoon at SaskMade Marketplace and Dad’s Organic Grocery. 500 gram bags are available at a lower cost – contact the Hills for further information.

Hot cross buns are back at Earth Bound Bakery. And the Night Oven Bakery has lots and lots of sweet goodies. I particularly enjoyed the Messy Morning Bun – pastry with just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon.

Chef Kevin Tetz 
Chef Kevin Tetz (aka Executive Chef) from Christopher Lake has been finding a variety of different ways to offer his services without opening a restaurant. His latest venture is a series of underground suppers in various locations around the province.

The Cheesiry 
If you live near Lloydminster, be sure to visit The Cheesiry. Their pecorino cheese is getting rave reviews (well deserved; I particularly like the aged pecorino) in The Globe and Mail.
Rhonda Headon studied sheep’s milk cheesemaking in Italy.

Food Banks & Food Deserts
Food banks have evolved from a stop-gap measure to a long-lasting institution. And yet, they are such a pitiful bandaid solution to a persisting societal problem.

When Nick Saul started working at The Stop in Toronto, he was determined to do things differently. The Stop started offering healthier food, initiated cooking classes, community gardens and markets, and community activism. I highly recommend reading The Stop: How the fight for good food transformed a community and inspired a movement.

There’s a lot to consider when you open a grocery store in a former food desert. People don’t change their food habits overnight. You have to give people what they want (dog food, toilet paper), encourage people to buy healthy food (cooking classes, rewards cards), and practise patience.

Successful Farmers’ Markets 
Julie Flynn visited 20 markets across South America and has put together a list of recommendations for North American markets. The recommendations include an accessible, central location; a broad selection of affordable goods; prepared food and seating; multi-level vending; and integration of public space and/or pedestrian streets.

Eggs in Portugal 
Portugal is on my wish list of places I would love to visit. So I was intrigued by this article about the history of eggs in Portuguese cooking. From Moorish traditions to nuns who starched their gowns with egg whites and made sweets with the leftover egg yolks, it’s a fascinating story.

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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