Monday, January 18, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, January 18, 2016

Cognac, Jan. 30 
Sample a range of Cognacs and learn about the history of the region from 7-9 pm, Jan. 30, at Saskatoon Co-op Liquor.

Wine Tastings 
Fine Wines Sask is hosting wine tastings on the following dates across the province:
Jan. 27 – JT’s Pub, Prince Albert
Jan. 29 – Highway Host Family Restaurant, Rosetown
Jan. 30 – Tilli Beans Bakery & Coffee Shop, Wolseley

Paint Nites, Rook & Raven 
The Rook & Raven will be hosting paint nights on Jan. 24, Feb. 7, and Feb. 21. PaintNite is an international franchise that “invites you to create art over cocktails at a local hotspot, guided by a professional artist and party host.”

Downtown Food Options 
Downtown grocery stores face multiple challenges. They aren’t big enough or popular enough – and so they are shut down. The Good Food Junction was established 3 years ago to provide fresh food to core neighbourhoods, but poor sales are forcing them to shut down.

The Shop Easy in City Park shut down a few months ago. Local residents have formed the City Centre Food Co-operative and are offering a bi-weekly pop-up grocery market at the Saskatoon Community Service Village. Their long-term plan is to establish a co-operative grocery store in the City Park area, but that could be several years away.

Neechi Foods, an Aboriginal worker co-operative in Winnipeg is fighting to stay open: “One challenge unique to one of Neechi Foods' primary markets is the unique cash situation for many of its customers. ’It's around income-assistance days or child tax credit days. So what happens, when people get their total month income in one lump sum, the temptation is very high to jump into a cab and find some cousin who has a car and head to where they think they're going to get the best deals. That's part of what we're up against,’ said Rothney….He says Neechi Foods' growth strategy revolves around filling the small market gaps that large grocers will not fill by selling local foods such as fresh caught fish, wild blueberries and competing on price where possible with major grocers. Rothney said it's possible to make a profit in the core area. ‘It's not a matter of whether you can make a profit, it's where can you make the highest rate of profit. So that's what motivates stores to move out of the area. Even if they're actually still doing better than break even."

License to Farm 
License to Farm, a 30-minute documentary produced by SaskCanola, explores issues related to food production in Saskatchewan and is available online.

National School Food Program 
The Coalition for Healthy School Food is advocating for a universal school food program. They say, “Despite an abundance of research that shows how school food programs make a vital contribution to students’ physical and mental health, school food has yet to be embraced as a universal education strategy.” 

Winter Reading 
There’s something for everyone on Food Tank’s winter reading list that ranges from permaculture and women farmers to Senegalese and food truck recipes.

Brit Food of the Week
And, finally, my favorite new flavours of the week were Marmalade Ice Cream at the Harbourmaster Hotel and Restaurant (highly recommended) in Aberaeron and Good Life vegetarian sausages. And the only thing these sausages have in common with ordinary sausages are their shape. Mine were stuffed with peas, green beans, and Wensleydale cheese.

Good Life's mission is to make vegetables the star of the show: “So join us in championing the humble pea, the bashful parsnip and the shy beetroot! Nobody puts veg in the corner…” 

Photos: The last two photographs are of Aberaeron on a very wild, windy day. The first is of Newport.

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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