Thursday, June 30, 2016

SMAK Ukrainian Store Has a New Home

SMAK Ukrainian Store has moved from its previous location on 22nd Street West. They’re now located in a brand-new building on 34th Street, just west of Idylwyld Drive (#30 – 1301 Idylwyld Drive). The store is open from 9 am to 7 pm, Monday through Saturday.

SMAK's website says that they provide parcel delivery to the Ukraine.

The store has a good selection of canned and frozen goods, not to mention biscuits and candies. I bought a jar of eggplant spread and wish I’d picked up a package of the blueberry or cherry perogies. Another customer pointed out to me that the prices are very reasonable.

SMAK Ukrainian Store no longer has a coffee shop or fresh baked goods.

You can follow SMAK on Facebook.
See also: 2015 post for more photos

Toffee flavoured sweetened condensed milk

Monday, June 27, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, June 27, 2016

Horchata Mexicana
La Taqueria Mexicana, Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, will be serving horchata throughout the summer months.

Fruit & Spice & Everything Nice
D.A.M.N. Fine Foods are now selling their spicy fruit preserves at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

International Coffee Culture
Interested in learning more about coffee culture in cities around the world? Then you may want to subscribe to Drift magazine. Contact Daryl Grunau, Vector Coffee Company, to be part of a bulk order.

Composting Workshops
Saskatoon’s Compost Coaches are offering a free hour-long workshop on different composting options, including trench composting, mulching, vermicompost and bokashi fermentation at 7 pm, July 14, at the Cliff Wright Library. You can build a compost tumbler at 6 pm, July 20, or a vermicomposting bin at 10 am, July 23, at the Saskatoon Food Bank’s Garden Patch.

Composting – Take Your Pick
From lasagna compost to vermicompost, find out which method will work best for you.

Regina Food Bank Greenhouse
The Regina Food Bank will soon have a year-round greenhouse with 50 garden towers, each of which is expected to grow up to $1,500 worth of fresh food annually.

Winnipeg’s Outstanding Food Scene
Dan Clapson says, “Winnipeg has outgrown Edmonton both in food quality and the diversity of what it has to offer, and the city is ‘leaps and bounds’ above Saskatoon and Regina.”

Bread, Wine, Chocolate
Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi discusses the growth and production of some of our favourite foods: bread, wine, chocolate, coffee, and beer. I’ve read a number of similar books, but this one is worth reading for several reasons: the tasting notes to help readers identify and appreciate what they’re eating; the unexpected pieces, such as a look at preparing Karah Prasad at the Sikh Golden Temple in India; and the author’s emotional response to food and food producers.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. 

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

You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

FG Market Ltd. - Osler

A friend and I took a road trip out to Osler this week to visit FG Market Ltd. It’s a big, brand-new store stocking a wide range of fresh, frozen, and canned foods; wine and spirits; baked goods; beauty products; and candy.

They specialize in local food so we found fruit wines, liqueurs, and spirits from all corners of the province as well as Koko Patisserie baked goods from Regina, home baking, and lots of home-canned jams and pickles.

There’s a really large selection of flavoured oils and vinegars, a large freezer full of meat products, and lots of Homestead ice cream.

The market offers a daily lunch special, but if you’re vegetarian you may want to head for the ice cream sandwiches (very tasty!).

FG Market is definitely worth a visit. There’s lots to choose from and many products that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, June 20, 2016

The artistry of Tim Yoder, Peasant's Pick, Saskatoon Farmers' Market

Food Justice and Traditional Foods Networking Gathering, June 28 
CHEP Good Food Inc. and Wanuskewin Heritage Park are hosting a Food Justice and Traditional Foods Networking Gathering at 8:30 am, June 28. Guest speaker Sandra Walker will share a presentation on ethnobotany and Indigenous survival foods. RSVP by June 23.

Our Farm, July 2
Our Farm will be back in St. Joseph’s parking lot at the corner of Broadway and 8th at 8 am, July 2. They’ll be selling their vegetables there every Saturday until the end of September.

Hort Week, July 2-9 
Check out the wide array of courses on offer during Hort Week – from Backyard Veg Gardening to Drinking Your Garden and Keeping Bees in an Urban Setting.

Julianna's lovely smile, Those Girls at the Market

Fresh Pizza Dough
Earth Bound Bakery sells fresh pizza dough every day they're open. 

Guide to India Pale Ales 
Ever wondered about the difference between an English IPA and an American one? Curious to find out about Belgian, Vermont, and Northeast-style IPAs? Then you’ll appreciate Lucky Peach’s Guide to India Pale Ales.

Why Sourcing Local Food is so Hard for Restaurants 
Chipotle prided itself on serving locally sourced food, but then it was linked to outbreaks of E. coli, norovirus, and salmonella. Professor Quelch, Harvard Business School, says, “local sourcing adds complexity, increases risk and fragments the supply chain. Even if you have a standard quality control procedure for all of your sources, you’re not going to be able to monitor them on-site at every location. You’re going to have to put your trust in the suppliers to live up to the expectations laid down in the quality control guidelines. . . . most local suppliers lack substantial experience in testing their products. They don’t have as much experience with USDA inspection procedures and their own internal inspection systems may not be as well-developed and operationally as reliable” as those of large companies.

Greed, Murder, Obsession, Arson 
Tangled Vines: Greed , Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California by Frances Dinkelspiel tells the story of Mark Anderson, an oenophile and con man who set fire to a wine storage facility, with devastating impact on the wineries that lost their libraries and their financial resources. The author goes on to outline the many other occasions when love of wine has led to fraud, murder, and competition in California. There’s a dark underside to the wine industry.

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).

Monday, June 13, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, June 13, 2016

June 18 may be your last chance to purchase these gorgeous dahlias from Mistik Acres

Market Scoops
I visited the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market twice this week (blame my addiction to BC cherries!). It was great to see so many customers and so many producers selling fabulous local products.

Here are just a few of my finds:
First zucchini of the season from Kaleidoscope Gardens (planted in the ground with high plastic tunnels to retain the sun’s heat)

First outdoor-grown spinach from Belle Plaine

Peasant's Pick is back: Tim's vegetable displays are a work of art

First BC cherries (from Sukh and Sonu Singh’s orchard in Oliver) - so good and Sukh says the next ripening variety tastes even better

Cinnamon-glazed sunflower seeds from Name Your Nuts

Fit Fuel In A Jar, a new vendor, selling breakfasts and salads in a jar that will keep for up to a week in a refrigerator

Kaleidoscope Gardens

Coming soon!
Clare Pearson, Prairie Sun Orchard, says they should have field-ripened strawberries in 1-2 weeks.

Stay informed:
The Market has a monthly newsletter with monthly updates, new vendor announcements, and upcoming events. To sign up, email

Provide feedback:
I was invited to join an advisory committee to the Market’s board of directors. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, let me know. I’ll be happy to pass them along.

BC Cherries

Wine Events around Saskatchewan
Doug Reichel Wine Marketing is hosting wine events in Luseland, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and Waskesiu over the next few weeks. In Waskesiu, participants will have an opportunity to taste a 1985 Riesling from the private cellar of Johannes Selbach.

Vertical Farms
A Regina woman is growing vegetables in row upon row of large milk jugs. She plans to donate most of the produce to her neighbours to show them how easy it can be to grow your own vegetables.

The Opaskwayak Cree First Nation in northern Manitoba is hoping to supply its community with fresh, affordable fruit and vegetables through an indoor vertical farm.

If you want to try your hand at vertical gardening, check out the City of Saskatoon’s publication: Small Space Gardening: A How-To Guide.

Prairie Farming’s Future
The Prairie Climate Centre is predicting hotter, drier weather on the Prairies over the next 50 to 60 years with over 7 times as many days with 30-degree temperatures. Changes in the weather could lead to more pests and diseases, with a possible 50% drop in crop yields.

“The Dirty Thirties, a time of depression and drought, were shattering. Eighty years later, we have the data to foresee a recurrence of such devastation, and a clear vision for what can happen to our agrifood systems. We need to take action now….”

Cinnamon-glazed sunflower seeds, Name Your Nuts

Bude’s New Supermarket
Bude, Cornwall, has a new supermarket. It’s 100% local with almost all the food harvested on the day or the day before. It’s zero waste and pays its producers over 80% of the price paid by consumers (compared to 15-30% at supermarkets and 30-50% at shops).

Master Tea Taster’s Tongue is Insured for £1 Million
Sebastian Michaelis is Tetley’s master tea blender. “Michaelis says he has tasted between 300,000 and 400,000 teas during his career and can recognize hundreds of different flavors and characteristics with his tongue, which allows him to grade any tea in the world in just a few seconds. A rare tea, however, might require him to linger on the grade for about a minute. . . . Michaelis has been tasting (and spitting) tea for a decade. His bosses at Tetley think so much of his taste buds that they insured them for £1 million.”

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).

Monday, June 6, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, June 6, 2016

The Night Oven Bakery

Community Farmers Market, June 14
The Community Farmers Market of Saskatoon is anticipating a 2016 start-up date of Tuesday, June 14th. The locations and days/hours are the same as last year. Tuesdays and Fridays will be in the parking lot at London Drugs on 8th Street. Thursdays will be in the parking lot at Peavey Mart on 51st Street. Hours are 9 am - 4 pm.

Composting Workshop, June 23
Saskatoon’s Compost Coaches are offering a free hour-long workshop on different composting options, including trench composting, mulching, vermicompost, and bokashi fermentation at 7 pm, June 23, at the Rusty MacDonald Library.

Summer in the Loire Valley, June 30
Celebrate summer in the Loire Valley on June 3 at a wine tasting event sponsored by Doug Reichel Wine Marketing, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, and Boffin’s. The five French-inspired food stations will be accompanied by wines from Domaine Joseph Mellot.

The rhubarb pinwheel croissants are delicious!

The Scoop
The Scoop in Riversdale is a summer employment program for inner-city youth. They’re now offering sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan popsicles.

Temperance Brewing
Temperance Brewing Co-operative will be brewing their first beer at Paddock Wood Brewing Co. Co-op members can vote on their choice of beer.

Battle Brewing
Female brewmakers are taking aim at the industry’s sexism (i.e. a beer labelled Legspreader).

“If beermakers want a lesson on women’s role in beer, says Peyton, they should look to history. “Women were the original brewers of beer … and in the creation myths of many cultures, beer was given to humans by females.”

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).

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Food Artisans of the Okanagan, Jennifer Cockrall-King

If you care about local food and supporting local food producers – or if you’re planning to visit the Okanagan – you should definitely read Food Artisans of the Okanagan: Your Guide to the Best Locally Crafted Fare by Jennifer Cockrall-King (published by Touchwood Editions).

Jennifer has sought out the farmers, bakers, brewers, chefs, and all the other individuals who are producing and selling locally crafted, organic or near-organic fare in the Okanagan. The book is divided into four sections for the North Okanagan, Central Okanagan, South Okanagan, and the Similkameen and provides a one- or two-page introduction to each individual and their products.

The book takes you off the beaten track with mouth-watering descriptions of products that can only be found locally, from beer and honey to cheese and chocolates. The only thing it doesn’t cover is wine, referring readers instead to John Schreiner’s Okanagan Wine Tour Guide 2014.

view from Tinhorn Creek winery

Travel Guide
My first response to this book is to get in the car and head west so that I can sample for myself some of the wonderful products Jennifer describes in her book. There is such an amazing variety and they all sound absolutely delicious.

Ceres Seed Oils, Penticton takes advantage of an abundant by-product of winemaking to sell cold-pressed grapeseed oil.

There are plenty of macarons at Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate in Kelowna, but Sandrine suspects they’ll soon be supplanted by croquembouches and religieuses (eclairs with coloured icing).

You’ll meet Scott Moran, a professional forager who is supplying restaurants and markets with items ranging from wild cattails and wild mustards to miner’s lettuce.

Meadow Vista Honey Wines employs winemaking techniques rather than traditional mead-making methods. The owner used “the term honey wines to acknowledge that she’d be making wines from honey using skills she had picked up from the grape-wine industry.”

Visit Keremeos Grist Mill and learn about the role it played in reviving Red Fife wheat or Sunshine Farm, which is fulfilling a critical role in preserving and growing heirloom seeds. Jennifer says, “Sunshine Farm’s seed catalogue is an important link in the local food chain, keeping local, open-pollinated, organic seeds in circulation and available to other market gardeners and individuals.”

You may not expect to find local food at an international restaurant, but Jennifer knows better. You’ll want to visit Benja Thai restaurant in Keremeos, head to Kekuli Café in West Kelowna for “seriously amazing bannock,” and turn off Kelowna’s main thoroughfare to taste “regional Indian cuisine by way of the UK” at Poppadoms-Taste India! where the Dosanj family are “fiercely loyal to local raw ingredients and wines.”


Economic Development
Food Artisans of the Okanagan is so much more than a travel guide. It’s also a description of how a food culture can develop and sustain an area both socially and economically. It demonstrates the ties between businesses, individuals, farmers, producers, and customers and indicates the key role food has played in expanding the Okanagan’s tourism industry.

For example, Gatzke Orchards, Oyama, has had to adjust to changing market conditions. They started selling direct to consumers when free trade flooded the market with tariff-free fruit, dealt with a highway rerouting which meant they were off the beaten track, and changed their fruit stand into a destination with a café-restaurant, bakery, and wedding space. The owner served two terms on city council to bring the bylaws into line with the needs of agritourism.

Hank Markgraf, manager of growers’ services, BC Tree Fruits, explains that the Okanagan leads North America in high-density planting of apples in order to pay workers living wages and be financially sustainable. Early orchards were planted with 200 to 250 trees per acre – they’re now planting 1200-1500 trees per acre.

Bean Scene Roastery was awarded the City of Kelowna’s Environmental Award for Business Innovation when they replaced their gas afterburner with a mist tank and an electrostatic filter to save energy, reduce fire risk, and eliminate odour.

There’s an organic home delivery service and a food bag fundraiser in the South Okanagan.

And so much more! Every page provides interesting information. You should definitely pick up a copy of Food Artisans of the Okanagan.

Photos: Andrew McKinlay, View from Tinhorn Creek Winery and Paragliding in the North Okanagan