Monday, August 28, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, August 28, 2017

The Next Great Food Business Public Tasting, Sept. 7
The Local Kitchen is hosting a public tasting with samples from each of the finalists in the Next Great Food Business competition. Finalists are: King’s Jerky, Kind Condiments, Smoke and Salt BBQ, Bannock Express, and Voodoo Van.

Wine Tastings
Guess the most expensive wine (Sept. 8), sample some Rhône wines (Sept. 22), or attend the 2017 Premier Showcase Wine Dinner (Sept. 28) sponsored by Saskatoon Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. Premier Showcase is also offering a Portugal with a Splash of California wine seminar (Sept. 29) and a Women & Whisky seminar (Sept. 30).

Refresh and Renew
I had a chat with Trent Loewen about his plans now that he has sold Earth Bound Bakery. He is heading east to visit chef friends in Ontario and then off to New Zealand to explore what's happening there. After 9 years with a single focus, it's time to explore new ideas. Interestingly enough, the bakery's new owner is a businessman who has set himself the task of learning how to bake. Stay tuned for further developments.

Regina Library Celebrates the Harvest
I was delighted to discover that Regina Public Library is celebrating the fall harvest with a variety of food-related events at all their branches – everything from Syrian sweets to bread made from local wheat, foodie films, and a tasting from Regina’s donut underground. Let’s hope that Saskatoon Public Library follows suit.

All About Oolong Tea
Oolong is my go-to breakfast tea. Oolong means black or dark dragon and was first produced during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). There are many different varieties, based on growing region, processing style, and degree of oxidation. This article – All About Oolong Tea – is a useful guide and very helpful in distinguishing between the many different options.

Category 12 Brewing
Category 12 Brewing is located in Saanich, Vancouver Island.

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, August 21, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, August 21, 2017

Prairie Harvest Café
I was sad to learn that Prairie Harvest Café has closed its doors. It’s been one of my favorite Saskatoon restaurants since day one, and I really appreciated the fact that the chefs focused on cooking with local ingredients, many supplied by the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. All the best of luck in your new adventures. We’ll miss you.

Hug a Farmer
This has been a tough summer for many farmers. Prairie Sun Orchard lost their entire cherry crop to insects. Drop by their stand at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, tell them you care, and have an ice cream. My favorite is the chocolate cherry fudge, but Clare Pearson, the principal ice cream maker, says her new favorite is the salted caramel.

If you’re like me, you assume that all small, skinny peppers are super hot and avoid them like the plague. But that’s a big mistake. Kaleidoscope Vegetable Gardens is offering two long, skinny peppers – one can be hot, but the other isn’t.

Padron chile peppers are popular in tapas bars and restaurants throughout Spain but originated in South America: “The Padron was brought from the New World to Spain in the 18th Century, when Franciscans first attempted cultivating the seeds at their monestary in Herbon, near Padron. Centuries later, Padron's most famous food is its namesake chile.”

Shishito chile peppers are from Japan. They’re mildly spiced and are usually fried and served as finger food. “Originating in Japan the Shishito pepper is believed to have gotten its name from its tip end which to some resembles the head of a lion or in Japanese, shishi.”

The Union, Vancouver
I enjoyed supper with a friend at The Union in Vancouver last week. The restaurant specializes in pan-Asian cuisine. The vegan Niçoise salad included grated smoked tofu – an excellent addition and one I’ll imitate at home.

Community Gardens 
I enjoyed 4 community gardens while in Vancouver. They were ablaze with towering sunflowers, ripe pumpkins, and a whole host of other fruits and vegetables. Saskatoon has over 46 community gardens varying in size and location.

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).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, August 14, 2017

Grandora Gardens

Whites from Portugal 
James Romanow recommends some white wines from Portugal and points out the difficulties wine distributors such as Doug Reichel face in introducing a wider variety of wines to the Saskatchewan market.

Thank you Doug for recognizing that some of us are wine lovers and appreciate the opportunity to sample a wide variety of wines from around the world.

Neighbourhood Grocery Stores 
A market survey indicates that Saskatoon’s downtown population is too small to support a grocery store. And yet, which comes first – the residents or the store? Less people are likely to live downtown if they’re unable to shop locally. Councillor Darren Hill points out that City Park, North Park, Richmond Heights, and Sutherland also need a grocery store and they should be taken into consideration if the City decides to offer incentives for grocery development in downtown.

Prairie Grid Dinner Series
Eat North is hosting the Prairie Grid Dinner series this fall. A team of Prairie chefs, including Christie Peters of Primal and The Hollows, will work together to produce a 5-course dinner in 4 different prairie cities. They’ll be in Saskatoon on October 3.

Afterschool Program Teaches Kids about Food 
The Food Action Committee of Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre has developed Plants to Plates, a 10-session facilitator’s guide filled with fun and educational activities, recipe ideas, and garden activities for an afterschool program to teach kids about food.

Socially Minded Enterprises 
I’m always pleased to see businesses lending their support to social or environmental causes. Prairie Sun Brewery and 9 Mile Legacy Brewing both develop special beers to support local events or causes, such as Meewasin Valley Authority and Wild About Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival. The Karma Conscious Café and Eatery donates 3% of their sales to a local charity (currently Bridge City Bicycle Co-op).

Further away from home, Huppybar has become the official energy bar of the Arizona Trail. The bars contain mesquite meal as well as Arizona honey, pecans, and cayenne chiles. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the bar go to protecting and maintaining the 800-mile trail from Utah to Mexico.

Inside a Manhattan subway station is the Bolivian Llama Party, one of the few Bolivian restaurants in New York. They’re working with a local charity to raise money to help single mothers in Bolivia find day care so that they’re able to work.

Karma Cafe and Eatery

Peppers of the Americas 
If you love hot peppers and are intrigued by the wide assortment available from Grandora Gardens, you will want to read Peppers of the Americas by Maricel E. Presilla. The book includes photographs, tasting notes, gardening notes, recipes, and history for 180 different peppers.

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).

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Terroir Tea Merchant, Victoria, BC

If you are curious about tea but unfamiliar with loose-leaf teas and the wide variety of flavours and aromas that can be found in pure teas as opposed to flavoured teas (jasmine green tea, Earl Grey), then I highly recommend a visit to the Terroir Tea Merchant on Fort Street in Victoria.

Charity and her husband Jason are newly returned to Canada after spending several years in Australia where Charity studied to become a certified Australian Tea Master. Jason is a Tea Specialist with a science degree.

A visit to the Terroir Tea Merchant is a sensory experience. Sniff your way along the aroma bar and compare the smell and appearance of each variety of tea.

Then take a look at the tea plates to see how the leaves from different terroirs and cultivars vary in shape and size. If you’ve only purchased tea bags, you’ll be surprised by how large some of the leaves are once they expand in hot water.

Charity and Jason have worked with a local chocolate expert to match some of their teas with different bars of chocolate.

Last but not least, take a seat at the bar or out on the patio and enjoy a cup of tea. The store also hosts various tastings and special events where you can learn more about specific varieties of tea or methods of preparing it.

The Terroir Tea Merchant specializes in teas from Taiwan, so there are plenty of oolong to choose from, both low oxidation oolongs that smell of lilac and honeysuckle and roasted oolongs with a richer, fuller flavour. Charity and Jason visited and personally selected the teas from Alishan High Mountain ecological farm in Taiwan. There are also limited quantities of tea from Arakai in Queensland, Australia, where the Charity and Jason used to live.

Oolong, a Labour of Love
Nepal’s Terroirs: The Next Darjeeling

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sun and Shade: Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

The gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific are many and varied, from winter-flowering heather to herbs, fruit trees, vegetables, cutting flowers, roses, and bonsai.

You move from sun and hot colours to shady paths, a gently flowing stream, and layer upon layer of green.

Here and there are scattered sculptures, but to really enjoy art in the garden, you should attend the annual Art in the Garden as I did in 2015.

You may also enjoy:
Abkhazi Garden 2017
Roses, Government House Gardens


Monday, August 7, 2017

Flavourful Saskatoon, August 7, 2017

Farm-to-Table Dinner, Aug. 26 
Farm One Forty is hosting a farm-to-table dinner catered by Chef Scott Dicks on their farm on August 26.

Latte Art Throwdown, Sept. 9 
Venn Coffee is hosting a Latte Art Throwdown from 7-9 pm, Sept. 9. The competition, free pour only, is open to all baristas.

Sustainable Gourmet Dinner, Sept. 16
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society is hosting the 12th annual Sustainable Gourmet Dinner on Sept. 16. Local food is prepared by local chefs and there will be musical entertainment from Laura Beach of Twin Voices.

Rubbish Dinner & Movie, Oct. 17
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is hosting a Rubbish Dinner on Oct. 17, creating a gourmet meal and beer from food that is often thrown away. Dinner will be followed by a movie about the food waste revolution.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Regina
If you’re heading to Regina, check out this list of vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Regina.

Canada Food Guide
Health Canada is asking for online feedback on the draft revisions to the Canada Food Guide. It’s an interesting process that takes into account food, health, culture, and environment.

Eat Your Weeds
After reading an article about cooking with purslane in Spain, I was delighted to see it for sale at Metchosin Farmers' Market on Vancouver Island.

Farmers' markets - supporting cultural diversity and a healthy, varied diet (Moss Street Market, Victoria)

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).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Abkhazi Garden 2017

No trip to Victoria would be complete without a visit to Abkhazi Garden.

The winding paths, unusual plants, and layer upon layer of green overlaid with bursts of colours are pure delight.