This buff’s for you

This buff’s for you

With its smattering of palm trees and Mount Vesuvius volcano in the distance, the region of Campania in southern Italy doesn’t look at all like the Wild West, yet 100,000 water buffalo roam its grassy plains. When they tire of roaming, the shaggy horned beasts hang out in a barn, ankle-deep in mud, (it makes … Continue reading

Vera Pizza Napolitana

Vera Pizza Napolitana

I was so excited about eating “real” pizza in Naples, first stop on a whirlwind southern Italian food trip, I didn’t give a thought to what the city itself might look like. Map in hand on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I walked a few minutes from the hotel and ran smack into a wall of … Continue reading

Time for turmeric

Time for turmeric

As a kid in Northern India, Harsh Chawla remembers his mom treating cuts and burns with a mixture of ghee and turmeric. When he returned to his hometown of Chandigarh to be married, family members slathered his face, arms and legs with a golden paste of turmeric and milk to purify and soften his skin. … Continue reading

Serve up Ontario squash

Serve up Ontario squash

    I never imagined the humble squash as a culinary rock star, but after tasting the butternut squash brownies from the new The Everyday Squash Cook book, I’ve joined the fan club. The moist, fudgy squares flecked with orange surprised even the book’s three authors, who spent a year developing simple, scrumptious squash recipes … Continue reading

Prickly pears make spooky cocktails

Prickly pears make spooky cocktails

Arizona is bracing for the annual migration of more than 550,000 Canadian snowbirds to their Southwestern state. With the Grand Canyon in the north and Yuma in the south, where 90% of North America’s greens grow between November and March, there’s plenty to see. And if you’ve never stood next to a towering Saguaro cactus with … Continue reading

Garlic goes local

Garlic goes local

  When Ontario-grown garlic sells for $2 a bulb and Chinese garlic sells for five bulbs for $1, you have to wonder why. Growers Mark Wales, president of the Garlic Growers Association of Ontario, and Peter McClusky, organizer of the 4th annual Toronto Garlic Festival at Evergreen Brick Works Sept. 21, were happy to explain. “Ontario garlic … Continue reading

Finger these limes!

Finger these limes!

Megan Shanley Warren is on a mission, to promote the funky little fruit her dad is harvesting on his California ranch. From the outside, the finger lime needs all the help Warren, a marketing grad, can muster. The leathery green or brown cylinder, 1 to 3 inches long, resemble skinny dill pickles. Cut one open and … Continue reading

Eat your weeds!

Eat your weeds!

The weeds are having a field day in my garden. Crowding the kale, tomatoes and green beans are plantain, purslane, lambs-quarters and many other wild edibles, I’m sure. This year I planted amaranth (amaranthus viridis), its oval green leaves splashed with purple, after tasting it at a produce conference dinner. It looked just like sautéed … Continue reading

Shishitos are for sharing

The hottest new chili pepper isn’t hot at all, yet it’s burning up menus all over North America. Trendy TO restaurants like Carbon Bar and Bar Isabel are frying up gnarled green shishito peppers as an appetizer, and Cava chef Chris McDonald says his most popular new dish is shrimp escabeche and pine nut hummus … Continue reading

Mad about Melons

Mad about Melons

  Randy Weinstein comes by his passion for melons naturally. His dad, Seymour, met his mom on a watermelon buying trip to Florida and the family’s 85-year-old “house” at the Ontario Food Terminal is now the country’s largest melon importer. “I sell happiness,” says the third-generation specialist, who took over Canadian Fruit and Produce with his … Continue reading