Filed under In Season

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

Hats off to haskaps

Hats off to haskaps

  Oh Canada, we have a new berry. It’s big, it’s blue and it’s easy to grow, from Northern Ontario to downtown T.O. Haskap’s Japanese name, haskapu, translates as “Little present on the end of the branch.” That’s where the long, oval berries congregate, hidden beneath branches of flat green leaves. Haskap tastes like a … Continue reading

Get passionate with passion fruit

Get passionate with passion fruit

If you need a little more passion in your life this Valentine’s Day, crack open a purple or yellow passion fruit. The purple variety is no beauty, with its dark leathery skin and slippery pulp, like jellied egg yolk dotted with crisp black seeds. But its exotic scent is irresistible and its intense sweet-tart taste, channelling … Continue reading

Live long with long beans

Live long with long beans

As the Lunar New Year approaches, memories of Beijing fill my kitchen. It was the early ’80s, before the Chinese capital exploded into a glittering metropolis scraping the sky. “Have you eaten?” my boss at the radio station would ask, a standard greeting in a country obsessed with food. Back then, long cabbages dried on … Continue reading

Endangered Nebrodi finds a new home

Endangered Nebrodi finds a new home

John S. Rowe didn’t set out to save an endangered Sicilian mushroom, though Toronto chefs and food lovers are glad he did. The former associate professor of neurosciences at McMaster University was simply tired of searching for grants to fund his research, and decided to find a job where he could use his scientific skills … Continue reading

Detoxify with bitter melon

Detoxify with bitter melon

As another season of delicious excess draws to a close, it’s time to think about starting fresh in the New Year. Practitioners of Ayurveda — an ancient Indian system of health that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and other healthful lifestyle choices — believe that bitter foods, such as bitter melon, detoxify the body and aid digestion. … Continue reading

Grab a Buddha’s Hand

Grab a Buddha’s Hand

Fragrant Asian citrus can be candied, tossed in salads or stir-fried Sightings of a bizarre new citrus flew through the local Twitter-verse last month. What to make of the Buddha’s Hand with its lemon-yellow fingers, some downright creepy, beckoning from the produce section? After an initial batch from Colombia, the current crop of Buddha’s Hand … Continue reading

A passion for persimmons

A passion for persimmons

Sweet persimmon earns its ‘fruit of the gods’ nickname ’Tis the season for fresh persimmons. The most famous varieties are the acorn-shaped hachiya with the pointed end and the squat, tomato-shaped fuyu or Sharon fruit. With shiny orange skin that’s baby-bottom smooth, both varieties glow from supermarket displays. But the similarities end there. While you can … Continue reading

Demystifying Jerusalem artichokes

Demystifying Jerusalem artichokes

Fresh Bites: Jerusalem artichokes   Tubers have a hint of artichoke flavour that shines in soups, roasts, gratins and other recipes. My husband dreads opening the fridge this time of year. Inside, he knows he’ll find bagfuls of knobby Jerusalem artichokes, caked in mud, harvested from our narrow back-lane garden. The sturdy stalks with sad, … Continue reading

Quintessential Quince

Quintessential Quince

I bought my first quince with low expectations. Hard and green with no scent, the lumpy-looking pear with the stubby neck hardly seemed worth $2. Where was the golden orb I’d read about that perfumed a room? What inspired poet Edward Lear to have his Owl and Pussycat dine on mince and slices of quince … Continue reading