Napa Sojourn

Napa Sojourn

Napa Valley residents can afford to be smug. The weather is gorgeous, you can live in a cottage with a rosemary hedge and a lemon tree out front, cycle past world-famous vineyards and sip fairy-tale pumpkin soup. An hour’s drive across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco, Napa is also the perfect place for a … Continue reading

Leggo my eddo!

Leggo my eddo!

Today, we’re going to try a hairy black potato with a rough peel that may irritate your skin, with flesh that may turn grey when cooked and with a texture that may include a hint of slime. Right, now here’s the good part. When the eddo is cooked it has a slightly sweet, chestnut flavour … Continue reading

Ciao Calabria!

Ciao Calabria!

January 2016 Green hills, blue water, bright sunshine and the occasional palm tree welcomed us to Calabria in late January. Reggio Calabria, where we landed, sits at the very toe of the Italian boot separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. Apart from the millions of … Continue reading

How sweet it is

How sweet it is

While we spend Christmas curled up by the tree, Nick Van Berlo expects to spend the day in his Norfolk County shed packing sweet potatoes. “We’ve got an awful lot of potatoes to get through,” says Van Berlo, a second-generation farmer and winner of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association’s 2016 Fresh Award, whose sweet crop … Continue reading

This kiwi is pure gold

This kiwi is pure gold

I tasted my first kiwi nearly 30 years ago at the Western Fair in London, Ont. The hairy, egg-shaped fruit with soft green flesh and a  tropical flavour, originally called Chinese gooseberry, had just arrived from New Zealand. PR spokesperson extraordinaire Swerling-Puritt was charged with introducing the fruit across the country. Since most of us had … Continue reading

An Ambrosia a day

An Ambrosia a day

When the Brantview Apples & Cider tent goes up at farmers markets and bags of apples appear on the long table, the questions begin. What’s the best apple for pie? For applesauce? What’s the firmest? Sweetest? Tart? Grower Jay Howell and daughter Jen from St. George, between Brantford Ont. and Cambridge Ont., answer questions with … Continue reading

Get personal with squash

Let’s get personal, with squash! Turns out there’s no need to buy a monster squash that requires a machete to open and a week to eat. Instead, sort through the bins of local butternut and buttercup, ridged acorns and bulbous hubbards to find the long, narrow delicata with its pale yellow skin and distinctive green … Continue reading

It’s a corn-u-copia!

It’s a corn-u-copia!

It’s been a tough summer for Ontario corn producers, though you wouldn’t know it from the mountains of sleek cobs heaped in farmers’ markets across the city. Until recently, growers of sweet corn and other vegetables were watering their fields 16 to 18 hours a day just to keep the crops alive and cranking up the AC … Continue reading

Cider Rules

Cider Rules

  Not liking beer has always made social situations a little awkward. At the Queen’s pub years back, I clearly recall pitchers of cheap beer being poured with gusto while I and a few other female students nursed expensive, sickly sweet Singapore Slings and Harvey Wallbangers. I later switched to wine, but a glass of … Continue reading

Go for the crunch!

Go for the crunch!

When asked to name the most under-rated vegetable, MasterChef judge Graham Elliot didn’t hesitate: Celery!   “I love it for the crunch, and for its slight bitter edge,” says the celebrated Chicago chef and restaurateur, in TO recently to promote Walmart’s fresh produce. “You can juice it, shave it into salads, pickle it, garnish a cocktail, … Continue reading