Filed under In Season

This pear’s got crunch!

This pear’s got crunch!

If you like your fruit crunchy and juicy, pick up an Asian pear on your next visit to the produce section. Plump and round as an apple with golden brown or pale yellow-green skin, a crisp, grainy texture and lightly sweet taste, these ancient pears are ready to eat when you buy them and make … Continue reading

Garlic shows its age

Garlic shows its age

These are dark days in the food world. Along with last year’s top trend, activated charcoal, Google searches for black garlic are trending upward as more chefs and foodies seek out the savoury licorice, balsamic vinegar and molasses notes of these jet-black cloves. Without garlic’s usual pungent bite and a chewy texture like dried apricots, … Continue reading

Gift of a Christmas pear

Gift of a Christmas pear

 Meet Comice, courtesy USA Pears  As I stood in the produce section at Sobeys recently, amazed at the plethora of pears on display from Ontario, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and the U.S., the woman beside me picked up a big brown Bosc and shook her head. “This is going to take a long time to … Continue reading

Nantes one sweet success story

Nantes one sweet success story

Danny Carnevale has no time for “baby” carrots, those peeled, carrot-shaped pieces of mature carrot packed in ready-to-eat bags and marketed to moms. If you want the real taste of a sweet, tender baby carrot, freshly dug from the garden, the owner of Veg-Pak Produce at the Ontario Food Terminal suggests you pick up a … Continue reading

Embrace your inner Brussels sprout

Embrace your inner Brussels sprout

    A  2008 survey revealed that Brussels sprouts were the most hated vegetable in the U.S. Not surprising considering the number of people still traumatized after being forced to eat smelly, boiled-til-mush sprouts as a kid. Today, however, these baby cabbage look-alikes are super trendy, roasted until sweet and nutty on restaurant menus, scattered … Continue reading

A currant affair

A currant affair

It’s taken more than 30 years to make my first summer pudding. I first tasted this classic British dessert at a Mississauga dinner party. Though the ingredient list is absurdly simple — a bucket of currants and other summer berries, sugar and sliced white bread — the result is an impressive red mound oozing rich, … Continue reading

Use your (veggie) noodle

Use your (veggie) noodle

Oodles of new vegetable noodles added a splash of colour to the recent Canadian Produce Marketing Association expo in Toronto, highlighting one of the summer’s top food trends. “Foodles (‘fun noodles’) are one of the hottest-selling items we’ve ever launched,” says Noel Brigido, vice president of Mississauga produce processor Freshline Foods, whose packaged veggie noodles are … Continue reading

Bring on Ontario asparagus!

Bring on Ontario asparagus!

Now that warmer weather may finally be here to stay, the Ontario asparagus crop can really get moving. Along with the always welcome and delicious green stalks, keep your eyes peeled for the Purple Passion variety. These firm, juicy burgundy stalks, common in Europe, are sweeter than traditional green asparagus and maintain their deep colour when roasted or … Continue reading

Love a lime for Cinco de Mayo

Love a lime for Cinco de Mayo

All the world loves a lime, despite its mouth-puckering punch. India highlights its extreme acidity in a spicy, garlicky pickle, Peru’s ceviche “cooks” raw fish in lime juice, while Florida’s marble-sized key limes shine in a sweet custard pie, to name a few famous creations. Though the round, seedless, thin-skinned limes we buy from Mexico … Continue reading

It’s alive!

It’s alive!

One of the hottest trends in the produce world is fresh, local and alive! Living lettuce – a bouquet of one or more salad varieties with roots attached – is flourishing in supermarkets large and small, wrapped in a clear plastic sleeve or encased in a clamshell. Though the concept isn’t new, advances in technology … Continue reading