As we enter Spring and wrap up Easter, we prepare ourselves to celebrate and say goodbye to Maple Syrup season.
During the first weekend of April, the Ontario Maple Syrup Producer’s Association hosts its annual Maple Weekend (April 7-8th this year from 10am to 4pm). This is a weekend that gives everyone the chance to experience first-hand how maple products are produced.
No “farm to table” here, we are talking about from “tree to table!”
I get a warm tingly feeling when I think back to the days of early morning sunrises and Saturday Farmers Markets. Strolling through the farmers market on a Saturday morning, seeing what fresh harvest the farmers have pulled for the week, is really such a treasure. A treasure that unfortunately only lasts a couple of months for us here in Canada.
Wouldn't it be so amazing to have access to all the local fruits and vegetables all year round?!
Well...you actually can! They may just not be available in the same way that they would be during the spring and summer months.
What am I talking about? Preserves! Not just jams and jellies but fermented and pickled vegetables! This is a great way for Ontario produce to not only live all year round but increase its nutritional value as well.
During the summer season you can pick up extra vegetables (that way they are in season and a) taste better and b) are at a good price) and then pickle them yourself to last you through the winter. Another great option is to support local fermenters and producers by buying their preserves.
I also rely a lot of local food co-ops and farm stores who sell local vegetables and natural products. like micro greens, milks, cheeses, and meats. After trying and talking to many different vendors, I have grown to have a few favourites and go-to's. So for you guys who are wondering what and where to shop, I've compiled a list of all the spots I shop at regularly and trust!
What happens when chefs pair up with local farmers?—I’ll tell you, culinary magic.
It should come to no surprise really as the world’s finest cuisines are created by the hand-in-hand effort of a chef and farmer. The world’s greatest restaurants are made possible not only by the creativity and passion of the chefs but the nutrient and flavour rich produce that local farmers produce. Even L’Aperge’s Alain Passard was quoted saying, “produce is the root of it all.”
The taste you get from local and fresh produce is truly unique. There is so much care that goes into producing these products that it really stands out when cooked and combined with the right ingredients.
This past weekend, Foodlink accomplished just that with its 14th Annual culinary showcase, Taste Local Taste Fresh 2017. It was truly an explosive event for your taste buds. Surrounded by nature and farmland, each guest had the pleasure to indulge in seventeen different culinary creations with each an adventure of its own!
Away from all the hipster coffee shops, crowded outside patios, and the noise of Kitchener’s busy downtown, you will find FourAll Ice Cream’s small but charming Tasting Room.
Tucked away at the back of a parking lot at 141 Whitney Place in Kitchener, FourAll is truly a hidden gem—you would never expect that a parking lot would hold such a treasure.
And a treasure unique to each individual at that!—you see FourAll has something for everyone—from vegan options to light fruity sorbets, classic flavours like Chocolate, to childhood creations like Tiger Tail; there’s something for every single member of the family.
There isn't a more perfect place for any family to get some ice cream during summer.
It’s that time of year again, where you start seeing market stalls being taken over by beautifully red, green, yellow, and even purple/red-ish and plump tomatoes!
Though field tomatoes are usually a sign of the end of July, it’s one of my favourite vegetables/fruits--tomayto/tomahto, right?. They are so versatile and can add so much flavour to the simplest of dishes to the most hearty ones.
Why Local Tomatoes? Read my article here.