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Xabia Jim 01-27-2007 09:11 AM

Fresh is best.....
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Ain't nothing like fresh produce....

Getting ready to cook (note red wine), the ingredients for the roasted appetizer eggplant/peppers/onions dish and the ingredients for the red onions/honey balsamic....try that recipe, it's my favorite!

Xabia Jim 01-27-2007 09:12 AM

Barcelona market
Take a look at the photos I posted in the chit chat at the bottom....I love the european city markets!!

james 01-28-2007 05:52 AM

Re: Fresh is best.....
Great looking producer -- but that's not fair. :) You have access to a southern Mediterranean street market where the produce is GREAT.

For folks who can't shop there (or Mercate Centrale in Florence, which is also pretty good), where do you find good produce?

I would enjoy hearing where everybody shops, how the seasons impact your shopping, eating, etc. Where do you find the good stuff where you live???


CanuckJim 01-28-2007 08:08 AM

Re: Fresh is best.....

Though it's nowhere near as extensive or fine as the Spanish markets, in Toronto I use the St. Lawrence Market (you can search it under St. Lawrence Market toronto, can't get my cut and paste to work today). This is a purpose-built market building dating from about 1880, although the site has been used this way since 1803. It's big, something along the lines of the old Reading Market in Philadelphia.

There are two floors. The main floor is mainly dedicated to meats and fish, and also my personal bete noir, Alex Farms. I've bought cheese in many parts of the world, but I've never seen such an intelligent, extensive array anywhere outside NYC. Keep you credit card in your pocket, and don't go there when you're hungry. If you can find it, try St. Agur; it's a French blue cheese that's just wonderful and reasonably priced, also buffalo mozzerala, aged brie, Comte, and and and.... The lower floor is mainly devoted to fruits and vegetables, though they can be pricey in winter. Toronto is a very multicultural place, so you can find just about anything you need for just about any kind of cooking you could imagine: Thai to Russian.

On the north side of the street is the Farmer's Market. In season, local growers (organic and otherwise) bring in their veg, chorizo, bacon, hand-made cheeses, etc., etc. It's a bit chaotic but fun. Go EARLY on a Saturday.

I live in a farming area, so in summer it's easy to get fresh veg from roadside farm stands, that is for anything I don't grow in my own garden. Unlike Xabia Jim, though, my garden is under a fairly deep layer of snow at the moment, so I'm out of luck there:( .

The one drawback, although there are lots of bread vendors, none of it is very good. Looking into changing that. There's not one wood-fired brick guy among them. Unfortunately, it's a fair drive for me to get there and fairly expensive to rent space.

We'll see.


Xabia Jim 01-28-2007 11:08 AM

Re: Fresh is best.....

One of my favorite markets in Toronto is the Kensington market, and in pariticular I remember a cheese shop nearby where I had to peer through piles of cheese to make my order. Nearby was some of the best chinese food I've known.

Toronto is a great city!


CanuckJim 01-29-2007 06:51 AM

Re: Fresh is best.....

Should have added Kensington as well. I live to the east of the city, so the St. Lawrence is closer, although Kensington market is very fine too. My girlfriend, Wendy, swears by it. They're both very fine indeed. The Chinese food in the KM area is hard to beat anywhere. The Dim Sum joints are particularly good.


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