The Mahvellous Bill Cunningham

Street fashion – and street fashion photography – is now ubiquitous in most cities. Online, there are even niche sites dedicated to older women, people of colour or particular style trends. But most of these blogs tend to simply record what’s out there, and what’s currently hot within mainstream fashion. Here in Toronto, where we’re […]

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My Friend, Steven Davey, aka Frank

I first met Steven Davey, restaurant critic for NOW magazine, more than 10 years ago. I was running a monthly dining group called Gothic Diners in which Toronto Goths gathered for dinner at local restaurants, usually in all their black finery. Davey heard about our group through a friend of a friend and invited Greg […]

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Your Fat Makes Me Crazy

If you live in the western world, no doubt you’ve seen or heard about this video, created by a Wisconsin news anchor after receiving a letter from a viewer who was ostensibly “concerned” about her health and her ability to be a role model to viewers. As a fat woman, I am fully supportive of […]

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Seeing Red

If you watched the last episode of Mad Men this season, you may or may not have noticed a trend towards the use of the colour red strategically throughout the episode.  An article on Slate works on the theory that the red, used at some point to costume each of the female leads, represents female […]

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Bag Lady Redux

Let me tell you about my bags. I have many. My black knapsack is my go-to bag for any kind of shopping. I bought it for $15 in 2003 in Chinatown during the SARS epidemic, half off because the shop owner was just so delighted that anybody was in his store at all. Nine years […]

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The Processed Way of Eating

Despite my plan to avoid social media while working on my book, I’ve spent the earlier part of this afternoon over on FaceBook discussing meat glue (why yes, I am procrastinating, how did you guess?), and its implications in the greater food service industry, aside from its use in molecular gastronomy. Because it seems that […]

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Death by Turkey

I am spending this week watching holiday specials. Not the cartoons and tired old movies of yore (Come on admit it, It’s a Wonderful Life is three hours of tedious, sentimental schlock.), but holiday food and cooking shows, specifically of the UK variety. As it turns out, holiday cooking shows are the big thing for […]

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Yogurt – Still Full of Lies

Am I beating a dead horse if I link to yet another article pointing out that health claims on packaged food are (intentionally) misleading? This NY Times article doesn’t really reveal anything new if you’ve been following the whole story over the past few years, but it speaks to the stretches of truth advertisers will […]

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The Gung Ho Food Race

At this moment, I am sitting on six… no, eight different bits of Toronto restaurant news/gossip that I cannot share. I can’t share them for a number of reasons, either because I’ve specifically been asked not to until the restaurant is ready to formally announce their news, or because what I know is unconfirmed gossip […]

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The Downward Slider

Foodies are a fickle bunch. Since eating is, in many ways, a game of one-upmanship, we’re always on to the hot new thing. But whatever happened to the old things? Do you remember when oil-soaked pasta salad was fancy? When we all first discovered sundried tomatoes? Or in one of the health-driven trends, when we […]

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Is ADHD Caused By Food?

I read this piece on Civil Eats with great interest. It discusses a study that links ADHD in children in with the consumption of processed foods. There are a multitude of credible scientific studies to indicate that diet plays a large role in the development of ADHD. One study found that the depletion of zinc […]

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The Mania For Meat

In yesterday’s Globe and Mail, Katrina Onstad questions the recent frenzy trend towards gorging on meat. As usual, the comment section of the piece devolved into the same old tired arguments of carnivore types ranting about how we were meant to eat meat and vegetarian types talking about how horrible it is. Having been both […]

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Well, Now We’re Screwed

This is the letter I just sent to the Minister of State for Agriculture regarding the announcement that the Conservatives are considering loosening the restrictions on functional foods. If you care about the fact that food companies are allowed claim their foods are healthy because they’ve added extra vitamins, or “healthy bacteria”, please contact the […]

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White as the Driven Snow

Thank you, Morgan Clendaniel, for using the phrase I was recently too afraid to use for fear of pissing people off. I’m not sure why I was afraid of pissing people off, I tend to live my life assuming that most people are pissed off by something about me, and undoubtedly my Loca-Bores piece (despite […]

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Backs Against the Wal

I would be surprised if anyone, let alone anyone in the “foodie bubble” hasn’t heard the news of Wal-Mart‘s new commitment to selling healthy food. I’ve got a list of links below, but some points to remember on the new program: it will be officially rolled out in the US only – Wal-Mart Canada will […]

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Loco-Bores

So… MacLean’s magazine reported last week that the Hamilton Farmer’s Market had plans to oust a number of long-time vendors because they didn’t fit the market’s new image of upscale, focusing on “local” ingredients grown within a 100-mile radius. Regular readers of this site will know just how much utter bullshit I believe the 100-mile […]

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From Away

You’ve gotta give Marco Pierre White credit – his whole career has been about stirring things up and being in the spotlight, even if it hasn’t been all positive. He was in town last month to promote Knorr stock cubes, a product that he’s shilled in the UK for a few years. When challenged on […]

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Faux Foodies

“Why would you go to Spain with that one bitch who refuses to eat ham?” – Anthony Bourdain I normally avoid celebrity-related gossip or news, but this article about Gwyneth Paltrow speaks to a couple of issues. Firstly, is Paltrow a “faux foodie”? A better question than Bourdain’s is – why would you be part […]

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All That and a Bag of Chips

Somewhere, Jamie Oliver is crying. The new conservative government of England (hey, what happened to the balancing forces of a coalition?) has caved in to demands from the junk food industry and has scrapped the Food Standards Agency (the equivalent to the FDA). Which means that junk food companies are now free to self-regulate. It […]

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Goodbye Mimi

It is with sad hearts that we pass on the following obituary… BRAIDBERG, Miriam (Mimi) April 1956 to July 2010. Suddenly at home on Sunday, July 4th. Dear daughter of Pearl and the late David. Beloved sister and sister-in-law of Ann and Gary Posen, and Shelly and Gerry Merovitz. Wonderful aunt to Sara and Russell […]

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No Cake For You, Kiddies!

Moderation. Does anybody know what this means anymore? Schools across the Western world are demonstrating knee jerk reactions to the “childhood obesity crisis” by banning anything at all that includes sugar or fat. School lunches and cafeteria foods are still full of crap and chemicals, but everything else is fair game for an inquisition-like search […]

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(Per)Fuming

Articles in all the major papers today, telling the world what many of us already knew – perfumes are toxic. The testing showed that each fragrance contains, on average, 14 chemicals that are not listed on the product label. In total, nearly 40 undisclosed chemicals were found in the 17 products tested. The products contained […]

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Not What You Want When You’re Sick

My very first job was delivering meals in a hospital. It was the 80s, and it was Nova Scotia, so we’re not taking Michelin 3-star cuisine here; the food was straightforward, comforting and fairly bland. But it was all made in-house, in a massive kitchen that (between patients and cafeteria) cooked 1200 meals three times […]

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Have You Got the Guts?

The Toronto Star ran a piece this morning about how Torontonians have the lowest rate of organ donation in the province. The theory as to why this is comes down to the size of the community – it’s easier to ignore the issues of your neighbours in a city, whereas in a small town, specific […]

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Bye Bye Beep

Okay, so it was never a healthy drink. On par with Tang, Sunny D or Kool-Aid, Beep was mostly sugar with some juice thrown in, but for many Nova Scotian kids, it was the beverage of choice. I haven’t had the stuff since my early 20s. Even after I moved to Toronto, my folks would […]

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The Savvy Shopper – Not Milk

Southern Ontario’s food community was shocked earlier this week when news came down that dairy farmer Michael Schmidt was acquitted of all 19 charges against him with regards to the production and sale of raw milk. Because of laws created in the early 20th century, it is illegal to sell or give away raw milk […]

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Ditzy Food Yapping

I suppose I’m as guilty as anyone else. No, I take that back, I’m not. I’ve loved everything to do with food and cooking since I was a young thing (see user pic), but I’d like to think that I’ve never bent anyone’s ear about it, that I haven’t bored anyone to death with minute […]

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Fortified

It’s no secret that I am adamantly against processed food products that make health claims. And my post about added pro-biotics in yogurt still gets numerous hits each day, which makes me think that this is an issue that confuses the average consumer. Health and nutrition are hot topics, and large food processors have figured […]

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Two Meals

Most of us, if we’re lucky, eat three times a day – or more. We can look at this activity as either a chore, or a joy. We can take pleasure in every flavour, every spice, every texture and smell, or we can look at eating as something we have to do to stay alive, […]

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Where Are the Chefs?

Today marks the beginning of two weeks of fantastic food-oriented television programming. Gordon Ramsay expands his Kitchen Nightmares series to try and get people to eat at local restaurants; Jamie Oliver takes on the pork industry in an effort to get producers to improve their husbandry standards; Heston Blumenthal has a 3-part series on his […]

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Duck, Duck, Goose

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of foie gras. Part of my job requires that I generally eat what is put in front of me, and I’ll eat the stuff if I have to, but it’s never something that I’ll make an effort to search out. Despite having an opinion on just […]

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The Deadwood of Canadian Food Safety

Saturday’s National Post had an article about how the Canadian Food Inspection Agency plans to allow companies to police themselves when it comes to health and safety inspections. The document, addressed to the president of the agency, details how the inspection of meat and meat products will downgrade agency inspectors to an “oversight role, allowing […]

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Dinner in the Sky

Sometimes it pays to be critical. Many bloggers and writers work on the Thumper policy – if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. But twice in the past few months, I’ve been offered opportunities to do something based on a snarky or critical comment I’ve made on TasteTO. The first […]

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Product of Canada

Did you know that Canada grows some fine pineapples? Or that we have many thriving chocolate plantations? If you’re a grocery label reader, it might be easy to assume that all of those prepared products labelled “product of Canada” were grown here. But the current law is a little bit slippery. A recent Reuters piece […]

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Mr. Ramsay Has a Cupcake

Reputation is an odd thing. By making sweepingly asshatted pronouncements (SAP), Chef Gordon Ramsay has gotten himself a reputation for saying really stupidly elitist things that piss people off and show a real lack of common sense. Last week it was his SAP that restaurants should all be fined if they don’t serve seasonal food. […]

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The Real Food Dilemma

I haven’t had time in the past week to talk about the Michael Pollan lecture. Mostly, I think, because it’s wasn’t actually that inspiring. It wasn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, he just didn’t say much of anything new. The brief hour started with Pollan reading an excerpt from In Defense of Food, then being […]

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Who Picked Your Produce

I’ve had this piece from Chow: The Grinder bookmarked for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve been meaning to discuss it. In a development that’s surprised exactly no one, fruits and vegetables are rotting in fields across the United States after a crackdown on illegal immigration. It interests me because of the issues surrounding […]

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The Case For Taste

So in the great “eat local” debate, what if it all came down to taste? Ed Levine posts a really interesting piece today on Serious Eats debating the ethics of eating local over taste. What if your local produce is actually crap? What if the stuff from waaaaaay across the continent tastes better than the […]

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Totally Fun

I have a friend who is a music journalist. Over the years, she has become quite respected in her field and is often asked to give quotes and interviews on certain bands or music-industry-related issues. She once told me that she refuses to do any interviews for print media, and will only do radio or […]

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Cooking For Dummies

It’s pretty much been determined that The Food Network has been dumbed down to make it more “entertaining” as opposed to educational. Cooking shows never give you the recipe for things anymore, and viewers choose their programming based on pretty hair, big boobs and which TV celebrity chef has the most gadgets for sale. Apparently […]

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The Cost of Service

The Toronto Star is reporting that Joe Badali’s restaurant has backed down from a proposed $2 levy against their servers to cover the costs of cleaning aprons. A popular Toronto restaurant has backed down after trying to claw back most of the extra 20 cents an hour it has to pay its minimum-wage waiters. Joe […]

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Eat the Rich

Before we even officially launch this site, I want to make something perfectly clear – while TasteTO was created in order to celebrate all of the wonderful food choices we have here in Toronto, we should never ever forget that there are a lot of people in our city who do not have those options. […]

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Let There Be Pie

About a year ago, I wrote a post bemoaning the transfats in shortening and a bunch of people suggested that I try a butter crust for making pies. I was generally pleased with a butter crust – it handles great and tastes delicious, but I was never totally happy with the fact that it seemed […]

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The Fish List

It’s the middle of summer and there’s nothing tastier than some lovely fresh fish. But wait – aren’t fish bad for you now? Or are they good for you again? And some of them have been overfished, haven’t they? And what about pollution? Buying fish can be a confusing process. Besides obvious concerns about taste, […]

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Getting Real About Cereal

I’m sure they must be terribly alluring. Those colorful bins of sweetened treats, the cute workers in their pyjamas to ring up your order. Even the sneaking knowledge that you’re getting away with something, by ordering up a bowl of your favourite childhood breakfast cereal instead of something more, well… grown up. But here’s the […]

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Canned Goods and Tinfoil Hats

Greg thinks I’m a bit of a weirdo for laying claim to a section of shelf space in the closet to create a pantry. After Hurricane Katrina, although we are nowhere near New Orleans, or any hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, forestfire or landslide danger zone, I got all “emergency preparedness” crazy. Because shit could still […]

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Dumb and Dumber

One of my first posts when I started up this journal was about how I hated the Food Network, about how I thought it was becoming insipid and fluffy and annoying. Turns out I’m not alone. Bill Burford of the New Yorker has written a piece for the latest issue on the dumbing down of […]

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