On the Shelf – Food Finds for May

Oh, we found wonderful and tasty stuff to share with you this month.

We’re big fans of the crackers and biscuits from Evelyn’s Crackers, and they’ve just come out with two new flavours. The Saw-Bucks are made with buckwheat and red fife flour, as well as spelt flakes and currants. They’re like a heartier, healthier version of the British Garibaldi biscuit. And the Berkshire biscuits are made with lard sourced from Berkshire pigs. Don’t turn your nose up, lard makes for tasty, tasty everything – especially biscuits. Available at farmers’ markets throughout the city and select stores (check the link for a full list).

They see me coming at Alex Farms (St. Lawrence Market, 93 Front Street East and others) and start hauling out new stuff for me to sample. The one that won my heart recently was Gris Bleu Lait Cru, a layered combination of blue and brie cheeses made of raw goat’s milk and raw cow’s milk. The whole thing is covered with ash from Italian olive trees. It’s salty and briny and pungent while also being creamy and smooth. It’s got a long aftertaste – despite adoring it while it’s being eaten, I always need to go brush my teeth afterwards – and it goes great with pears or apples. We’ve also been pairing it with a homemade peach chutney.

This selection of pastries from Brazil Bakery and Pastry (1554 Dundas Street West and others) includes an almond tart (the flaky pastry of a traditional custard tart, but full of frangipane and topped with almonds), a coconut maracoon, and a large fluffy cookie with a cake-like texture and a thin layer of frosting.

That there is a big ol’ filet of smoked trout from Akiwenzie’s Fish. If you’re not familiar with the Akiwenzie folks, they are a First Nations commercial fishing enterprise, offering fresh and smoked lake fish (whitefish and trout) this is smoked according to traditional methods. Besides regular smoked fish, they also offer some fun flavours like tandoori, honey garlic and cajun. They package their products in a variety of sizes so you can buy a little or a lot.  The Akiwenzies vend at a variety of farmers’ markets around town including Dufferin Grove, Green Barns and Brickworks.

We’re addicted to these amazing fair trade chocolate bars we found at The Good Catch General Store (1556 Queen Street West). Created using Belgian chocolate by Galerie au Chocolat in Montreal, these bars comes in a variety of flavours such as green tea, early grey, sea salt, maple crunch (our favourite) cappuccino and a flavour called “fire” which is full of chilis.