On the Shelf – August/September Food Finds

It seems I’ve been remiss in keeping you all up to date on the great food finds I’ve come across lately. Apologies, because I shouldn’t have been keeping this stuff to myself. Like these fabulous waffles from the folks at Monckton Organic Farms and Bakery. These folks grow and grind their own grains and then turn it into breads, bagels, cookies, muffins and scones that they sell at a variety of local markets including Liberty Village, Green Barns and Trinity-Bellwoods. The waffles are $5 for a bag of 3, come in whole wheat, spelt and occasionally blueberry and need only a few minutes in the oven to warm up and get crisp and tasty. We’ve been eating them all summer with a changing variety of berries.

If you like dried apple chips, then why not pear chips? Gurth Pretty and the folks at Cheese of Canada make these with solar dryers and sell them to pair with some of the tasty cheeses they offer. Seen here with a wedge of salty, pungent Blue d’Elizabeth cheese from Quebec, I can’t think of a better snack. Find Pretty and his crew at the farmers markets at Nathan Phillips Square and Metro Hall.

The Chinese mid-Autumn festival takes place on September 22nd, but the traditional moon cakes are already showing up in stores and bakeries in Chinatown. Given as gifts for good luck, the cakes contain a salted duck egg, surrounded by a sweet paste (red bean paste in this case) and then wrapped in a molded pastry. Moon cakes come in a variety of flavours (white lotus paste is the most traditional but they even come in varieties with ham), and vary in price from around $4 for cakes with no eggs to up to $10 each for cakes with 3 or more eggs (more eggs equals more luck and wealth). These ones came from Kim Moon Bakery (38 Dundas Street West).

And what’s moon cakes without tea? Okay, so Kusmi Tea is not the traditional jasmine tea served with Chinese meals but this blended tea from France is amazing. I balked at the $20.99 price tag, but this Russian blend of black tea with orange lemon and bergamot is quite addictive. Not for everyday, but we’ll be keeping some on hand for our fancy tea-drinking needs. This one came from Everyday Gourmet in the lower level of St. Lawrence Market south (95 Front Street East) where they’ve got a number of the various Russian blends.