Where Can I Find – Red Fife Flour?

multipleflourThe “Where Can I Find?” column is a new bi-weekly feature here at TasteTO starting this week. We’ll research and track down hard to find items and let you know where they’re available. Got a question for the “Where Can I Find” lady? Drop us a line.

I see red fife flour showing up on restaurant menus that have a local food theme, but where can I get this product to bake with at home?

The hot ingredient this summer is most definitely red fife flour. Restaurateurs and bakers from Jamie Kennedy and Marc Thuet to St. John’s Bakery are using this wholly Canadian product, and articles about the history and near extinction of the grain are popping up in a variety of publications from MacLean’s and Toronto Life to Edible Toronto.

The short version – red fife wheat was first planted near Peterborough in 1842 by David and Jane Fife, and it became the backbone of the Canadian wheat industry, giving Canada the nickname “granary of the world”. Immigrants were given free seeds to encourage them to settle on the prairies and become farmers. Over the years, red fife fell out of favour as other varieties derived from the red fife strain became more popular because of shorter growing times and higher yields. The original strain was on the verge of extinction by 1988 when a seed-saver activist named Sharon Rempel got her hands on a pound of seed and planted it in Keremeos, British Columbia.

Continue reading “Where Can I Find – Red Fife Flour?”

My Invisible Children

There’s nothing more disconcerting than to be flipping through a glossy print magazine while riding the streetcar across town and to come across your own name mentioned in an article where you’d never expect to see yourself included.

In this month’s Toronto Life, writer Katrina Onstad looks at the issue of hipsters with babies. About halfway through the article, I come across this…

Sheryl Kirby, the editor of foodie web site Taste T.O., has kids herself, but even she’s posted about “self-involved” parents in restaurants. “I was at a brunch place recently where a toddler made it out the door and onto the front sidewalk because his parents and their dining companions were too busy comparing tattoos to keep an eye on him.”

Nevermind that that’s NOT the exact quote, which, best as I can tell was lifted and rearranged from a brunch review I did of a place in my neighbourhood. But the writer never bothered to contact me. Not to get a quote, and not to confirm whether or not I had kids.

Dear Toronto Life,

It’s a good thing my mother doesn’t read your magazine, otherwise I would be inundated with phone calls as she demanded to see her non-existant grandchildren.

While I found Katrina Onstad’s article on hipsters with babies to be informative, interesting and well-balanced, I must admit to wondering where she got her information.

While I greatly appreciate the mention of my website Taste T.O. in her article, and recognize the quote she uses as part of a review I did recently on Parkdale restaurant Mitzi’s Sister, she is incorrect in stating that I have children of my own. I am, in fact, QUITE adamantly child-free.

What I don’t understand is why Onstad or a Toronto Life fact-checker didn’t contact me personally to confirm the information included in the article. It’s not as if it’s difficult to contact me online.

If my relatives track down a copy of your magazine and start sending me booties, onesies, and Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls, it’s on all of your heads.

Sheryl Kirby
Editor, TasteTO.com

Dunno if that will do any good, at best it will get published in the letters section or garner a retraction. But sheesh – people complain about bloggers not checking facts – how about the high-profile, high-paid journalists?

UPDATE – Apparently the fact-checker at Toronto Life misread some comments on a post to TasteTO and blended my comment with that of a previous poster who mentioned having 4 kids. Apologies were offered, but both Greg and I are now getting emails from friends and acquaintances who “never knew you guys had kids”. I suspect this will go on long past the point of being funny. In the meantime, we plan to enjoy our status as new parents and have named the four invisible children Larry, Curly, Mo and Shemp. We are excitedly looking forward to the birth of their little brother Joe.