Mmmm, Cheddary Goodness

Monday, May 07, 2007
On Saturday, my brother, his kids and I headed out for some weekend shopping. Our first stop was the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. Probably the best (at least within the actual city limits) but always crowded and too warm inside the building (it’s open year round hence the indoor location). We picked up a few veggies, some zucchini patties and a wheat bag. For those of you who may not be familiar with them, wheat bags can be heated or frozen and applied to aching muscles. They work wonders! The kids also picked up some kettle corn and buffalo jerky (ick). After fighting the crowds, we headed towards a neighbourhood cheese shop.

I have to admit I thought these had gone the way of the local butcher and bakery here in North America. However, a mere three blocks from my tiny little hovel is Paddy’s International Cheese Market. A whole store dedicated to cheese? Orgasmic. There were a number of samples out for us to try – sheep’s gouda, jalapeno Monterey Jack (one of my faves), something with the rind still attached, and a French cheese beginning with a C. Not sure what it was but it certainly was delicious. Perhaps Coulommiers? It was a hard cheese… I’ll have to go back and find out. There was also one which looked like chedder but was labeled “Leicestershire Cheese” and was described as having a butterscotch/nutty flavour. Eeeew. I’ll have to check with my British bloggers on that one. I did not try it. They also had a wide variety of crackers/hard breads ranging from plain soda-type crackers to fancy schmancy herb encrusted melbas. And there was pate (ick). I came away with a big block jalapeno havarti (I prefer the creaminess of the havarti to the less cream jack).

It’s a shame that local butchers and bakeries (and delicious cheese shops) are no longer common throughout North America. I’d much rather “buy local” than support some giant conglomerate such as Save On, Safeway, or Sobeys (no, not all of our major chains begin with an S). What happened to the days when people bought fresh groceries and just as much as they needed, not a years worth of frozen/boxed processed food in one go? Shame.

5 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Ottawa had at least two cheese shops in the Byward Market. I'm not terribly into cheese; I like it well enough but I'm not a connoisseur like you, or my dad (who keeps a wheel of Stilton around at all times).

Red said...

Perhaps the French cheese was Comté? It's one of my faves. Mmmmmm....

I hear your complain and agree with it. My family in Italy still buy bread from a bakery, cheese and milk from a milk shop, charcuterie from the er... charcutier (norcineria in Italian) and vegetables from the greengrocer. They also use the supermarket, but only for things like pasta (and not the fresh kind, which they get from the pasta all'uovo), cans of pulses and stuff like that. It's time-consuming, but everything is so much better!

Gardenia said...

EXACTLY! I love Farmers Markets, love, love. It sounds as if you had quite an adventure. We have a great market on the otherside of town - my daughter just bought me home some baba ganoush - of the best kind. Olives in bins! Samples here and there. And not Sam's Club carboard pizza squares - but delicious cheeses - meats - then there is the local health food store with a little deli in it - - I've found good bread (for USA) in Panera. That's a restaurant, that also sells the bread. Ahhh, here's to the real thing!

kelly said...

I love stopping in the local bakery, my favourite is called a copenhagen..it is flakey pastry rolled like a cinnamon bun but it is filled with bavarian cream....now thats orgasmic!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We've got a kick-ass cheese shop nearby and it's right beside a fish market on one side and a really good liquor store on the other. I'm in heaven there.

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