Locavore food share programs

Photo credit: Culinarium / Ontario Artisan Share

I know. Hannah and I haven’t posted in a while. Our apologies on the recent radio silence. We had a number of serious personal events happen that have kept us away from Foodiologie. It may take a bit more time before we’re back on our regular posting schedule, but not to worry, we’ll be back soon. But enough about that, what of this locavore business?

Eating fresh and eating local is one of the things that means a lot to us. What it often translates into is how and where we shop, and what we put in our grocery basket: trips to farmers’ markets, finding small grocers that carry local produce, or just selecting locally grown foods from some of the larger grocery chains. A lot of times though, eating fresh and local also means eating at a higher cost and greater inconvenience. But all this is about to change, because Pietro, aka my husband-to-be, and I are joining a food share program through Culinarium in Toronto.

Food share programs are nothing new, but suprisingly, not too many people know about them, and even fewer participate. In reality, community food sharing is a significant part of human history. Only it’s far less prevalent in our big bustling cities, and complicated food production cycles nowadays – most of us are completely disconnected from the source(s) of our food. But we don’t have to be. Food share programs put our food and the farmers that produce it back into our frame of reference.

What’s great about the Culinarium food share programs are that you can choose the program that best suits you: produce-only, meat options, or even an artisan option where you can also get locally-made cheeses and pantry items like maple syrups, mustards, and oils in both meat and vegetarian options. The other benefit is that it’s affordable. The only difference is that you’re paying for your food upfront and securing your personal portion of food with the farmers you’re getting your food from. The farmer has secure orders before the harvest, and you get a gorgeous assortment of seasonal, local food products on a weekly basis when the time comes.

I can’t wait for my first basket.

For other food share programs across Canada, Food Share has a listing here. If you’re not from Canada, look for one in your area. Chances are, you’ll find one. They’re more common than you may think. Good luck!

Dumpling House

The Dumpling House (Photo credits: Vivian Chan)

The Dumpling House is an unassuming little establishment on the main drag of Chinatown in Toronto on Spadina Avenue. In the restaurant-front window, there are always 3 or 4 men and women making the dumplings: one manning the stove, another mixing the different fillings, and another one or two kneading the dough and rolling out perfectly circular dumpling skins. It’s probably for this reason that from the first time I walked past The Dumpling House, I’ve wanted to go in. There’s nothing like seeing what you’re going to eat made fresh before your eyes… and I suppose it helps that I love dumplings.

Recently, my fiancé and I paid The Dumpling House a visit. I was immediately surprised by how clean and vibrant the interior was. The service was also fantastic. Within seconds, we were seated with menus and steaming tea before us. Being newbies with empty stomachs, we naively ordered two steaming hot bowls of hot and sour soup (as you may know, an old favorite of mine) as well as two plates of dumplings – one pan fried, and the other steamed. Being in an adventuresome mood, we opted for 3 different types of dumplings for each plate (pork and chive, lamb meat, seafood, minced beef, mushroom and vegetables, and I believe the shrimp & pork). Continue reading

For the love of food

Food has always been a great passion and source of sharing and conversation for our family. We love to cook, bake, and explore new ingredients, but more than that, we love to eat. Over the years, the topic of starting our own food blogs has come up frequently for both my sister and I. This year, we decided, why not start one together and merge our ideas, thoughts, and opinions? The result, is Foodiologie.

Foodiologie will be a culmination of our philosophy around food: the idea of eating fresh, local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. What we’ll share are observations, tips, and recipes we’ve enjoyed (or maybe even not enjoyed) or had success with.

Happy eating!

Cool summer desserts for a hot, lazy Sunday afternoon

Photo credit: © Vivian Chan

(Originally posted on reKalibrate.com)

It’s the last day of the Canada Day long weekend. The weather’s been hot, humid, and beautifully sunny. It’s the perfect kind of weather that inspires cool, light desserts to go with that fruity beverage on a patio.

Continue reading

Parts & Labour: Parkdale’s hottest new spot

Photo credit: © Vivian Chan

(Originally posted on reKalibrate.com)

Last night was the grand opening of Parkdale’s highly anticipated new restaurant, Parts & Labour. Just down the street from Cowbell, Mitzi’s Sister, and the ever delightful Local Kitchen. The restaurant was renovated from an old hardware store, and a lot of the decor keeps that legacy in mind. An entryway that is lined with old car windshields, bar stools that look like huge springs, lights reminiscent of old fire extinguishers, and bar shelving that is styled like those that would be found in a garage. I love that. And it’s something the owners have a knack for doing very well, as we’ve seen in the other hot spots they’ve created: The Social, Oddfellows, and who could forget their flagship industrial design studio, Castor Design.

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Best seafood in town: Reykjavik’s Fish Company

(Originally posted on reKalibrate.com)

One of the things we’ve found, being in Reykjavik is that there is no shortage of fantastic places to eat. After a long day of diving, we went to check out the Fish Company on a recommendation from our dive guide the other night. “If you want the best seafood in the city, you should go to the Fish Company”, he said. Having dined there, I would say that if you want some of the best seafood in the world, go there. It was incredible. Continue reading

Never too late for roti

Ghandhi's butter chicken roti

Ghandhi’s butter chicken roti

No matter what kind of day I have had, nothing melts the tension and strain of the day away like a hot, saucy roti. Especially one made with love at Gandhi’s on Queen Street West in downtown Toronto.

If you haven’t yet, you should definitely try it. It’s like a hug wrapped in gorgeous Indian spices, sauces and a floury skin. And no matter what the occasion, there’s always room for a hug… Or at least a delicious roti.

GHANDHI’S, 554 Queen St W, Toronto, Canada, (416) 504-8155
(Originally posted in reKalibrate.com)