Are we abandoning flavour for sweetness?

I ate a couple of ears of corn, roasted on the barbecue, for dinner tonight. They were much sweeter than the corn I had a couple of weeks ago from T&T. They put me in mind of other very sweet foods that have been developed over the last 10 years

  • apples
  • cherry tomatoes (now see: pear tomatoes, teardrop tomatoes, etc.)
  • beets

I don’t know what else.

But the corn I ate tonight was sweet, very sweet. It had almost no other flavour than sweetness. I remember when peaches & cream corn was a novelty, how sweet it was compared to what we were used to. Now it’s hard to find corn that tastes… like corn. What are we breeding?

I’ll ask the same thing about little bitty tomatoes. We’re breeding them sweeter and less red. What are we losing when we choose sweet? Are there fewer lycopenes? Carotenoids? Is anyone paying any attention?

Are we abandoning all taste sensation other than sweetness? Is this a result (or simply something that goes along with) all the sweeteners that have been added to everything?

Hullo, are we losing the benefits of these foods?

Rant: that’s NOT cream, Sealtest & Nielson!

Hot weather’s here.

When it’s hot, I love to have a mug of cold vichyssoise and a salad for lunch or dinner.

I scored some lovely fresh garlic scapes at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market on the weekend (my recipe is on Natalie MacLean’s site).

Today I went to Loblaws to get some cream (I use chicken broth to make the soup, and a little cream to finish it off). Alas, that Loblaw’s at Leslie and Lakeshore being what it is, they had absolutely no Organic Meadow cream, only industrial milk company products. The same at Price Chopper, across the street.

Why don’t I like buying cream from Sealtest or Nielsen? Because I don’t like the ingredient list.

Sealtest’s light cream (5% milk fat) contains: milk, cream, modified milk ingredients, maltodextrin, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, guar gum, carrageenan.

Their half-and-half contains: milk, cream, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, carrageenan.

Whipping cream? cream, milk, carrageenan, mono and dyglycerides, carboxymethyl cellulose, polysorbate 80.

Lists were similar for Nielson (unfortunately, since they’ve been acquired by Saputo, their website is down, and Saputo doesn’t seem to provide this detail on their site).

When I want to add cream to soup, I want to add cream. I don’t want to be adding cellulose and thickeners, corn sugars and other stuff.  Why are you adding this to your cream?

Just give me the real food. Thank you, Organic Meadow, for having an ingredient list that reads: cream.

 

JD’s got himself some sauces

JD’s got a small booth, but don’t overlook it. He’s a chef who has created a couple of sauces that he’s selling at the Delicious Food Show.

Meet J.D.

Two sauces:

JD's sauces

And a bunch of bottles.

JD's branding

He had samples of the sauces, and some salmon in the sweet chili sauce. I didn’t try the salmon, but I did try the chili sauce on its own: it’s got nice slow heat from the combination of peppers he’s used, and it’s got flavour to go with it, so it’s not just heat and sweet. Good going, JD!

Cheese and not-cheese

Compare and contrast.

No, I won’t do that, because that’s comparing apples and …hmm. bread? Two vastly different categories, although both are in similar spaces.

Fifth town, if you read back in my blog, is an organic cheese maker based in Prince Edward County. And they’re here, at the Delicious Food Show. I picked up some of their Quark cheese. I had never tasted quark until this summer, when they drizzled some maple syrup over some and offered tastes. Yes, I’ll take that over dessert any day, thanks. It’s delicious.

Fifth Town Cheese

The other was a maker, Daiya, that I had heard about, and I saw their products when the Foodist Mart was briefly open in Leslieville. They create a vegan product that tastes like cheese.

Daiya

They had some slices of pizza out with their mozzarella-like cheese-like product, and I took one and ate it. It did have a cheesy flavour, it melted like mozzarella, and looked like it, too. So for vegans who miss the taste of cheese, there’s a product out for you! They also had some grilled cheese sandwiches with a cheddar-like product, but after wandering all the stalls, I confess, I was sated, and didn’t try it.

Thermomix: *the* kitchen appliance for a small space?

Something else I saw at the Delicious Food Show today — it’s called the Thermomix by Vorwerk. It’s for sale in Montreal and at the show, and they ship, darling.

Amazing cooking machine

It measures by weight. It can do a lot of the work that a blender or food processor does. It’ll knead your bread dough for you. And it will cook your risotto or (absolutely delicious) carrot soup.

If you’ve got a small kitchen, this could replace a number of appliances. It holds 2.5 litres — Mme. Vineberg was generally working with 2L in it.

Here, have some risotto.

Have some risotto!

As you can see, it’s pretty compact.

St. Phillips deli•bakery•café

I was walking past St. Phillip‘s booth, and accosted by a young woman bearing a tray of creampuffs. I was forced to accept (really). (Well, not really. But I really liked it.)

St Phillips bakery #2

I took a look around the place and spoke with them briefly. They have two locations —  one in Woodbridge, one in Maple, and plans are underfoot to open one in Toronto (alas, nowhere near where I live).

The creampuff was tasty.

The visuals of some of their cakemanship (I’m sure that’s not a word, but I don’t know how to express the one-up quality and detailing of what they do).

This is the side of their booth. That torso in the dress? A cake.

St Phillips bakery #1

 Clown? A cake. The chocolate brown thing to the right is the closest one comes to seeing a cake-cake.

But I have to call out the luggage.

Couture luggage cake

 Woh.

Awesome.

I love Kozlik’s.

They’re at the Delicious Food Show. I hope more people try Kozlik’s mustards and horseradish. They are my absolute favorite purveyor of those items.

Kozlik's mustard

I usually buy their products at the Saint Lawrence Market. I’m a huge fan of their horseradish: it’s got heat and flavour. Totally clears out the sinuses. Has taste and works well in a Bloody Caesar as well as being served alongside a hunk of prime rib, or mixed in with some applesauce to go with pork (think I got that trick from the Joy of Cooking).

One of my favorite mustards is the triple crunch: it’s the caviar of mustards. Three different types of seed — makes a beautiful visual. Has an awesome flavour. Your teeth bear down on a seed that’s been softened and expanded with vinegar, and it explodes in your mouth with pure flavour, the way a fish egg does. It’s awesome. Put some on a slice of aged cheddar and eat it. Your toes will curl with pleasure.

One of the big reasons I love Kozlik’s is their customer service. My father can’t eat sulphites, and for years, this has meant the only mustard he could eat was the Keen’s powdered mustard, which my mother would add water to and make a paste.

I called to find out if any of their mustards or horseradishes were sulphite-free, and got a phone call back (I think it was Jeremy who called), and had a superb conversation. I couldn’t get my Dad a pure horseradish (it requires sulphites to keep it) but I could get him a horseradish mustard (wow, was it tasty). I was also given the names of two other mustards I could get him that were sulphite-free.

You treat a customer well, it’s remembered forever.

Tracy’s drizzles, spreads, and jellies

Tracy knows what she’s doing.

Tracy of Tracy's

Her booth attracted me because it was clean, well-laid out, organized. Her food was all there for sampling.  She reeled me in with a taste of her *no sugar added* bumbleberry spread, which was absolutely delicious.

Delicious menu of spreads

Bonus on the spreads!

She makes beautiful food. Look at this trio of drizzles.

Tasty trio at Tracy's

And she recommends what to do with them. Sometimes it’s things I wouldn’t expect. Like… use the drizzles on meatballs. Genius. And the picture makes them look mouth-watering.

Use with meatballs

Then I had to sample more things.

So many choices.

Treats of tastiness

Even more choices.

More choices

Delicious, jewel-like jellies. She uses Niagara wines, adds fruit, and reduces them.

Beautiful refractions

I left with a Vidal icewine jelly and port jelly for myself, and a gift pack for my sister-in-law’s parents at Christmas (shhhh! don’t tell them!)

 

Lobster Mousse at the Delicious Food Show

A small booth with a couple of products. That’s all you need, when you do a great job with the products. Such is the case with Little Shop of Lobsters at the show (if you miss this show, they’ll be back for One-of-a-Kind).

Lobster and crab mousse

I had real difficulties deciding between the crab mousse and the lobster mousse. In the end, I bought the lobster mousse. In addition to being good on crackers, I imagine it would be great with some linguine as a sauce — they recommended warming it in a double boiler so the sauce doesn’t split. Originally from New Brunswick, the owners of Little Shop of Lobsters are now located in the Niagara region, providing mouses (and chowders) to those of us waaaay inland.