Flavourful Saskatoon, April 20, 2020

Local News 
Jenn Sharp’s book, Flat Out Delicious: Your Definitive Guide to Saskatchewan’s Food Artisans, is now available from Touchwood Editions, McNally Robinson Booksellers, and Amazon. Jenn discusses the book and her interest in food in an interview with Touchwood Editions.

Steep Hill Food Co-op has posted photos of all their shelves on Facebook, making it so much easier to order by phone or email. Be sure to include your phone and member numbers. Orders can be picked up at the store.

Sparrow Coffee has started offering a pickup service with everything from coffee beans and lattes to soups, salads, and cinnamon buns from 10 am-3 pm, Wednesday to Friday. City Perks Coffeehouse hopes to initiate curbside pickup as well in the next couple of weeks.

I picked up pies from Trent at Scratch Provisions this week and was delighted to have so many vegetarian options, among them Mushroom with Wild Rice & Toasted Walnut, Egyptian Lentil with Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflower, or (if you’re feeling adventurous) Fiore di Latte Mozzarella with Broccoli, Pickled Raisins & Toasted Almonds.

Ordering online from the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market makes it even easier to try something new. I already enjoyed Nomadic Bistro’s baklava, so I decided to try the mhajeb. Mhajeb is a thin stuffed semolina pancake (also described as a pastry, flatbread, and egg roll). Mhajeb means “labour of love” and it’s an Algerian/North African specialty. It reminded me of French crèpes. Nomadic Bistro’s have a thin layer of tomato sauce with lots of very finely chopped and sautéed onions. I enjoyed them and will order them again.

Food for Thought 
“North America once had 17,000 named varieties of domesticated apples, but only about 4,500 are known to exist today.” Two retirees have rediscovered 23 ‘lost’ apples in the Pacific Northwest. “The latest finds include the Sary Sinap, an ancient apple from Turkey; the Streaked Pippin, which may have originated as early as 1744 in New York; and the Butter Sweet of Pennsylvania, a variety that was first noted in a trial orchard in Illinois in 1901.”

The pandemic has revealed the fragility of our food system. More people are turning to CSAs and backyard food production, not to mention chickens. Gluts of milk and shortages of truck drivers are also pointing to the weaknesses in our food distribution system. Will it lead to greater consideration of domestic and regional food security and how to best balance that with imports and exports?

“If we want restaurants to return to trading . . . we need to give them our business as soon as we feel able to do so. It’s as simple as that.”

Covid is shining a light on our need for migrant food workers. 80 experienced beekeepers will be flying from Nicaragua to Canada to ensure our crops are pollinated. The costs are being covered by the Canadian Honey Council.

With thanks to Sparrow Coffee, Scratch Provisions, and Nomadic Bistro for the use of their photographs.

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan nature/environmental initiatives and events. 

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