Food Links: Is cauliflower the new caviar?

By Tim Alamenciak - Published on January 18, 2016
Cauliflower is becoming unaffordable for some Ontario restaurants.

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Every week, TVO.org talks Food Chain — snack on these policy, nutrition and food safety nuggets from around the province and beyond.

High prices force cauliflower off the menu

Between the California drought and the low Canadian dollar, a head of cauliflower is quickly becoming out of reach for restaurants, going for as much as $8 a head. A report in the National Post says some restaurants are increasing the price of cauliflower dishes while others are scrapping the vegetable entirely. Toronto restaurant, Fat Pasha, offered a menu item of a whole head of cauliflower, seasoned and roasted. Chef Kevin Gilmour said they would have to charge $18 to $40 to serve the signature dish today, more than double the previous amount.

90-year-old P.E.I. farmer still feeds the cows daily

John Lister doesn’t believe in retirement. The 90-year-old Prince Edward Island farmer tends to a herd of 40 beef cattle on his own, using his walking stick to check on them and lifting bales of hay with the help of a tractor. His philosophy is simple – stay active and eat good food. He stopped farming dairy cows about eight years ago when milking became difficult, and plans to recruit help planting his next bean crop, but retirement is out of the question. “What would I do?” he says to a CBC reporter.

The marketing machine behind the next big food trend

The Globe and Mail has a look at the push behind pulses, declared 2016’s food of the year by the United Nations. The massive promotion of pulses — which include beans, peas and lentils — could be a significant boost to Canadian agriculture, which currently supplies 35 per cent of the world’s pulses. This type of publicity was last seen in 2013, which was declared the year of quinoa. The UN declaration increased global demand and created a ravenous market for the relatively unknown grain.

Windsor Pizza Co. brings southern Ontario pie to Calgary

As donairs are to Halifax, pizza is to Windsor — at least according to Carly Labadie, co-owner of the recently opened Windsor Pizza Co. in Calgary. Their pizza-making uses distinctly Windsor techniques, such as shredding the toppings as well as the cheese and baking the pies in high temperature, gas-powered ovens, for a crispier crust. The pizza store also has its own version of a sauce inspired by Windsor’s Tunnel Bar-B-Q, a now-closed famous restaurant chain in the city.

Don’t believe everything you read

An upscale Toronto restaurant has a track record of misleading menu statements, according to a report in the Toronto Star. Azure Restaurant & Bar featured several menu descriptions that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency deemed inaccurate in examinations dating back to 2013. “Organic” granola was in fact boxed Quaker Harvest Crunch, according to the Star story. Farmed salmon was passed off as wild — a problem in restaurants and some markets. The manager of the InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel, which contains the restaurant, said the agency’s concerns around menu descriptions were addressed immediately. 

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