Food Notes for October 29, 2012

  • The annual Chili Cookoff, one of the proceedings of River City Round-Up, has expanded from Scotia Place onto Churchill Square this year. 24 competitors will be vying for your votes, at $2/bowl. Look for it on November 2, 2012, from 11:30am-1:30pm. For more on the chili cookoff, check out Jennifer Crosby’s blog this week.
  • There are a few opportunities to win admission tickets to the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival on this weekend at the Shaw Conference Centre – check out Karlynn, Chris, Diane, Lillian and Michelle’s blogs for your chance to win!
  • Zocalo debuted their new glassed-in courtyard space this weekend, which will feature some cafe tables. Check it out the next time you’re in Little Italy!
  • Both Liv and Marlow Moo gave Social Modern Pub the thumbs up.
  • EnRoute Magazine announced their list of Canada’s Best Restaurants 2012 last week. Although Edmonton was shut out, two Calgary establishments made the cut: Model Milk and Borgo.
  • Come Dine with Me Canada shines the spotlight on Edmonton this week, featuring dinner parties thrown by five different local foodies. Check out the program on the W Network.
  • If you were at all on Twitter on Friday, you would have no doubt seen all of the chatter about Edmonton’s Food and Agriculture Strategy, which was being discussed at a non-statutory public hearing that day. The Journal has a summary of the proceedings, which will be continuing on November 2.
  • Mark Bittman wants to see better labels on foods. He knows it is a bit of a dream at the moment (though it is now under the purview of the FDA), but I have to say the mockups are an amazing start, covering three categories: nutrition, “foodness”, and welfare. See for yourself.
  • It was great to see Angie at the City Market on Saturday! Angie has resurrected her sister’s label Kerstin’s Chocolates, who chocophiles in Edmonton would be familiar with. Find them at the market until at least Christmas.

Kerstin's Chocolates

Angie of Kerstin’s Chocolates

  • I caught up with some girlfriends at Blue Plate Diner on Saturday, and had their Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich ($15) for the first time. I loved the idea of turkey, bacon and tomato layered on top of sourdough, then baked with a mornay sauce and cheese. The sauce was a bit unevenly distributed, resulting in overly saturated bread in half the dish, and crackling dry crust in the other. But as a whole, I did enjoy it, and I can’t say enough about their yam fries!

Blue Plate Diner

Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich

  • I love introducing my favourite restaurants to friends. Last week, it was Pho Tau Bay to one of my coworkers who has never had beef noodle soup before. She loved it!

Pho Tau Bay

Pho from Pho Tau Bay

4 thoughts on “Food Notes for October 29, 2012

  1. Thanks so much for the shout-out for the blog – very flattered to be included in your weekly round-up!

    And that hot sandwich looks amazing! Blue Plate is one of my brunch favourites.

  2. The food labels look pretty good, but I wish they would swap out “welfare” for “sustainability”. I imagine there’s a part of the population that would be dumb enough to associate a high welfare food with people on welfare. Sustainability can mean the same thing without the negative connotation.

    I don’t like how the label penalizes frozen food. In many circumstances, freezing ensures you get a “fresher” product than the “fresh” product. Consider seafood: a lot of products are now processed and frozen right on the boat, withing a few hours of catch. You simply cannot beat that quality. Fish connoisseurs worldwide are rapidly acknowledging that in many cases, frozen is superior to fresh, since that fresh fish might have been decaying for days while that frozen product, from catch to plate, may have only touched air for a few hours.

    Additionally, while those labels are good, there’s still a fundamental lack of information: source. “Made in” or “product of” labeling needs to change. If a product has 20 ingredients, saying it’s made next door or in China is irrelevant and is misinformation. If 19 out of 20 of the ingredients came from somewhere else, being made next door doesn’t make it a local product. If a product is grown here but processed or packaged in China, it’s still a local product.

    I’d like to hear your comments 🙂

  3. Guybob – thanks for the thoughtful comment. I agree with that “welfare” can be misinterpreted, but I do like how it encompasses the environmental, people and animal aspect – the conntation of “sustainability” to me is primarily environmental.

    You’re right that sometimes frozen food is better – quality-wise, and so long as we are able, does mean we can preserve harvests of seasonal produce to last us beyond just the growing season.

    And yes, origin labelling is definitely important. I wonder if Bittman doesn’t cover it because it is already something required (though not to the detail that you cover). I do like his inclusion of a box specifically addressing GMO, however.
    This is definitely a great topic of discussion – thanks for this!

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