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Ontario Food Terminal hit by strike

chef

With summer and our growing season well behind us and facing a winter of root vegetables and imported produce, the fin de saison feeling at the Terminal gave way to the unpleasantness of long line ups as Teamster strikers blocked the way. This was caused by a strike last week at one of the import shops at the Terminal, Il Pollito, which the Chef patronizes only infrequently. Il Pollito’s workers took to the streets surrounding the entire Terminal to make their point to their employer. The strike now continues into its second week.

Most of the Ontario farmers have packed up for the year, leaving only a game few selling mostly root vegetables. Nevertheless, the Chef bought good leeks, Brussel sprouts, kale (which he is deliciously preparing in a tempura batter), rapini, chicory, broccoli and potatoes. He liked the Ontario hothouse vegetables on display which included tomatoes, eggplants and cucumbers. One vendor sold him delicious cauliflower. Baby kale is available in the Terminal as well as nice winter lettuces, particularly the radicchios.

A particularly nice radicchio

A particularly nice radicchio

On the import side, Chef Loseto recommends very sweet fennel which he loved as well as superb Belgian endives from Belgium. Also noteworthy were California black table grapes as well as California grapefruits and oranges, just starting to replace the inferior South American varieties. California satsuma oranges are sensational. Get them now at the beginning of the season when they are at their best.

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Chef Loseto did not like the look of the California persimmons on offer.

From Europe he found good pomegranates, plums and kiwis.

Wild pine mushrooms from BC have arrived but are very expensive. BC wild chanterelles are going strong and there are wild lobster mushrooms and blue chanterelles which the Chef thinks his customers do not like. He strongly recommends a new Ontario farmed Maitaki mushroom.

The Chef continues to move to heavier meats and has acquired some fine Ontario Berkshire pork tenderloins as well as large Ocean-Wise prawns for his lunch menus.

At dinner, the Chef has added bison cheeks and fresh squabs, both from Quebec which he likes a lot. Duck confit is back on the menu.

The Chef’s fall desserts include pumpkin cheesecake, apple pastry pie and chocolate crepes with hot chili chocolate sauce.