Chef Loseto holds that the farmers always complain, and this week, it is about the cold and rainy weather we have had. Produce is late and water-logged, decreasing their yields. But so far, the Chef says, Ontario produce has been excellent, if slightly scarce. Prices are up a lot from last year at this time but higher US prices may be driving this. Like last month, the Chef says English peas are amazing.
Asparagus is finally done, but all the Ontario berries are here and delicious this year. Ontario cherries are a little soft but there were some white ones which were really good if you see them. The sour cherries, our favourite this time of the year, look good.
The Chef bought field zucchini and zucchini flowers which he liked a lot. There are lots of herbs, and baby carrots and beets which are good. Ontario lettuces are appearing. Watch out for lettuces and greens grown by Greenbelt Microgreens which are sold at various stores around Toronto. Quite a superior organic product. See here.
The Chef has now abandoned the import side of the Food Terminal, except he did buy California figs and citrus. He noted there was a shortage of hothouse peppers and there will all season because some of the green house have shut down. Apparently it was a bad year last year. There are lots of hothouse tomatoes available but the really good field ones will not start for a month. Try buying only a few at a time so that you do not have to keep them in the fridge. If you put them in the fridge, take them out and let them warm up to room temperature before using them.
Wild BC chanterelles and pine mushrooms have arrived.
We have received the first shipment of natural organic Qu’Appelle Valley beef from Saskatchewan. This is a new producer, owned by one of our sons, which has just started production. Olliffe’s on Yonge Street (owned by other sons) is carrying it. The Chef is switching to lighter meats at GEORGE and is offering Ontario Muscovy duck with a sous vide grilled breast and confit legs in ravioli.
Summer fish have arrived, featuring wild mid-Atlantic cobia, swordfish, and whole tuna from Nova Scotia. There seems to be a shortage of OceanWise certified shrimp and we have taken it off the GEORGE menu.