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Thursday, September 10, 2009

St. Lawrence Market- Toronto

Whenever I go back to Toronto there are always a few places that I visit. The St. Lawrence Market is one of those places. It is big and you can find pretty much anything you are look for there, it was even chosen as one of the 25 best food markets in the world by Food and Wine magazine.
The market building itself used to be Toronto's original City Hall and was built in 1850. The St Lawrence Market started in 1803 in another location and moved to its present location in 1901 and is right in the middle of downtown Toronto. The neighborhood surrounding it is very pretty and nice to take a stroll through. Here are a few shots:

The market boasts an amazing variety of food vendors. We went on a Saturday and it was absolutely jammed packed with people. A lot of Torontonians makes the market a weekly stop to go buy food.

First of all we stopped off at the southern section of the market which houses mostly the produce section.

Check out all the rows of juicy Ontario peaches. One of the bonuses of buying at the market is that the produce is local and since you're buying directly from the farmers you are supporting the little guy.

This stand was selling fresh Borlotti beans. I really wanted to bring some home but I didn't think that they would make it through the trip back to Montreal.

This stand was selling fresh wild mushrooms which are so hard to find in Montreal. I sometimes find little anemic looking packages of shitake mushrooms at my supermarket but that is it. Look at how huge those yellow oyster mushrooms are. Just walking around made me want to buy a ton of veggies and run home and start cooking.

There were also people selling homemade jams, jellies and spreads.

Afterwards we moved to the main section of the market. The ground floor is the purvey of the butchers and the fishmongers. The market is famous for its peameal bacon sandwiches and many of the butchers sell giant slabs to take home.

Oh, I almost forgot. There are also many cheese vendors. You can even get Greek yogurt here which is extremely difficult to find in Canada for some reason. Usually I end up straining Mediterranean yogurt at home (not the same thing in spite of what many people think), to get something closer to Greek yogurt.

The lower level of the market is full of bakeries and small grocery stores usually specializing in one kind of food.

As my parents are also foodies we used to comes often to the St Lawrence market on Saturdays and we would always visit the Stonemill bakery which specialises in organic and artisinal breads and pastries. This place is always mobbed. You would think that they are giving things away. If you don't get there early in the day everything will be gone by the time that you arrive.

Whenever we would go there my parents would always buy us raspberry twists so when I am in Toronto I always go get one since they are still my favourites. I also ended up buying a butterscotch biscuit.

Now for the speciality stores:

This place sells only caviar from around the word and caviar paraphernalia. The photograph above is of their mother of pearl spoons.

This is from a store which just makes truffles.

This places only sells sauces. I get my favourite barbeque sauce here and I also ended up buying jalapeno mustard this time.

This little stand specializes in honey from around the globe but particularly New Zealand. I wanted to go buy some of their French honey but there was a big lineup.

This little grocery store had a crazy amount of gourmet products. I think they had something like 6 different kinds of smoked paprika from Spain on top of their variety from Hungary. I wanted to buy some of their Meyer lemon oil but my suitcase was getting rather full at this point.

Going to the market is always fun, even when I don't buy a lot. When I got home I was dying to try the raspberry twists and the butterscotch biscuit that I had bought.

Yep. Still as good as I remember!
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