Let’s Shop!

TwoFoodNuts Favorite Shopping Spots.

We’ve would like to share some of our favorite food shopping spots with you.  There was a time when we went to the same grocery store week after week. We bought the same thing every time. But not any more.   When we retired  we really got the cooking bug and we had more time to source quality foods. If you are looking for new food to inspire your cooking and your taste buds, you’ll enjoy our favorite places.

Fall would not be complete without a trip to Linton’s Farm. We visit throughout theLinton's Farm Market season, but in the Fall the display of produce is remarkable. The owners take such pride in not only their products but also the presentation. They have strawberries right up till the end of October too!

bakers tableGood bread is not always easy to find. Certainly the supermarket is not the place to look. We now have two favorite bakeries. The first is The Baker’s Table in Oshawa on Bloor Street. They have such exceptional bread. If you want Italian, or Rye, Multigrain or crusty white, this is the place. They also have an great assortment of desserts and condiments.  The second, Novaera Portuguese Bakery in North Ajax  has outstanding Portuguese breadsNovaera Bakery but also serve wonderful desserts for those times when you need something sweet but don’t have time to bake. We all love the custard tarts don’t we? They are produced in-house at their bakery in Toronto and all the locations sell them.

Have you been to Bluesky in Pickering yet? Is it blueskyCaribbean, Asian, Canadian?  Well for today lets just agree it’s all of the above. We like the specialty items including the amazing assortment of wonderful condiments, the dried  mushrooms,    the  produce depart for the variety and we love the fresh seafood too.  You’ll want to have a look at the meats as well. We found the prices to be excellent. If you get a bit peckish you can enjoy the hot Asian buffet in store.  Maybe it’s best to go there first so you aren’t shopping while you’re starving!  Trust us, it costs far more to shop on an empty stomach!

house of spiceWe love spices and use a lot of them we also find ourselves buying ingredients for Asian and Indian cooking. Nowhere will you find a better selection of cooking ingredients than The House of Spice on Agusta Ave. in Kensington Market Toronto.  The owner is well versed in everything spicy and he’s so helpful. Besides its a blast to go to Kensington Market.

A trip to Toronto just wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Hua Long Market. We have Hua Long Marketcome to like the one at the corner of Spadina and Grange. It’s big, it’s smelly and it is just what you need when doing any Asian cooking. We love the meat and seafood dept.   They have seafood tanks so you’re dinner is still swimming when you choose it!   The high turnover in the meat dept assures you the freshest products at excellent prices. Besides we just love the experience of being immersed in another culture!

Bulk BarnWho doesn’t like a Bargin? When you cook and bake as much as we do, you need to know you can get quality ingredients at great prices.  For that we love Bulk Barn. They have an excellent baking section, complete with everything you need to make candy, bake specialty cakes and cup cakes and some store even offer cake decorating courses through Wilton! Please remember to store your purchases correctly to get the most from them!

Have you been to HMart yet? It’s a  Korean Grocery Store located in Richmond Hill. We HMartdiscovered it by sheer accident. We were going to Grande Cheese and its in the same plaza. We had to check it out and it’s a good thing because now it’s a regular spot for produce, condiments, and meat. We have such fun because no one speaks English and we can’t read most of the labels, so we have to talk to other customers and they just love to tell us how to use the ingredients! It’s like a trip to Vietnam!  You just have to go to HMart!

Grande cheese factoryGrande Cheese Factory, is so much more than cheese. It’s your best Italian grocery store. Bread, cheese, pasta, meat, cold cuts, world-class olive oil,  fancy balsamic vinegar, olives, a hot food table and all your antipasto ingredients and more under one roof. We visit here a about 4 times a year to stock our pantry and try some new cheese flavors.  The store is so inviting and well stocked. Even your Italian Nonna would approve!

The name says it all The Sausage King at St.The Sausage King Lawerence Market in Toronto sells a vast variety of quality sausages as well they also have a fabulous meat counter. When you are looking for sausage you will pay more for the better ingredients used to make them. Part of the fun is trying new varieties of sausages. Next time you’re in Toronto, check them out!

Fairmount bagel montrealWho’s got the best Bagels in Montreal? Hands down we think it’s Fairmount Bagel! Every time we’re in Montreal we make our way to the north end just to get a bag of these Wood-fire oven cooked Bagels. All you need is a tub of creme cheese, a bagel and a desire to taste the subtle wood smoke. When in Montreal, its a must.

While were talking about Montreal its impossible not to mention the Jean Talon Market. One of our sons lives in Montreal so when we visit we shop and cook together.  Its the largest in the city and the products boggle the mind. meats, fish, fruit and veg, maple syrup, fresh herbs, bakery items. The list is endless and from experience we can say that the quality is superb.

Marche Jean Talon MontrealAtwater Market MontrealMontreal’s other market is the  Our son and his wife live one block from the market, so a visit to see the kids means a visit to the market for inspiration. No matter the time of year there are so many little boutique style shops offering only the best in local and seasonal fare. While the Jean Talon Market may be intimidating the Atwater is a small enough to see in an hour or so but offers everything the cook needs.

Last but certainly not least is the St Lawerence Market in Toronto. It is one of the best Markets in North America. So many vendors under one roof and a few great places to eat if you can’t wait till you get home. In the summer the building on the North side of the street features the Farmer’s Market, different from the produce shops inside. You’ll find anything from the ordinary to the exotic at the St Lawerence Market Toronto.

St Lawerence MarketWhile you’re at St Lawerence Market, take a few minutes to go to Placewares for all your kitchen supplies. placewareNeed a crepe pan, or an Avocado slicer, they’ll have it and the prices are very reasonable.  Just be ready to squeeze through the tiny isles. Every square inch of this shop is loaded. We’ve stopped in so many times when we were looking for a tool that you can’t find in Suburbia.  One thing that the markets in the large city offer is a vast array of products and tools to make us better cooks.

Chris CheesemongersSay Cheeeese! It’s no secret we love good cheese and we love the selection of cheese crackers, wine jellies and more that you can explore at Chris Cheesemongers. They also offer a great cold meat counter and we can honestly tell you that their 24 month old Prosciutto is the best we’ve ever tasted. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly too.

 We’re just getting started. Check back to see what’s new this Fall!