Chef Loseto reports from the Ontario Food Terminal that it is very busy and virtually all Ontario summer and fall produce is now available. The exceptions are Ontario cherries and apricots which have finished. The Chef’’s strategy was to buy the summer produce and he bought for example berries, peas, peppers, zucchinis, watermelons, all kinds of herbs and artichokes all of which he thought were really nice. He figures that many of these will end as soon as we have our first frost and then he will turn to the fall produce. But since the Chef also is telling us that the fall produce is looking wonderful, we might consider diving in now.
The Chef recommends heirloom radishes and also a new Ontario product, cipollinis or wild onions. Chef Loseto roasts them and serves them with tomato vinaigrette.
This year we had reported that there was likely to be a shortage of tree fruit because of late spring frosts. This did not occur and we had a great season except for cherries and apricots and the fruit was particularly sweet. There were fewer french beans, favas and peas around this year. It was hit or miss and they were expensive. The tomato crop for heirloom and cherry tomatoes was outstanding in 2012.
Ontario melons are few and far between other than watermelons and cantaloupes.
The Chef is buying wild BC chanterelle and cauliflower mushrooms. The latter look like the leaves on cauliflower heads. The Chef is trying them in pasta dishes. Saskatchewan chanterelles have finished with BC porcinis coming in.
The Chef has bought his first Ontario bison for the season and is also using Ontario elk. He is beginning to steer away from water buffalo and lighter summer meats. He is dry curing water buffalo however and in another month or so will have his own bresola. Seasonal squabs are going over well. Because it has been such a hot summer they are a bit smaller.
We are approaching the end of the halibut and salmon seasons and using harpooned swordfish which OceanWise ranks as sustainable. The Chef recommends the white prawns available now from theGulf of Mexico. You can buy them at Diana’s Seafood.
For September the Chef is working on a pumpkin bread French toast as well as a fig dish using newly arrived figs from California.
Follow me for my ruminations on local seasonal food markets as well as speculation on broader global food issues @lepatronecc3