by Kristina Groeger
As a self proclaimed officianato of smoked meat, I headed over to the Deli Duel at the Wychwood Barns on Sunday July 25th. The competition was held as a fundraiser for The Stop. Each person was given a single plastic coin to vote for their favourite meat. With a skeptical mind I embarked on a meaty mission for a good cause.
Why Skeptical? I am one of the diehard people who cannot visit Montreal without eating at Schwartz’s deli. If I’m there for the day, that is where I will eat. No questions asked. The hot, steamy meat comes fresh from a steamer with a pickle the size of the Jolly Green Giant’s big toe. It’s the type of place that always has a lineup (in -30 degree weather in winter) lineups that I have not seen in Toronto. You eat and then you leave. It’s a shrine. It’s an institution. My question is, can Caplansky’s, Goldin’s and The Stockyards beef it up for us? Yes, they certainly can.
When reached for a brief interview Mr. Zane Caplansky stated “We’re going to win, because we are the best”. Tom Davis of The Stockyards was “happy to be cooking for such a good cause”.
The Stockyards sandwich was surprisingly spicy, rich red in colour and very juicy. The pickle was sour and delicious. Goldin’s served up a good slice of half fat meat, which to me was your standard issue for smoked meat. Finally we reached (the decided winner) Caplansky’s, the busiest booth at the event. Without a choice of fatty or lean meat, I was handed a lean cut. Unfortunately to me I do not like lean smoked meat. My partner Charles ate Zane’s entire pickle without sharing and I still haven’t forgiven him.
I plunked my plastic golden coin into the Stockyard’s vote box. A live band played as we had a few Steam Whistle brews on benches admiring The Stop’s lovely vegetable garden.
Kistina Groeger is a professional cook, amateur photographer, part time food writer and full time nerd. Her website address is kristinagroeger.com