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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fresh, Colourful, & Local @ Kensington :: Basket Case

I love the summer for so many reasons. It's the perfect excuse to eat ice cream 2-3 times a week without feeling guilty (you don't want heat stroke), take a long lunch on a patio (vitamin D deficiency is a problem in Canada), and take the weekend off to go portaging (you need to appreciate Canada's wilderness). One of my favourite parts of the summer is the fresh Ontario produce. I love fruit. Known to polish off an entire basket of 16 peaches in 4 days, I'm quite confident that I'll never have to worry about any sort of anti-oxidant deficiency.

The nectarines and peaches this year are amazing!

Bright Ontario Peppers
My produce "baskets" change on a pretty regular basis, and I just fill it with whatever is in season. My friend likes to call me an old granny  - the main reason I leave a basket on my counter is to keep my fruits and vegetables at room temperature. It tastes better that way, I swear! Plus, the cheerful colours really brighten the space.

Also, I often have something interesting to share that someone hasn't tried (especially if it's from Chinatown) a favourite perk of the baskets. For fun, I'll randomly post whatever is in my basket when I want a break from reviews. Consider it a member of the "Cookie" family in "Cookies & Tomatoes".

♥ vine tomatoes

Seriously overdue for a NOTL visit...
Early in the summer, the focus is usually lychee, dragonfruit, rambutans, and mangoes from Chinatown. Now, it's mainly Ontario produce from the various markets downtown. A stop at today's Pedestrian Sunday @ Kensington Market was the perfect opportunity to enjoy some empanadas, stuffed poblanos, chocolate-filled churros, and pulled pork on a plantain "bun" before gathering some fresh produce to take home. I also tried some deep fried seafood skewers from the Fish & Chips place - but they weren't hot or crispy, so skip 'em if you go. However, that's for another post for another day...back to produce!
Fruit from a favourite grocer in Kensington Market

While I've pretty much bought produce from all of the vendors in Kensington at one point or another, I always make it a point to stop at 4 Life Natural Foods. Although a bit pricier since it's all organic, they always have a fantastic selection and are always very welcoming (I've never had a bad experience with any of the produce vendors in Kensington).

While I'm at it, I want to toot Tutti Fruitti's horn as my favourite bulk food store. Their selection is always great and I love the owners :).

Loving the local colours

Anyways, once in awhile I'll post a random photo of my fruit basket or local markets. It'll be a nice break between restaurant reviews and after all, this blog is about anything involving food!

Basket Case :: August 15th, 2010
All fresh, Ontario produce! Lucky me :)

Orange & Red tomatoes
Yellow & green zucchini
Red, yellow, & orange bell peppers
Organic kale*
Organic celery

Yellow plums
* yes, I know that it's unique to snack on raw kale. But I like it!


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