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Tap into local creativity at Saint John’s Night Market

Tap into local creativity at Saint John’s Night Market

We made a point of being in Saint John, New Brunswick, on a Thursday so that we could check out the “Night Market” that was launched this year. From spring through summer, a group of about 20 crafters, bakers, and food makers lay out their wares on the south side of the Saint John City Market building. As we cruised the pedestrian street, we couldn't help but marvel at the variety within the small group of vendors. There was, of course, a food truck with fish and chips. Friendly women proudly offered their family's food specialties from as near as the Acadian peninsula or as far as Madagascar. One couple worked as quickly as they could to fill Spanish-style churros with chocolate or caramel sauce...Read More
Relicatessen: heavenly products for earthly delights

Relicatessen: heavenly products for earthly delights

Relicatessen in Barcelona solved a problem for us. When we're in Spain for any extended period, we enjoy seeking out the cookies, sweets, and other foodstuffs from the country's 38 monasteries and convents that make products for sale. Often that means placing money on a revolving window (called a retorno) and getting a box of cookies, a jar of jam, or a pot of honey in return. But we're not always in a town with a cloistered order that makes products for sale. Thank god (so to speak) that Francisco Vera opened Relicatessen (www.relicatessen.com) three years ago in stall 988 in the Mercat Sant Josep, better known as La Boqueria. Located right on La Rambla in a Modernista-style iron frame shed, the Boqueria is one...Read More

Enjoy a millionaire’s tea at a pauper’s price

Aptly named Good Food & Wine is a gourmet treat shop and casual cafe that serves afternoon tea all day long. It's tucked into the Queen's Arcade shopping center between Fountain Street and Donegall Place, Not only is it steps from Belfast City Hall and the Linen Hall Library, it's also handy to the central shopping district. Mind you, afternoon tea here is not the lifted pinkie, fine porcelain, hushed ambiance formal tea. For that experience, visit the nearby Merchant Hotel (16 Skipper St., 28 9023 4888, themerchanthotel.com), the poshest address in the city. But at £7.50 per person, it's hard to beat Good Food & Wine for a tiered tray of finger sandwiches and sweet treats and a pot of brewed looseleaf Belfast Blend....Read More

Spanish orange & almond tart for Christmas

Last year for the holiday season we made saffron shortbread cookies, and we were feeling bad that we didn't have a new holiday cookie this year. We got to thinking about winter sweets and some of our all-time favorite flavors, and the two sort of came together. Some of the quintessential tastes of Spain are almonds, saffron, and bitter oranges. Why not adapt our standard linzer tart recipe to reflect that different range of flavors? Instead of hazelnuts in the dough, we could use almonds. Instead of vanilla, we could use saffron. And in place of raspberry jam, we could use Seville orange marmalade. (OK, we know that the marmalade is more a Scottish than Spanish flavor, but it does use the bitter oranges of...Read More
Saffron shortbread cookies for festive season

Saffron shortbread cookies for festive season

Peggy Regan of Salon de Té le Gryphon D'Or (www.gryphondor.com) in Montreal is the absolute mistress of shortbread, which you can enjoy at her tea room or order through the mail. When she gave us a shortbread recipe for Food Lovers' Guide to Montreal (see SOME BOOKS), she casually mentioned how the recipe could be adapted to add other flavors. She had in mind flavors like maple and almond. We happen to love shortbread cookies as an accompaniment to Spanish sparkling wine, or cava. So we wondered how another signature Spanish flavor -- saffron -- might taste in shortbread. Since we travel often to Spain, we tend to buy saffron when we come across a good deal or when we're in Consuegra, the premier saffron...Read More

Mad for macarons

Montrealers have come to rival Parisians in their passion for macarons. Slowly but surely, pastry chefs all over the city have learned the techniques of making fabulous macarons – those delicate meringue sandwiches that bear only the slightest relation to the much cruder coconut-based American macaroon. The leading macaron boutique for our money is Point G (1266 avenue Mont-Royal est; 514-750-7515; www.boutiquepointg.com). The name refers to ''Glaces et Gourmandises,'' or ice cream and small pastries. In practice that means some fabulous artisanal ices (including a foie gras ice cream to take home and dollop on steamed asparagus), and close to two dozen inventive flavors of macarons, including lavender-blueberry, roasted pistachio, orange blossom, crème brûlée, lime-basil, and chocolate-hazelnut. The shop even has clear-plastic containers fitted to...Read More

Sonoma Christmas cookie

I like California's Sonoma County because viticulture and winemaking haven't yet overwhelmed traditional farming. Almost everything seems to grow there, and one great place to sample the agricultural traditions is Kozlowski Farms (5566 Gravenstein Highway 116, Forestville, California, 707-887-1587), one of the oldest family farms in the county. The farm store is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. When Carol Kozlowski's parents bought the farm nearly 60 years ago, they began growing apples and then branched out into raspberries. "We had an overabundance and began to make jam," she says. "So we put a sign on the side of the road and that launched our business." The family still grows apples and makes cider, but concentrates on developing new products and operating a farm stand stocked...Read More