It would’ve been Julia Child’s 100th birthday recently, and coincidentally, I just finished reading her autobiography, “My Life in France”. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, especially since French cooking is probably my favourite cuisine. It was neat to read how Julia’s love for cooking unfolded, starting after her move to Paris in her thirties (shortly after which she enrolled in the Cordon Bleu). It’s clear that it was living in France that inspired her to cook:

“… at the Cordon Bleu, and in the markets and restaurants of Paris, I suddenly discovered that cooking was a rich and layered and endlessly fascination subject. The best way to describe it is to say that I fell in love with French food – the tastes, the processes, the history, the endless variations, the rigorous discipline, the creativity, the wonderful people, the equipment, the rituals.”

But what was perhaps even more interesting was reading about food and restaurants in France. Different culture, different time – so I don’t know how much of it would hold true today, but interesting nonetheless…

Keep reading…


Photo by LWY

Frozen yogurt chains are popping up like crazy. Vancouver now has most of the popular chains found in the US, like Menchie’s, Yogen Fruz, TCBY, and Pinkberry. Carrying around some frozen yogurt seems to be the next most popular accessory, after a Starbucks cup and a miniature dog. I don’t really get it though. I guess it’s an ice cream alternative. And because it’s yogurt, people are equating it with being healthy… is that the logic? I guess these people don’t read ingredient labels.

Yogurts, even those found at Whole Foods, are some of the least healthy foods in the grocery store. And what’s worse, is that they’re actually masquerading as health foods. Not only are the majority of these yogurts low-fat or fat-free (including the Greek ones – oxymoron!), but they’re full of additives and sugar. And anyone that’s buying yogurt for probiotics is fooling themselves – most of the probiotics in commercially produced yogurts are killed off during the pasteurization process.

Considering the state of regular yogurts sold in grocery stores, it’s not really all that surprising that the ingredient lists of frozen yogurts are far from healthy. If you’re going to indulge in frozen yogurt, that’s your choice – but don’t let the marketers trick you into thinking it’s good for you.

Keep reading…



Time for another round of butter tasting!

My last butter tasting post (Kerrygold, Organic Valley, Lurpak and Smjor) was quite popular, so I figured I should put my souvenirs from my recent road trip to Seattle to good use (not that I need an excuse for consuming copious amounts of butter!).

Keep reading…


(Photo by stephendepolo)

I recently brunched at Joe Fortes, an upscale Vancouver restaurant. While perusing the menu online, I found something that surprised me: a children’s’ menu. Obviously I’ve heard of kids menus before, but the thought conjures up images of Happy Meals, and paper table cloths (with complimentary crayons). I look through a lot of menus, and up until now, I hadn’t come across a kids menu at a nice restaurant.

Curious what’s on the children’s menu?

Keep reading…


(Photo by dj-dwayne)

When choosing which butter to buy, most of us know about the benefits of organic and pastured dairy. And of course there is the elusive raw dairy that is often difficult to get your hands on in North America. But when selecting butter, do you ever consider the butterfat content?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. After all, butterfat content is almost never labeled – but it does vary. To be considered butter in North America, the butterfat content has to be at minimum 80%, which is what most butters sold in the United States are, as well as almost all butters in Canada. In Europe, the minimum butterfat content of butter is 82%, except for the salted butter which can be 80% (plus 2% salt). To put things into perspective, the heavy cream you buy at the supermarket in North America is typically 36% fat.

Keep reading…