Food + Drink Winter 2020

Comfort foods: Ghanaian goodness, pies at your door, and fresh Indian fare.

November 24, 2020 | | Food + Drink

A tasty escape

While winter travel to warm climes is curtailed, a culinary adventure may be just the ticket. The African Caribbean Grocery Store in Shelburne wears its geography on its sleeve. The new shop, which opened in mid-July, is a joint venture by mother and daughter Doris and Abigail (Abby) Dapaah. Of Ghanaian origin, the two noticed after moving from Brampton to Shelburne in 2016 that despite the area’s increasing diversity, it was challenging to find African and Caribbean groceries. Their shop now welcomes customers from Owen Sound, Dundalk and Orangeville, among other places. Patrons are thrilled to skip the drive to Brampton and shop locally for staples such as plantain, red snapper, Jamaican pumpkin and green bananas.

Abigail and Doris Dapaah from The African Caribbean Grocery Store in Shelburne. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Abigail and Doris Dapaah from The African Caribbean Grocery Store in Shelburne. Photo by Pete Paterson.

“Everyone has been so friendly,” says Abby. “Whether they are coming in for a warm Jamaican patty or to pick up oxtail and seasonings for dinner, we have great chats.” Abby and Doris try to bring in special items customers request if they’re not in stock. But the shelves do boast an impressive array of delicacies. Hits include hardo bread, a dense bread often eaten with cheese, from Jeanie’s Market and Bakery in Mississauga. Agege bread, an African favourite, is a soft butter bread that stays fresh for a long time. Abby recommends some starchy goodness in the form of Jamaican sweet potato – wonderful boiled, fried or made into pie. Ghost and Scotch bonnet peppers will add some serious heat to your at-home cooking. Fish and seafood, including crab legs and fishcakes from Orangeville’s Jiggin’ Jody’s Seafood, also sell well.

Interested in trying something new? Abby suggests picking up some callalo, a leafy green that can be used like spinach or kale. “Pop it into your soups or stews,” she says. “It’s a great time of year for something warm, and callalo is very high in nutrients.”

It’s pie o’clock

This year has taught us that delivery can be a godsend. Our new obsession – pies! Tania Rindel, a trained chef from South Africa, opened The Humble Pie this summer. The Orangeville business offers pick-up or delivery of fresh and frozen savoury pies. Bestsellers are pepper steak pie and cheese and caramelized onion pastries, perfect as an appetizer or light meal. Popular dessert picks include key lime and pumpkin pies. Bolton’s local foods HQ and delivery service, Caledon Roots, provides a variety of fruit pies, frozen for baking at home from Caledon’s Oh Goodness Me! Will it be jumbleberry or classic apple tonight? Makes a clever no-contact holiday gift idea too.

All kitted out

DIY has never been more delectable. Take the Decorate a Doughnut Kit from Grand Valley’s Baked In The Valley. It comprises six vanilla doughnuts and three different glazes and sprinkles for personalizing. “Gourmet doughnuts are all the rage,” says owner Lauren Barclay. “When decorating, be creative – use different glazes together to create a marble effect.” (We won’t judge if you order some ready-made in case of a DIY disaster – PB and banana, anyone?)

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  • Channel your inner Cake Boss with a cake kit from Quest for Cakes in Orangeville. It includes a pre-iced six-inch mini cake (chocolate or vanilla), with three colours of icing, sugar roses and a piping bag. If the kids co-operating on a single cake is too pie-in-the-sky for your clan, try the kit with a dozen cupcakes (six chocolate, six vanilla) or sugar cookies (flower, dinosaur, unicorn or butterfly shapes), which also come with the same sweet gear. And Paint Your Own cookies from Bolton’s Sweet Treats by Natalie look almost too good to eat. Sugar cookies feature black outlines of seasonal motifs on a canvas of hard white icing with a “paint” palette of coloured icing along the bottom edge. Just dip the supplied brush in water and paint away.

    For more eating, less decorating, visit the Bank Café in Creemore for dreamy takeaway bake-your-own cinnamon buns. We also endorse frozen, ready-to-bake croissants from Gourmandissimo in Caledon East, which puff up tall and golden after an egg wash and 20 minutes in the oven.

    Indian feasts

    We’ve found two more ways to enjoy Indian food. Indian Spice Culture has taken up a spot on Airport Road in Caledon East and whips up takeaway dishes such as the vegetarian-friendly chana masala – hearty chickpeas warmed up in a blend of Indian spices. And their karahi chicken stars chicken pieces cooked in onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Butter Chicken & More, a self-described “local mom biz” in Caledon, delivers mouth-watering butter chicken with basmati rice and garlic or plain naan.

    A portable party

    The holidays just got tastier with the punchy flavours and nutrition of Jeremy Mantesso’s new delivery-only Creemore food biz, Damn Good Dips. Candied pecans are our pick for a satisfying snack or luxe stocking stuffer, while superfood dips like kale and edamame or olive tapenade make for a yummy, low-key appetizer spread – even if the party is by Zoom.

    Dinner in a snow globe

    Nourish your senses – and your Instagram feed – with the culinary event of the season at Hockley Valley Resort. Enjoy a five-course meal with wine pairings in outdoor snow globes complete with twinkling lights, music, heater and candlelight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 13 to March 28.

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    About the Author More by Janice Quirt

    Janice Quirt is a freelance writer who lives in Orangeville.

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