Food + Drink Winter 2021
Foodie gifts, a Caledon salumeria gem and an excuse for a cuppa cocoa.
Salumeria il Tagliere
Thanks to Caledon-based Salumeria il Tagliere, Headwaters residents don’t have to venture far for traditional Italian cured meats. Frank and Tania Rizzardo have been sharing and updating their family recipes for customers since 2008 on the family farm where they live with their five sons.
The company’s most popular products are hot or mild cacciatore and stickini, which are small salami in pepperette form with mild, hot, rosemary, cranberry or black olive flavourings. “All of our products are made in small batches with Ontario pork sourced from sustainable farms,” says spokesperson Mike Rubino.
Frank learned the art of curing pork from Tania’s father and friends, who made salami together in their basements in the Caledon area every winter. When picking up Tania for a date one night in the mid-1990s, the men were deep in the process and asked Frank for help. He was intrigued, his date with Tania was postponed, and Frank headed to the basement to start his apprenticeship. He perfected his skill over the next few years and remains the company’s lead salumiere. (And Tania, who handles sales, clearly forgave him for that postponed date.)
Mike says the holiday season is the perfect time to try Salumeria il Tagliere meats. “Our truffle salame, made with Italian black truffles, is a rich, earthy treat for a festive charcuterie board, pairing well with red wine and soft cheese like fresh burrata,” says Mike. “Try cutting up our cranberry stickini and add them to your board for a beautiful shot of colour or use them as stir sticks for savoury holiday cocktails. Pair with semisoft cheese like manchego, scamorza or havarti.”
Find them at Mercato Fine Foods, Garden Foods and Caledon Roots in Bolton and at Foodland in Caledon East. They’re also stocked at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, Heatherlea Farm Shoppe, Maple Grove Farm & Market and Rock Garden Farms (seasonally, spring through early fall).
A hot chocolate state of mind
For kids ages six to nine who like their arts and crafts, board games and other activities with a side of hot chocolate and cookies (that’s most kids, we imagine), Grand Valley Public Library offers Cocoa Club on select Tuesdays from 3:15 to 4 p.m. and 4:15 to 5 p.m. And on Wednesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. Caledon Public Library hosts the Holiday Hot Choc-Off. In this virtual bake-off-style event, participants create an over-the-top hot chocolate with judging via Zoom. Let the games begin!
New Year’s Eve dinner upgrade
One look at Bake Shoppe Bolton’s cheerful confetti cakes and we’re thinking about adding sparklers for New Year’s. And planning a dinner menu to match. Buttercream flavours include double vanilla bean, cookies ’n’ cream, salted caramel, baked raspberry with cream cheese, and chocolate fudge. The newly relocated Toronto business run by Angela Scarinci also serves tweaked nostalgia-heavy items such as peanut butter Nanaimo cups and homemade pop tarts. Bake-at-home cookie boxes let you try to take all the credit if you dare. Six-inch cakes and treats are available for walk-in purchase, but contact in advance for larger cakes and custom orders.
Making a list: Foodie holiday gifts
Shopping local this year is a win-win-win – you avoid crowded malls and the online delivery guessing game, all while supporting small businesses. This year there are more clever options to choose from than ever. Here are two we recommend.
Inside the chic packaging of Creemore’s The Gorgeous Spice Company are enough novel spice concoctions to please everyone on your list. The Flav-O-Matic blend channels the “everything bagel” flavour trend, perfect for sprinkling on avocado toast or mac and cheese – even mixing into bread dough.
Seductive baker’s blend Scorpio’s Kiss combines cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and anise to add a hint of Scandinavian warmth to cookies, cakes and pancakes. (Scorpio’s Kiss Candied Popcorn is the brand’s most popular offering.)
Dial R for Ras, a twist on the classic Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout, is made of 17 different spices and works with chicken, beef, roasted veggies, popcorn – even sticky toffee pudding, suggests owner Lindan Courtemanche.
Jade Hansen of Motherbutter Shortbread is Creemore’s new shortbread whisperer. Her top sellers include Raspberry Beret in which raspberry shortbread meets dark Belgian chocolate.
Boujee is a bittersweet brownie atop shortbread with a dark chocolate buttercream, with homemade sponge toffee to crush and sprinkle on top before serving. We want them all. Find these treats at the Museum of Dufferin’s Holiday Treasures show or online.
New and notable!
Brenda Bot and Tom Peters opened Peaceful Valley Farm Market to the public in October on their Airport Road farm in Mono. The couple sells decadent cinnamon buns and cheesecakes previously available only by delivery and pre-arranged pickup. If you must balance dessert with a real meal, try their free-range roaster chickens and potpies. Thistle and Rose Pub, which opened in October on Broadway in Orangeville, is a family business helmed by Bill and Debbie Perrie. Classic dishes include seafood chowder and fish and chips, served with live music in the background on Saturday afternoons.
Afzaal Obaidullah traded in his Schwapp shawarma wrap food truck to open a new takeout restaurant in Orangeville’s Mill Street Mall mid-November. In addition to wraps expect samosas, gyros and all those delicious fillings offered over fries. Also in mid-November Rani Malhi opened an Orangeville outpost of boba mini-chain Mo’Cha Bubble Tea, offering many a customizable chewy tea. Teas are blended with chopped fruits, other toppings and tapioca beads. Cakes and macarons sweeten the mix as side treats.