Eating all fancy like: the best end of semester procrastination

I resurface briefly from the school thing to shamelessly promote my neighbourhood again. (Yes, there remain back-burner posts that I have neglected, including our November 2013 turducken adventure I promised on my Northern bread baking post; I have not forgotten!). There may or may not also be a boastful gleeful lookee!-my-lunch-was-really-the-bestest sentiment that motivated today’s post.

Bread By UsShortly after Hintonburg Market opened, Wellington Street West welcomed a new bakery: Bread By Us. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying a rather dark and dense sourdough, a walnut-apricot loaf, baguettes, and both sweet and savoury croissants. I feel neutral about sourdoughs most of the time (but when I’m in the mood I’m sure I’ll go back to pick something up–likely a lighter rendition). Furthermore, the boy is an avid baker, so I wasn’t blown away by the (objectively delicious) walnut-apricot loaf. It’s really the baguettes and croissants (and the very lovely folks behind the counter) that keep me coming back.

My recent trips to the Hintonburg Market have been more European inspired than usual. I still adore their sausages and they are my go-to for bison procurement, but I’ve been fancying charcuterie plates and delighting in trying new cheeses. Every purchase is an acute reminder of our ever growing list of things-to-make from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie (which sadly languishes on our bookshelf and has collected more dust than grease stains on its pages. This too shall be fixed, and hopefully soon.)

I was coming home to an empty house after class: the boy left for Toronto this morning (to sing the role of a lovesick Werther tomorrow–go check it out, GTA friends!) and our roommate has a solid 9-to-5 (which is closer to an 8-to-7). Perfect timing for picking up a few things and hoarding it all to myself. Surely I couldn’t get onto being academically productive until my belly was full of a delicious lunch. I even had a piece of Iqaluit on my plate: I’d brought home $150 worth of Arctic char and have been slowly dipping into portions from my freezer since January.

Without further ado (and with apologies to my gluten free, vegetarian and/or vegan friends), I shamelessly present you my lunch. I hope it will inspire you to eat decadently “just because”:

yes I realise this snapshot from my phone is horrid; no I couldn't wait long enough to grab my real camera before digging into lunch

yes I realise this snapshot from my phone is horrid; no I couldn’t wait long enough to grab my real camera before digging into lunch

1) Baguette (Bread By Us): probably the best baguette I’ve had in recent memory. Yes, the boy makes them; no, an awesome at-home convection oven will never be on par with an industrial set up. Check out Bread By Us’s menu for specific times their goodies are fresh out of the oven. I even promise I won’t fight you for baguettes if we both arrive shortly after 10:30.

2) Le Riopelle de l’Isle: Triple cream, buttery and nutty, rather mild. Fun fact: the cheese was named after Canadian painter Jean-Paul Riopelle (more info here).

3) Cretons: Hintonburg Market has a bunch of in house creations and I was delighted when they recently started carrying cretons. I fell in love with the simple pork spread during my seasons treeplanting in Northern Quebec.

4) Louis d’Or: leave it to the Quebecois to make delicious cheeses. Firm, nutty, subtle in complexity. The boy describes it as if Emmental and Manchego had cheese babies (more info here).

5) Lavergne headcheese: this specific headcheese popped my headcheese cherry a few weeks ago. After my first taste, I promptly wondered why I had waited so long to try it this delicious terrine created cold cut. I love the texture and it’s great in sandwiches too.

6) Lavergne Spicy Chabai: Hungarian spicy dry smoked sausage with lots of paprika. I think it is properly spelled “csabai” (though phonetically “chabai”) but I’m not surprised food gets lost in translation on deli signs and stickers.

7) Smoked Arctic char (Iqaluit Enterprises): Even better than smoked salmon. During one of my final days Nunavut’s beautiful capital city, I went to Iqaluit Enterprises hoping to bring home some country food. While the freezers were only modestly stocked (and sadly there wasn’t any caribou), I’m so glad I brought home char in its various forms: frozen, dried, and smoked.

2 to 6 were purchased from Hintonburg Market

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