Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Granville Island

Print Friendly and PDF I don't have a car. The P-Man has a sporty little number. If I need to go to Vancouver, in particular somewhere not on the very convenient Canada Line, I drop the P-Man off at work, and head into the BIG CITY! Yesterday I decided that a trip to Granville Island was long overdue. It is feeling more like Spring, and I am DYING for some fresh new ingredients to cook with. I got there early, around 9 am, and proceeded straight to the market. It has been years since I have been to Granville Island. When I had my store, I used to go into Vancouver all the time, but Granville Island is best to do when you are not in a rush. I spent about 3 hours there yesterday. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!! The market was stocked almost exclusively with produce from California, or Mexico...and there was only a handful of items that I would have trouble locating in White Rock. I took my time and really looked at everything. The produce looked fresh, and was merchandised nicely, but I could find the same thing at any supermarket. No local ANYTHING! I bought NOTHING!! Have I been asleep for the last 20 years? How did I not notice our local food producers disappear? We are in BC. We DO grow things here. Where is it?

I had a good wander through the market. I bought some SIEGELS BAGELS, some Winnipeg cream cheese, some smoked meat, and started to feel a bit better. That feeling did not last. I came across a section of the market dedicated to made in BC food products called Edible BC. How sad. A section full of Okanagan preserves, homemade pickles from Abbotsford, some balsamic vinegar, and some chocolate. It looked like any craft fair you have ever been to . Not even a bottle of wine. The government probably wouldn't allow it. They had some literature beside the till, and one of the things they were advertising was MARKET TOURS!! Wow, that would be fun...' and to the left, ladies and gentlemen...our extensive range of California produce!'

I walked some more and came across TERRA BREADS. I love to look at a good bread and pastry display. This one was very nice. I decided to purchase a lemon poppy seed muffin and a cornbread with cheddar cheese and onions. ( see the photo !) I ate the cornbread with my left over Vol Au Vent Halibut in a fennel sauce from Sunday. I ate the muffin this morning. First the cornbread. I warmed it up a bit in the microwave and added some butter, and it still had almost NO FLAVOUR. I detected no cheese or onion...and a couple of times when I was having a tough time swallowing the overly dry cornbread the P-Man asked me if I was CHOKING!!! The muffin was even worse. The top was a bit lemony from a syrup that had been pored over top, but once I ate that, the rest was absolutely tasteless. I actually threw half of it away. There goes 5.50$ I will never get back. These two items were a metaphor for my experience. On the surface, everything looked great...but there was nothing to it. No taste, no life. I am having my bagels and cream cheese and smoked meat for supper tonight. They are my last hope!

After I left Granville Island, I was hungry, and decided to try a restaurant called REFUEL on West 4th Ave for lunch. See the above comments to get the gist of my taste experience. I will write about it next time...after I find myself something GOOD TO EAT. It's sunny today...I may have to head down to the beach.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Cathy - I am not usually one to respond to blog postings as I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I have to provide you with some more information.

    While we would love to sell wine at Edible BC, as you noted, due to government restrictions, we are not able to. That being said, we do represent over 300 different artisan food producers from the province of BC and we stock more than 900 products including the following which you failed to mention/notice:

    Birch Syrup from Northern BC - voted one of Canada's top 10 new food products by the Globe and Mail

    Wild Mushrooms from Various Regions of BC

    A significant assortment of honey, preserves, chocolate, vinegars and so much more from most of BC's most well respected artisans.

    If you had cared to have taken a tour, you also would have discovered the following in the market that you obviously missed:

    * Wild Nettles from the Fraser Valley
    * Fresh Wild Mushrooms (Thurs - Sun)
    * Local Asparagus
    * Local Beets
    * Local Sunchokes
    * Local Salad Greens
    * Local Apples
    * Local Pears
    * Local Spinach
    * Local Tomatoes (Hothouse)
    * Local Cucumbers(Hothouse)
    * Local Onions
    * Local Rhubarb

    * Qualicum Bay Scallops
    * Local Salmon
    * Local Prawns
    * Local Oysters
    * Local Crab
    * Local Rock Fish
    * Local Turkey
    * Redbro Chicken from Polderside Farms (one of the only places outside of restaurants you can buy this)
    * Hand Made Charcuterie from Oyama


    Please tell me what it is that you would like to have seen in the market as I am dying to know what was missing...

    And again, while you may have not liked the Terra Corn Bread, you are the first person I have ever met (and we led over 1,500 people on tours of the market during the Olympics alone). Most people, even many I have met from the southern US where cornbread is king, have declared it THE BEST THEY HAVE EVER HAD!

    I invite you to come back down to Granville Island and do some more exploring (with your eyes open)!