Where does your food come from?
Many of us don’t even think about it—it comes from the grocery store, of course. But for an increasing number of Canadians, the source of our food is becoming ever more important, especially in the wake of the current outbreak of listeriosis. Locally produced foods are trendy, and so are books that document the movement, such as The 100-Mile Diet and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (as well as many of Michael Pollan‘s books).
Toronto writer Margaret Webb‘s (fairly) new book, Apples to Oysters, is a welcome complement to the canon. Webb made it her mission to write about the Canadian producers who are participating in the food chain with passion and a determination to provide quality food, and she achieves this by making a coast-to-coast tour of the provinces (with a side trip to the Yukon) and spending time with the people who usually stay behind the scenes. Her subjects range from Johnny Flynn, an oyster farmer in PEI, to Sally and Wilfrid Mennell, who discovered and market the Ambrosia apple out of BC’s Similkameen Valley.
The facts in the book are certainly interesting, but what really makes it a great read is that Webb is a true foodie who appreciates every tasty morsel that enters her mouth. True to this idea, every chapter offers a couple of recipes using its theme food.
I recommend this book to anyone who cares about the source of their food and about Canadian farmers, who are, sadly, becoming less and less common. Ask for it at your local bookstore or order it online from Amazon or Chapters/Indigo.