I tend to be a goal-oriented cyclist –I have a destination in mind. Sometimes that turnaround point involves food.
Now any diet-conscious cyclist would admonish my attitude: to maintain a healthy weight, do not reward yourself by eating calorie laden food. True. The reality is at least a snack at the market, is a fabulous carrot stick motivator for me. I food shop at markets and often slug along back home with my 10-20 lbs. of food in my bulging bike panniers.
So here are my favourite local “snacks” for 3 Canadian cities where I have lived: Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
Toronto: Peameal Bacon Sandwich
When I lived in Toronto, at least once a week I had my peameal bacon sandwich fix with a
coffee, from Carousel Bakery at the St. Lawrence Market. This sandwich has put them on the map for local food fare as witnessed by the newspaper and magazine testimonials that are plastered on their signage. Notably, sometimes there are firefighters and cops who also line up for this hearty sandwich (instead of doughnuts). At least one can justify, it’s low-fat pork.
I have introduced friends and visitors to this food gem, which by the way, is difficult to find in an accessible way, in Vancouver and Calgary where I lived later on. For Calgary, a veritable carnivore capital and producer for quality beef, bison and pork, it’s hard to understand this omission.
Now I have to settle for having this peameal bacon sandwich only whenever I visit Toronto, which is rare now.
Vancouver, BC: Apple Focaccia or for Thrifty Foodie, Almond Anise Biscotti
My first exposure to Terra Breads. was at Vancouver’s Granville Market before I increasingly switched to their bakery outlet on 5th St.—only a 15 min. bike ride away. My favourite item is their apple focaccia. A mini round focaccia embedded with slices of apple baked with a very thin caramel-like glaze. Or their red grape bread with pine nuts, which both desserts have inspired me enough to make my own plain dough for a homespun dessert focaccia with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or grapes.
However if I wanted to save money, then it was their handmade almond anise biscotti or chocolate almond biscotti. Artisanal baking at its best, with no use of shortening and a much lighter hand with sugar.
Calgary: Chocolate Sourdough Bun
At Calgary’s Farmers’ Market on Heritage Drive, I gravitate towards at YUM’s Bakery for their chocolate sourdough bun. Again, maybe it’s a bit delusional, but the bun genuinely tastes not sweet, very little fat if any and no use of eggs. This delusion can morph quickly into an addiction for the
next two days if we buy half a dozen or if there are no buns left, we buy a loaf. Good thing the Market is a good 15 km. bike ride away.
Ah, what would a good bike ride to the market be without a favourite local food delight.
What’s your one favourite food in the city where you live or have lived?
More Delicious Reading:
Chong, J. Growing Up and Cycling Through the Years to Farmers’ Markets. In Third Wave Cycling Blog. Dec. 3, 2010. Covers also farmers’ markets in Kitchener-Waterloo, Hawaii, France, Germany and Saltspring Island, BC.
Chong, J. Kicking up Foccacia (Fruit Focaccia): My Way with Ginger Root and Spices. In Cycle Write Blog. Jun. 20, 2011.