Cycling For Favourite Foods To Devour at Farmers’ Markets

Peameal bacon sandwich slathered with Dijon mustard. St. Lawrence Market, Toronto 2011.  Photo by I. Yee
Peameal bacon sandwich slathered with Dijon mustard. St. Lawrence Market, Toronto 2011. Photo by I. Yee. No comparable sandwich at markets in Vancouver nor Calgary –yet.

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

Peak hour morning line-up for Toronto's famed peameal bacon sandwich. St. Lawrence Market, Toronto 2011. Photo by J.Chong
Peak hour morning line-up for Toronto’s famed peameal bacon sandwich. St. Lawrence Market, Toronto 2011. Photo by J.Chong. A favourite with some firefighters and cops (see handcuffs).

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.

Granville Island Market, Vancouver BC 2011. Photo by J. Chong
Granville Island Market, Vancouver BC 2011. Photo by J. Chong.

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.

Apple focaccia. Granville Island Market, Vancouver BC 2011. Photo by J. Chong
Apple focaccia. Granville Island Market, Vancouver BC 2011. Photo by J. Chong

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

Chocolate sourdough bun --addictive delusion of eating healthier dessert / snack. Calgary Farmers' Market on Heritage Dr. 2011. Photo by J. Chong
Chocolate sourdough bun –addictive delusion of eating healthier dessert / snack. Calgary Farmers’ Market on Heritage Dr. 2011. Photo by J. Chong

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:

Violin buskers at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto 2011. Photo by J. Chong
Violin-player buskers at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto 2011. Photo by J. Chong

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.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    In the Okanagan right now it is apple-palooze. I’m a total sucker for anything involving the freshly pressed apple juice, the perfect combination of rich yet quenching for when you finish up a workout.

    Like

  2. Barb says:

    Wow!!! This was like a tour of the city. Thanks so much. Food is about the only way you can get me on a cycle, except those stationary bikes…and then I treat myself after an hour of righteous pedaling. You go girl. Eat and cycle away.

    Like

    1. Jean says:

      Hopefully we all eat in moderation and only treat ourselves luxuriously food-wise, on occasion after a bike ride. I break the rule (enough) as one can see from an earlier blog post on some of our super-sized and unexpected meals on bike trips.

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  3. Now that I’m raising an energetic young dog (Lab) and kayaking more often, I’m getting enough exercise to enjoy dreaming of eating some of these wonderful foods you’ve illustrated. Cycling is very good for metabolism in general, and more of a spiritual experience than driving. Your articles make me want to take it up again! (I gave it up when I lived in the Los Angeles area. It just wasn’t safe enough with all that traffic.)

    Like

    1. Jean says:

      Yes, cycling is painless metabolism burnin’ activity. I understand that L.A. has improved some of its cycling infrastructure. At least there is an active cycling advocacy group there. Always a good sign. I can’t kayak because I can’t swim (and don’t feel comfortable just with a life jacket) but hey, the British Columbia coast line offers fabulous kayaking.

      Like

  4. Love the food descriptions and the photos, especially the violinists in the market. I’m having a great time exploring your blog, the perfect armchair traveling experience!

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    1. Jean says:

      Lynn, thanks for “strolling about” in my blog. Hope you’ll occasionally visit from time to time.

      Like

  5. Shinobu Kato says:

    Oh, I loved that Canadian bacon sandwich at St. Lawrence Market, too.

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    1. Jean says:

      I always make a bike trip to that market for that sandwich!

      Like

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