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Calgary - Great recent food finds (non-restaurant)!

can_i_try_some Apr 19, 2008 08:43 PM

Another thread ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/471164 ) prompted this question:
Recently, what great food finds have you found at the grocery store, market, butcher, wine shop, etc..?

At Crossroads today, I found some fabulous Orin Apples. These are often difficult to find. Last time I found these were at Chinatown in SF. They look a lot like a golden delicious, but the scent and flavour are a delightfully fruitty mixture. It tastes a little like a pear with a background flavour of pineapple, melon... it's difficult to properly describe. It's very sweet, low in acidity (tartness) and firm but juicy. Because of its low acidity, it's not as suitable for cooking, but it's great by itself or as a salad! Best of all, since I ended up at Crossroads near the end of the day, the price was just over a buck/lb, even though they had just replenished the bin.

Hopefully, this will help us CH's share our food fortunes with one another. Chime in!

  1. maplesugar Apr 19, 2008 10:47 PM

    I love Orin apples. If I'm not mistaken Blush Lane had some in the fall but they were more than a buck a pound, Delicious though...love apple harvest time when the farmers markets are just bursting at the seams with so many varieties :)

    Btw there was a thread late last year on fantastic buys: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452556

    2 Replies
    1. re: maplesugar
      can_i_try_some Apr 20, 2008 02:54 AM

      hhmmm.. I was looking for that thread... thanks!

      Consider this a bump on that post, then. Plus, hopefully we can keep this fairly current so other people can take advantage of good buys while they're around.

      1. re: maplesugar
        sweeterpea Apr 20, 2008 07:38 AM

        They have fresh Orins at Amaranth! I was wondering what they tasted like. I'm going to pull on the woolies and boots and go down there today.

      2. sarah galvin Apr 20, 2008 09:01 AM

        Tres Marias at the CFM is great. I bought corn tortillas yesterday - warmed them in the oven wrapped in foil - just like homemade. They were amazing. Also bought some salsa and it was very good, too.

        1. sweeterpea Apr 20, 2008 09:15 AM

          Some recent finds:

          The minneolas right now at Costco are amazing -- beautiful sweet-tart flavor. We have already gone through several bags of them. Another Costco deal -- Mario's Vanilla Bean Gelato, $6.27 for 2 litres, a deal on a wheel for those of us who have hungry little mouths to feed. (hopefully these are at all stores, I shop the Beacon Hill one). Also, Liberte Organic Yogurt -- two 700 ml containers for around 8 bucks -- again a nice break for our dollars.

          Gull Lake's cocktail tomatoes are little orbs of pure sweetness; and the basil guy is back as well at CFM. Loads of fresh organic spinach from Hotchkiss at Amaranth. The new President Choice pastas at Superstore are a great find. Made in Italy from bronze dyes, they have a rough texture v. smooth texture, so they will soak up sauces and flavors better. Only 99 cents a box, and cooks up beautifully.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sweeterpea
            can_i_try_some Apr 21, 2008 09:29 AM

            Unfortunately the .99 was just an introductory price. They're about a 1.50 now. But still great pasta for the price! The bronze dyes really do make a difference when you finish the pasta with a light sauce.

            1. re: can_i_try_some
              sweeterpea Apr 21, 2008 05:26 PM

              awwww ... I did stockpile some , but that price is still great.

          2. John Manzo Apr 20, 2008 10:08 AM

            We're awash in great coffee these days. We have local sources for 49th Parallel (Bumpy's, Java Jamboree, opening-soon Kawa, and the proprietary beans they roast for Artigiano), Novo (Phil and Sebastian), Intelligentsia (Phil and Sebastian, and Communitea in Canmore), Josuma (JJ/Kawa), and some increasingly good local beans, like Big Mountain, Fratello, and Mountain View Roasterie. In fact just yesterday I bought a half pound of uber-fresh beans from Beano, their house espresso that Fratello roasts for them, and though it's darker and more oily than I've been using lately (better shops tend to eschew the dark roasts even for espresso these days), what I got out of my espresso machine was like molten chocolate, fantastic. I have on hand right now 49th Parallel Epic Espresso, the Bolivian cup of excellence bean that Fratello is selling at Good Earth, and now this Beano blend, all different but all roasted with care and bought right here, walking distance from my house in fact. These are good times.

            6 Replies
            1. re: John Manzo
              can_i_try_some Apr 21, 2008 09:35 AM

              Yes! Calgary is going through a coffee renaisance right now! Just this past weekend, I've made pilgrimages to Caffe Artigiano, Phil & Sebastians, Bumpy's, Communitea, Java Jamboree, Good Earth, and Cafe Beano (which seems to be getting better all the time). I love it! (On a side note, as the days progressed, the world seemed to go by in slow-motion and people have commented that my voice was accompanied by a high-pitch buzzing). ;)

              I NEED to have a pastry with my coffee though. It just completes the experience. That's why P&S is still the tops in my book. Some of the best coffee you can get, and Ladybug pastries down the aisle.

              Now if only Manuel Latruwe devoted some resources to a decent espresso setup when they re-open. That would be heaven.

              1. re: can_i_try_some
                John Manzo Apr 21, 2008 01:31 PM

                I so totally agree with you- the last time I was in Latruwe I offered to clean their steamwand and the woman behind the counter looked at me like I was nuts... which I am, but they really have no clue about coffee.

                Prepare to be dazzled when Kawa finally opens. Les (the owner) let me come inside and.... make espressos with their $18,000 Synesso! I was like a baseball nerd at fantasy camp. The space is going to be unbelievable; they have the most beautiful finishings up thus far and it's mostly just carpentry to be completed since the plumbing and wiring is done.

                1. re: John Manzo
                  sarah galvin Apr 21, 2008 03:38 PM

                  Where is Kawa?

                  1. re: sarah galvin
                    can_i_try_some Apr 21, 2008 04:44 PM

                    It's hasn't opened yet. I'm counting down the days anxiously. Should be open in a matter of weeks.

                    It'll be at 13 Ave and 8 St SW.

                    1. re: can_i_try_some
                      John Manzo Apr 21, 2008 07:07 PM

                      1333 8 St SW to be specific, corner of 14 Ave really- directly across street from the Best Western

                  2. re: John Manzo
                    can_i_try_some Apr 21, 2008 04:45 PM

                    Hhhmmmm. I wonder if they'd let me have a go at it if I told them that John sent me? ;D

              2. ybnormal Apr 21, 2008 07:51 AM

                Also at Costco: Maui Sweet Onion Chips - just there this weekend - those go fast - 2 lb. bag. If they ever get their Maui Spicy BBQ chips - buy them - they're awesome.

                And a case of Sunkist Navel Oranges - super sweet.

                At the CFM: Homemade Tortilla Chips at Absolutely Fabulous, to go with their Chili Avocado Mousse - terrific!

                13 Replies
                1. re: ybnormal
                  sweeterpea Apr 21, 2008 07:59 AM

                  I forgot, also at Costco -- Pacific Organic Chicken Broth -- imho the best packaged chicken broth you can get: 6-pack for 8 bucks, you can't beat that.

                  1. re: sweeterpea
                    can_i_try_some Apr 21, 2008 09:39 AM

                    I love these Costco finds! Although I try as much as I can to abide with the 100-mile diet, some of the deals at Costco are just too difficult to resist.

                    When I run out of my homemade stocks, I use the Pacific Chicken Broth. I hate to admit it, but sometimes, it's better than my own. :)

                    1. re: can_i_try_some
                      taiphun Apr 21, 2008 11:48 AM

                      I know it's not new to 95% of the people here, but new to me was Bite and Knifewear. Ended up spending a pretty penny there last weekend. :)

                      1. re: taiphun
                        alau2 Apr 21, 2008 07:32 PM

                        Did you get any knives?

                        1. re: alau2
                          taiphun Apr 22, 2008 01:16 PM

                          I did! Was that you that was there?

                          and I've cut myself three times already too! those things are sharp!

                      2. re: can_i_try_some
                        graemejw Apr 21, 2008 01:14 PM

                        Alexia Potato Wedges from the freezer at Costco!! I love these to bits, perfect for evening where you can't be bothered to cook - throw them in a hot oven for 25mins & you have the perfect potato wedge - so much better than oven fries.

                        1. re: graemejw
                          sweeterpea Apr 21, 2008 05:30 PM

                          I agree, those are awesome.

                          1. re: graemejw
                            maplesugar Apr 21, 2008 09:42 PM

                            If you're looking for Alexia and don't want to get the supersized version, Planet Organic carries them. We luuuuv their sweet potato fries. (although I just bought the OXO V slicer mandolin so I can start making my own more often)

                            1. re: maplesugar
                              sweeterpea Apr 22, 2008 07:59 AM

                              I second the sweet potato fries. They bake up nice and crispy.

                      3. re: ybnormal
                        CookieGal Apr 21, 2008 03:49 PM

                        OMG Maui Sweet Onion chips are the best thing around!
                        It was much better when you could only get them in the US, way easier to resiste the temptation to buy them..... Also at Costco.. S+P kettel krinkle chips!
                        Butt my #1 Costco find..... 1 L can of Walnut Oil for $8! this is the salad dressing you can buy!

                        1. re: CookieGal
                          shopwinedinefine Apr 21, 2008 04:26 PM

                          The frozen pastry at Superstore is actually pretty good (like their tart shells)....

                          1. re: shopwinedinefine
                            aktivistin Apr 21, 2008 08:49 PM

                            The frozen puff pastry is very good and pre-rolled.

                          2. re: CookieGal
                            shdiep May 1, 2008 01:48 PM

                            Yes, I totally agree that the Maui Sweet Onion Chips are the best! I am not even a fan of onions myself, but I find that these chips are delicious. And I love how crunchy they are. I highly recommend it to those that have never tried it before!

                        2. sarah galvin Apr 21, 2008 04:29 PM

                          One of my favourite places is the Great Canadian Wholesale Club on 54 Ave east of Chinook Ctr. It is so cheap - butter for $3.85, case of mangoes were under $6, bag of lemons were less than $.40 each, and lots of cheap packaging. Pork butt whole shoulder roasts with skin on. No membership fees.

                          1. sweeterpea Apr 21, 2008 05:35 PM

                            Has anyone tried the Mexican Mole Marinade from Superstore. I know it's not real mole, but it has a wonderful flavor, especially for bbq'ing chicken breasts.

                            Another recent find was at T and T market. They sell these ham and sweet corn buns that are really yummy. The combination sounds bizarre but they are mm mmm good.

                            If you are in Bowness, make time to stop by Sweet Home Bakery for their cream horns. The most perfect cream horns ever made. Go early as they sell out very quickly. I'm not sure if they only make them on certain days, but for sure they are there on Saturday.

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