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Jul 31, 2010 10:01 PM

Edmonton City Market

I've been shopping at Strathcona Market for over 10 years (as long as I've lived here) and love it, but have to say the City Market is really making me a happy person lately. Many Saturdays, we do both - Strathcona at about 8:15 for staples, then across the river for the amazing stuff available downtown for when it opens at 9.

Smoky Lake goat cheese is wonderful, and a bargain. This week they had a Tomme, haven't tried it yet but have a big hunk in my fridge, waiting until I finish last week's St. Maure. I've had at least 4, maybe 5, varieties and all are great.

Today Mo-Na had fresh chanterelles, maybe the same Saskatchewan ones that were the focus of a Globe and Mail article today - pricey at $20 a pound but they were a great complement to the beef tenderloin I grilled for dinner (from Four Whistle, one of the reasons I won't be giving up on Strath).

Anyone else have any great finds there recently, things that are must tries? And anyone else wonder what all these vendors are going to do when it shuts down again in the fall? The cheese people told me today they are already wondering about it, given that this is their only retail business right now.

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  1. Near the Waffle truck (which is great), is a guy selling some decent apple strudel. He should cut the apples into smaller pieces, but otherwise it's excellent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: worldwidestuff

      interesting. Will have to try that. I also just remembered there is a stall there selling lemon tarts, lime tarts, lemon curd, goat cheese tart, etc. Had a lemon tart last night, and while maybe not as good as tarte au citron in Paris it was great. It's been so one since i had one from Duchess (and those are usually at the end of a wine-fuelled dinner!) so I can't really compare properly...

      1. re: Dan G

        Judging by the looks of the tarts (the vendor is called Queen of Tarts), they are excellent.
        They also sell the lemon curd alone.

    2. Jam Lady - her strawberry and chocolate jam, and her kiwi and pear jam are both to die for.
      fresh peas at Kuhlmann's
      Green Eggs and Ham
      Inspired Market Gardens - always have edible flowers to buy if you don't grow your own

      9 Replies
      1. re: anonymoose

        Jam Lady also has great mustards. I've been buying them at Prairie Mill Bakery.

        And yes, duck them.

        Irvings also sell at OSM - best back bacon I've ever had.

        1. re: anonymoose

          My dad has had a love affair with the Jam Lady's hot shot horse radish for about 10 years now. (back when they were at a Calgary farmer's market).

          1. re: Bryn


            Tell me more about the "hot shot horse radish" may be worth a trip back downtown if I can finally find a commercially made brand that delivers the sinus clearing oomphhh that I am looking for.

            1. re: Bob Mac

              It's a very lightly creamed horseradish with jalapenos. I've just started to eat horseradish, so I haven't tasted it, but my parents are really fond of it.

              1. re: Bryn


                Thank you for the additional info.

                Not exactly what I am looking for but worth a "shot" or otherwise...

              2. re: Bob Mac

                It might not be exactly what you are looking for but you should consider trying a small jar of "chrain", which is a condiment of grated horseradish coulored with beets that traditionally accompanies gefilte fish , an ashkenazic jewish dish. This year's crop of the Ellmans brand ( available at Andy's IGA) was a hit , literally, at the passover dinner tables. We enjoy it at home also with prime rib.

                1. re: felix the hound

                  Thank you for the "heads up" felix.

                  I have not tried the "chrain" and am not sure about Ellmans (but the latter is vaguely familiar so I may have seen it on a shelf or tried it) but I will pop into Andy's and look for them.

                  A few months ago I "discovered" Granny's CWIKLA which is red beets with horseradish at the Italian Centre and it was excellent with a better "kick" than the vast majority of commerically produced horsradish I have tried.

                  Unfortunately they did not have it in stock the last time I was in their southside location off 51st.
                  I bought a couple of other brands on spec.

                  The first whose name I do not recollect was not very good and the Dennis brand which is in a smaller bottle than the 450 ml. CWIKLA produced by European Fine Food in Mississauga is still in my fridge and has consequently lasted much longer as it was not as good as the latter which I was eating by the spoonful. [smile]

                  1. re: Bob Mac

                    I just checked the jar and it is spelled Elmans, "Horseradish and Beet Relish", made in Winnipeg. It is in the small kosher section of refrigerated foods next to the cheese section at Andy's. BB date is 23 JL 11.

                    Like you, we have had some jars in the fridge that overstayed their BB date because they were not "best" even before. We religiously (pun intended) buy at least one jar a year and I am puzzled by their year to year inconsistency in terms of strength but amused by the anticipation it generates when first opened. ( this sounds strangely like a methaphor for our political times)

                    1. re: felix the hound

                      Beets with heat!!! I've gotta track that down.

          2. So the market is about to start up again in the downtown location...does anyone know of any vendors selling butter?

            5 Replies
            1. re: rafjel

              It's been going in City Hall for a few weeks now, and will move back outside in May I think. As for, what a request! Never seen anyone selling any dairy except cheese at any of the markets here. Used to discuss with the occasional vendor about milk (none of whom had any way of supplying it...) but it seems that for the the most part dairy sales are pretty much cheeses (Sylvan Star, Smoky Lake and Cheesiry good, Cheese Factory less so). Eat Local sells a local organic milk and Bles-wold Yoghurt, don't think there is any butter though.

              1. re: Dan G

                Sylvan Star does make butter, but they usually don't sell it at the City Market. I have seen it in one of the Calgary markets. Maybe you could make a request?

                1. re: anonymoose

                  If you make it out to the Salisbury Market on Thursday evenings, there is a farm there selling fresh butter/cream/cottage cheese etc.

                  Quite delicious. I picked some up last week.

              2. re: rafjel

                Eat Local is now selling butter from Vital Green farm, according to its website.