An Interview With Gremolata’s Resident Spice Girl: Part I

[Editor’s Note: I originally wrote this for an old site called Modern Forager and am reposting here since it now has no home.]

Ever heard of Kifko?

Lorette Luzajic is a contributer to a great Canadian win and food website called Gremolata. But she’s not just any food writer.  Her last headline, “ I’m A Natural Born Killer “, caught my attention along with the undoubtedly significant vegetarian readership.  “ Life After Bread ” was equally compelling.  She’s earned the handle “resident spice girl”, having written some great spice profiles backed up at home with over 70 spice jars.  I thought it would be great if I could bring her perspective here for some insights on food journalism and being a female eating gluten-free.

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Spices in Toronto

A new report by The Atlantic lists Toronto as the #2 best city to live in for business, life, and innovation. But to go on a practical tangent, where should one be buying the spices to stock their kitchen?

It was several years ago that I reviewed a store called The Spice Trader for BlogTO. I have yet to find another store with spices of comparable quality, in spite of hopes that a there would be some sort of cheaper ethnic jewel of a source somewhere in the city.

I’m willing to pay a premium for quality, but what gets me is that the store does not offer any sort of volume discount. With prices ranging from $5-10 for small tins, whether you buy 1 or 10 at a time there is no mercy as you shell out quite a bit of cash. And so despite the dominance of Spice Trader tins on our spice shelf, most of them have been restocked with cheaper versions from various sources.

While I have a few favorites that I might keep buying from Spice Trader (roasted paprika!), I’m still holding out hope that I’ll stumble upon a great store or someone will tip me off. I am excited to see the new Top Chef Canada stumbling around some places in Toronto like Ethiopian Spice Store and
Perola’s in Kensington market.

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Pipe to keep tabs on comments from stellar food-related bloggers

Some of the most insightful info available gets posted in comments on blogs by their respective authors (not random commenters). So wouldn’t it be neat if you could have comments by your favorite bloggers drop in to an RSS feed?

I’ve pretty much accomplished this for some of my favorite diet/nutrition bloggers using this pipe feed. Yahoo Pipes is an awesome tool, since most RSS readers don’t offer any advanced/filtering functionality.

These authors post some really interesting comments (for some I don’t even subscribe to their blogs, just read their comments):
Art Ayers
Brad Pilon
Kurt Harris
Mark Sisson
Martin Berkhan
Mike Eades
Petro Dobromylskyj
Robb Wolf
William Davis

I have a few others set up for other topics that use some other neat functionality.. but I’m sure there are more technical people that can do a lot more than I with this stuff.

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Cobb Salad at The Senator Diner

Possibly the best cobb salad in TO.. at The Senator Diner near Dundas Square.

Senator Cobb Salad

Senator Cobb Salad

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Pesticides: Highest-Lowest Fruits & Veggies

Updated list of what might actually be worth buying organic versus what not to bother with.  Or make sure you give the “dirty dozen” a good rinse.

Celery, peaches coated with the most pesticides: group – CTV News

Dirty Dozen

Buy these organic

Clean 15

Lowest in pesticides

1. Celery 1. Onions
2. Peaches 2. Avocados
3. Strawberries 3. Sweet corn
4. Apples 4. Pineapples
5. U.S.-grown blueberries 5. Mango
6. Nectarines 6. Sweet peas
7. Sweet bell peppers 7. Asparagus
8. Spinach, kale and collard greens 8. Kiwi fruit
9. Cherries 9. Cabbage
10. Potatoes 10. Eggplant
11. Imported grapes 11. Cantaloupe
12. Lettuce 12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet potatoes
15. Sweet onions


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