Splendid Farm Offerings at the St. Lawrence Market


Since the early 1800s, the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto has been a traditional marketplace for fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses and all manner of other agricultural products.  It’s a colorful and happily bustling scene that has the distinction of being named by National Geographic in 2012 as the world’s best  market.  Even if a matter of opinion, that’s high praise!  Snapping these shots between bites of a warm croissant graced with some local honey provided a relaxing hour’s idyll.




Similar posts on O’Canada:

⇒ Abundance at the Saint John City Market

⇒ Kensington Market, Toronto: Fresh, Funky and Fun

⇒ Early 1900s Town Markets

Artist Appreciation: Andrew Horne

A, Horne, Pegasus Unicorn2

 Andrew Horne, Pegasus Unicorn


The serendipity afforded by the Web still amazes me at times and I love it when it allows me to stumble upon something of pure goodness, as I recently did when I came across the fantastically hip visual art of Toronto-based artist, Andrew Horne.  His “typographic paintings”, in particular, are excellent.  Most of these vivid pieces play around with classic signage and exhibit elements of studied photo-realism, pop-art irony and downright aesthetic gorgeousness.  Above and below is a sampling of Horne’s clever work, more of which can be found at his artist website here.

(Horne also has an entrepreneurial streak, which he channels by operating the very cool Flying Pony Gallery and Cafe in the Little India area of Toronto.)


A. Horne, Victory Bar2


A. Horne, Renee's Salon Of Beauty2


A. Horne, 419 Salutations



Other similar posts on O’Canada:

•  Artist to Appreciate:  Michael E. Glover

•  Sean Yelland’s “Distant” and “Stop Everything”

•  Artist to Appreciate:  Christopher Walker

•  Montreal As Muse for Jeremy Price

Espresso Cup Charm at The Flying Fox



These bright little espresso cups caught my eye at the very cozy The Flying Fox Bake Shop in historic Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The shop’s tasty fresh-baked treats and piping hot coffee brightened the cold November day considerably, as did the ready conversation of the shop’s cheerful owner, Julie Shand.  Julie shared with me that in light of her having lived way up near Yellowknife, Yukon Territory, shortly before opening the Flying Fox, Shelburne’s windy temperatures of 33°F / 0°C on that day seemed nearly tropical to her! For my part, I kept my gloves near at hand.



Abundance at the Saint John City Market

St. John, N.B. City Market

St. John, N.B. City Market


Americans celebrate Thanksgiving later this week, about a month and a half after Canadians mark their own similar holiday.  A trip last week to the picturesque City Market in the heart of downtown Saint John, New Brunswick — filled as it is with vibrant colors, numerous tastes and smells, all manner of local and regional food offerings and friendly vendors — brought to mind both country’s annual Fall celebrations.   These images taken during that trip provide a small sampling of this wonderful local marketplace.

Vintage Canadian Apple Crate Labels

Ogopogo Apples


In the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and many places in between, Fall is harvest time from coast to coast for Canada’s rich variety of apples.    That variety is also reflected in the colorful artistry of numerous vintage apple crate labels — such as the incredible OgoPogo one above — which recently caught my eye and which I thought would be worth collecting here to share.  (You can click through the slides below.)

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Thanksgiving and a Taste of Fall at the Local Market



Fall bursts forth with dappled reds, glowing oranges, bright yellows and other striking shades to complement the muted greens lingering from Summer.  These pics from a visit to a local farm stand near Upper Burlington, Nova Scotia nicely capture the Fall spirit and provide a nice lead into Canada’s upcoming Thanksgiving weekend and this Monday’s holiday.







Canada Dry’s Cross-Cultural Appeal

Canada Dry -- Sparkling


I remember as a child that we would drink Canada Dry Ginger Ale about as often as we drank Coca Cola.  Originated in Canada and adopted by America, the Canada Dry brand serves as a cultural bridge between our two countries.  Canada Dry Ginger Ale was created in 1890 by John J. McLaughlin, an Ontario pharmacist, and for a few decades thereafter this effervescent beverage was mainly a Canadian regional drink.  (Coincidentally, Coca Cola was also concocted a few years before in 1886 by a pharmacist, John Pemberton.)  Once its popularity spread to the U.S. around the 1920s, it eventually became a major American brand as attested by this assortment of vintage advertisements.

Smarties, Coffee Crisp and the Canadian Sweet Tooth


O’Canada Food Month / Installment 7

Happy Easter to those that celebrate this holiday.  Many Canadians will also be enjoying tomorrow off from work as they observe Easter Monday as a public holiday, a day off that we do not have here in the States.   Because today is Easter and given the custom in both countries of giving candy to children on this holiday, for the last day of O’Canada Food Month, I thought I’d highlight popular Canadian candies.

While I’m not a big eater of chocolate or other candy, it’s easy to recognize that among comfort foods candies occupy a special place, especially because they frequently bring us back to memories of childhood.   Among the leading confectioners plying their trade in Canada is Cadbury and Nestle, both of which appear to dominate offerings of chocolate candies in Canada.  I assume this is because of the country’s longer standing connection to and influence by Europe, where both those companies are based (Cadbury in England; Nestle in Switzerland).  By contrast, while Cadbury and Nestle products can be found in the U.S., not surprisingly candies by U.S.-based Mars and Hershey are more common here.

There are certainly many candies in common in both places — such as Snickers, Crunch, Kit Kat and Rolo chocolates — but there are quite a few products that can only be found in Canada.  These include Smarties chocolates (similar to M&Ms and not to be confused with the tart candy wafers that bear the Smarties name in the U.S.), Coffee Crisp, Aero, Crispy Crunch, Maltesers and Wunderbar.  Also worth mentioning are Kinder Eggs, which are hollow chocolate eggs with a toy surprise inside that, while not strictly a Canadian candy, are widely sold there but are oddly banned in the U.S. (due to possible choking hazards among very young children).  Here in the States, Necco offers a line of mint candies called Canada Mints, but I’m not sure how popular those are in Canada.

Some Notable Canada Food Blogs & Sites

Well Fed, Flat Broke

O’Canada Food Month / Installment 6

As I round out my O’Canada Food Month theme, below are a few Canadian food-oriented sites and blogs that caught my eye this month and that are worth exploring (and with apologies to what I’m sure are many terrific food sites that I’ve overlooked):

 . . . An Endless Banquet:  Montreal-focused wide-ranging food blog

Canadian Living:  Major magazine’s take on Canadian food and recipes

Fiesta Farms Blog:  Comments on all manner of food topics by a major independent Toronto food market

I’m Mr. Fabulous:  Not strictly a food blog but lots of great food photos and amusing thoughts amid “fabulous” fun

The Mindful Table:  All about sustainable and organic dining in Canada (and elsewhere) with many recipes

The Poutine Pundit:  Mainly about poutine (as noted here earlier this month), but also quite good on other eateries

Saltscapes: Special focus on the foods of the Maritime Provinces (as also mentioned previously)

Taste of Nova Scotia: Highlighting the best of Nova Scotia’s cuisine and dining places

Unsweetened.ca:  A lot going on with this site with quite strong culinary content

Well Fed, Flat Broke:  Lots of personality and great recipes come through in this blog about good eating with sensibility

The Natural Goodness of Canadian Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup Bottle

O’Canada Food Month / Installment 5

Given the prominence with which the maple leaf is emblazoned on its flag, the cultural importance to Canada of the maple tree and, by extension, the “fruit” of that tree, maple syrup, is difficult to mistake.  I recall watching a grainy black-and-white educational reel in grade school touting the time-honored process and virtues of Vermont maple syrup production, which impressed me as much as anything by the way the syrup flowed so copiously from a narrow pipe hammered into a tree’s trunk.  Vermont, of course, produces some excellent maple syrup but Quebec, which produces over 80% of the world’s supply of maple syrup, is the undisputed champion in that realm.


In addition to the early Spring thaw being upon us, which is the prime season for harvesting sap, I was reminded of maple syrup’s primacy by an article in the NY Times from this past December, which caught my attention then because of its unusual subject:  the theft in Quebec of over 6 million pounds of maple syrup valued at about $18 million from the global strategic maple syrup reserve.  Okay, that’s a huge amount of maple syrup.  But cue up the look of surprise — a global strategic maple syrup reserve!  Huh?  The very existence of a strategic reserve — now containing an estimated 46 million pounds of syrup — is even more telling about the significance of this sweet amber substance to Canada.

Maple Tree Sap

I’m not enough of a maple syrup connoisseur to easily detect the differences between Quebec / Canadian and Vermont varieties of maple syrup, but there is almost always a bottle (an actual glass bottle!) of maple syrup from Canada in the cupboard.   While I most commonly enjoy it with pancakes, it is a fitting accompaniment to eggs, oatmeal, ice cream, vegetables and other foods.  A recipe I clipped a couple of years ago from Saltscapes magazine for maple-glazed carrots produced a delicious take on that root vegetable.   On that note, here are a few links to some Canadian maple syrup recipes that look quite good:

Recipes from I Love Maple

Recipes from Pure Canadian Maple Syrup

Recipes from Canadian Living

Recipes from Saltscapes

(Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

A Word or Two About Poutine


O’Canada Food Month / Installment 4

Originated in Quebec, there’s nothing in the States quite like poutine.  Although the basics of the dish are easy enough to describe — french fries and cheddar cheese curds topped with a healthy dose of brown gravy — given the extreme pro and con feelings among Canadians evoked by this dish I didn’t feel my words alone could do justice to poutine.  So what follows are some curated comments from more refined observers of poutine, which collectively provide a well-rounded sense about this peculiar Canadian food stuff.

“Poutine doesn’t have the immediate fear factor of haggis, but you do have to steel yourself for the first few bites.  Having said this, poutine’s rich content of starch, sugar, oil, fat and salt are ideal for larding it up for a dark Quebec winter.”    Douglas Coupland, in Souvenir of Canada (2002)

“On a recent trip to Montreal, a city that is to poutine what Baltimore is to crab cakes, I asked a young woman I’d met there named Emily Birnbaum why poutine often struck people as funny.  “Because it’s so gross,” she said.  “After you finish a poutine, you say, ‘I can’t believe I just ate that.'”  It almost goes without saying that she was eating poutine as we spoke.  So was I.”  Calvin Trillin, in “Funny Food,” The New Yorker (Nov. 23, 2009)

“Quebec can rightfully claim bragging rights to being the birthplace of poutine. But the gooey French fries, gravy and fresh cheese curd mix has transcended La Belle Province to become Canada’s favourite nosh.  Not officially. The motion “Poutine Should be Declared the National Dish of Canada” was narrowly defeated at the 11th Annual Leacock Debate two years ago. Pity.”    Alexandra Gill, in “Ode to True Putine Bliss at Vancuver Bistro,” The Globe and Mail (Sept. 10, 2012)

“Poutine is Acadian slang for mushy mess and is best described as a heart attack in a bowl. . . .The cheese is the most important part of good poutine. You must use FRESH white, cheddar cheese CURDS. These curds have a taste and texture very different than actual cheddar cheese. The cheese curds will actually squeak in your teeth as you bite them. . . .”   From “A Primer on the Preparation of Poutine” on The Gutsy Gourmet

“Many restaurants now serve novelty poutines made with foie gras, gnocchi, or home fries. Red wine, cream, or pepper are sometimes used to good effect in designer gravy. Interesting ingredients and cooking methods should always be reasonably accommodated, no matter what culture they come from, thereby allowing poutine to flourish and develop. However, it should be remembered that some cultural practices are repugnant to this nation’s culinary values (such as the “poutine” I had in Newfoundland that replaced cheese curds with sliced shards of Kraft singles).”  From the Criteria page on The Poutine Pundit

“Whether Montreal’s embarrassing but adored junk food does take root in New York, it may never attain the status it achieved earlier this year when the CBC revealed the results of a viewer poll on the greatest Canadian inventions of all time. Granted, poutine came in only at No. 10. But it beat, among other things, the electron microscope, the BlackBerry, the paint roller and the caulking gun, lacrosse, plexiglass, radio voice transmission and basketball.”    Kate Sekules, in “A Staple From Quebec, Embarassing But Adored,” New York Times (May 23, 2007)

The Joys of Kraft Dinner

Bowl of Mac and Cheese

O’Canada Food Month / Installment 3

Is Kraft macaroni and cheese, a/k/a Kraft Dinner, the national dish of Canada?  While not as distinctive as the uniquely Canadian cheese-laden concoction, poutine, Kraft mac and cheese is consumed in greater quantities on a per capita basis north of our borders than anywhere else and its widespread popularity across Canada appears to rival any other packaged food item for a claim to national dish status.

Kraft Dinner, from Kevin Frank's "True North"

Kraft Dinner, from Kevin Frank’s “True North”


Over the years, I’ve consumed my share of packaged macaroni and cheese, especially when my two boys were very young and this was an easy-to-fix staple that they heartily enjoyed.  Being now a fan of made-from-scratch mac & cheese, Kraft macaroni had been off my radar screen for quite a while when, during a late 2012 visit to Halifax, I came across Sasha Chapman’s very interesting article “Manufacturing Taste” in the September 2012 issue of The Walrus.

Walrus September 2012

Chapman weaves together the back story of Kraft Dinner and the relentless pursuit by J.D. Kraft, a former Ontario farm boy who went on to build the Kraft food empire, to eliminate spoilage in store-bought cheese.  Here’s Chapman on the breakthroughs that led to the convenience we now know as boxed macaroni and cheese:

The discovery that emulsifying salts could be used to make processed cheese turned out to be the great innovation—and some would say tragedy—of twentieth-century cheese making. It standardized the process and ruled out variation, good or bad, at every stage. The idea for boxed macaroni and cheese came during the Depression, from a salesman in St. Louis who wrapped rubber bands around packets of grated Kraft cheese and boxes of pasta and persuaded retailers to sell them as a unit. In 1937, the company began to market them as Kraft Dinner, promising to feed a family of four for 19 cents (US). The boxes had a good shelf life and could be kept in a pantry for about ten months; back then, many Canadian households did not yet own a refrigerator. In 1939, two years after KD launched in Canada and the US, Kraft’s Canadian sales had already reached $8 million. A mere six years later, at the end of World War II, sales had nearly doubled to $14 million, helped in large part by government requisitions for the armed forces, and at home by war rationing and general privation, which made meatless entrees more common.

Along the way she relates the ups and downs of the Canadian cheese industry from the nineteenth century forward and the role of sophisticated corporate food labs in manufacturing our collective tastes for the foods that we adopt as an expression of regional food culture but for which the local roots are usually quite tenuous.

But without getting too deep, if most Canadians prefer the Kraft Dinner variety who can really argue.  Mac and cheese of whatever sort is a wonderful comfort food, and, as we’d say here in the American South, it’s “pure “D” delicious.”

Milk (In Bags!)

Milk Sold in Bags

O’Canada Food Month / Installment 2

Differences help define cultures.  While American and Canadian cultures share a great deal, one of the more peculiar differences when it comes to food products is the custom in parts of Canada of selling milk in bags.  Here, we’re used to substantial jugs and cartons, but in Canada, particularly the eastern provinces, grocery stores stock milk in loose plastic sacks containing three smaller plastic packages of milk totaling around 4 liters (about 1 gallon).

The milk bags are used with a medium plastic pitcher, which holds the bag and from which the milky goodness is then poured after snipping off a triangle on one of the top corners of the bag.  Apparently there’s a bit of art and science to this because stories of frustrating spills among the uninitiated are legion.  Among the virtues cited for the milk bag:  its recyclability; it uses less plastic than a milk jug; because they can be stacked they’re easier to store; and they can be frozen.

My sense is that many Canadians would concede that milk bags are genuinely — but endearingly — odd.  Perhaps because of this shared bemusement, there are numerous joking videos to be found on the Internet about this milk bag thing.  Among these, I especially like the one below by CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi in which he provides an eloquently spirited and amusing defense of the milk bag as a cultural icon to be proudly embraced.

(Image credits:  Alex Dawson, Pitcherman, and Jakemaheu, all via Wikimedia)

Saltscapes and Canadian Comfort Food

O’Canada Food Month / Installment 1

To ease the transition from my more typical discussions of arts and literature talk to food, I’ll  share some thoughts on Saltscapes magazine, a publication whose editorial offices are in Nova Scotia and which bills itself as Canada’s East Coast Magazine (and of which I’ve been a happy subscriber for the past couple of years).   One of its regular features is a section called “Kitchen Party,” which is usually comprised of about half a dozen short pieces and recipes focusing on regional cuisine.

A couple of weeks ago while skimming through the January 2013, I came across a recipe for PEI baked potato soup, which received a 1st place award in Saltscapes’ annual recipe contest for 2012.   Submitted by Heather Gunn McQuillian of Morell, PEI, the dish was super easy to make and its creamy heartiness provided a perfect antidote to the winter chill swirling outside.   (The recipe is not yet posted on the Saltscapes website.)  Other award-winning recipes in that issues include: fig, goat cheese & balsamic salad; savory pesto cheesecake; sherried mushrooms & brie; croustade oberland; country potato salad; and sweet potato & spinach pizza.

Heather Gunn McQuillian's PEI Baked Potato Soup

Heather Gunn McQuillian’s PEI Baked Potato Soup

The Saltscapes website and each issue of the magazine is packed with interesting content, including well written articles on local fare, cuisine and personalities.  On the website is an extensive recipe archive and index, several images from which are posted below.

Viewing the website, it’s apparent that the commitment of Saltscapes to the tastes and interests of the Atlantic Canada region extends beyond this magazine’s pages.  Among other things, there is a Saltscapes Restaurant & General Store outside of Truro, Nova Scotia, an annual Saltscapes Expo, an annual Food and Travel Guide, a separate Living Healthy magazine, an Eastern Woods & Waters online magazine, and a Saltscapes newsletter.  The magazine publishing business is a tough one in which to thrive, so I admire the entrepreneurial resourcefulness of those behind the various enterprises affiliated with Saltscapes.  By organizing and showcasing all these activities, they serve as exceptional ambassadors for Canadian cuisine and the Atlantic Canada region as a whole.

(Image credits: Saltscapes Magazine)

March is Food Month on O’Canada

Canadian Cuisine

What people eat as a regular part of their diets is a sometimes overlooked area of a country’s culture (in the broadest sense of culture).  Although my musings on Canadian culture have gravitated principally toward arts, music, literature, history and places, I’ve written occasionally about aspects of Canadian consumables (for example, Tim Horton’s, ice wine and Labatt beer) and have observed a number of other things about Canada’s food culture about which I’ve been mulling over sharing some comments.  So, for the month of March I plan to organize comments on O’Canada around the theme of food and see where that leads.  Among the topics being cooked up (very bad pun intended and which I promise to leave behind) will be Tim Horton’s (again), milk bags, poutine, maple syrup, Kraft mac & cheese (a/k/a Kraft dinner) and some of the best Canadian food blogs.  Bon apetit!

(Image credit: Wikimedia)

Labatt Blue vs. Imperial

Okay, so, this sounds a bit goofy:  in a contest between Canada and Costa Rica, who wins?  Of course, it depends on what the competition is, but when it comes to each of those country’s best-selling beers, it seems the match is a toss up.

Earlier this week, Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, an excellent local beer and wine shop with a very knowledgable and helpful staff, devoted their weekly Wednesday night beer tasting to what they dubbed a good-natured “north vs. south” contest of beers, pitting Labatt Blue against Imperial.  I’ve had both beers before but had never considered how they stacked up against the other.  Turns out both are very similar.  Because I prefer somewhat heavier-bodied lagers, I had to give the edge to Imperial as it is slightly closer to a full-bodied lager.  However, the consensus of the other attendees at the Westside location of the trendy Octane coffee bar and lounge, site of this beer throwdown, happeared to be split, with as many people preferring the Canadian brew as those that favored the Costa Rican champ.  Well, glad that’s settled.

Who’s This Tim Horton Fellow, Anyway?

In recent months, an icon of Canadian food fare has started to raise its profile here in ths U.S.  I’m speaking of Tim Hortons, whose chain of about 3,500 shops, mostly throughout Canada, offers donuts, coffee and sandwiches.  The closest comparison I can think of for those in the U.S. is a cross between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks  —  Tim Horton’ offerings of baked goods are very similar to Dunkin Donuts but the Canadian chain’s menu includes a heavier dose of traditional lunch sandwiches and soups and Tim Hortons is Canada’s largest seller of coffee drinks, although without the complicated varieties requiring the attention of a barista.  As most Canadians of coffee-drinking age also know, the namesake of the company is Tim Horton, one of the country’s most celebrated hockey players, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1950s and 1960s and who, in 1964, opened what was then a modest coffee and donut shop in the suburbs of Ontario.

Last summer, Tim Hortons announced the opening of about a dozen locations in New York City and a few months later cut the ribbon on a location at the U.S. Army’s facility at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  While their stores are dotted all across Canada, in the U.S. they are principally only found in the northeast and not really seen below West Virginia.  But, that may be changing.  Exhibit No 1. is this:  a couple of weeks ago a local branch of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) in Atlanta held a “Coffee with Tim” promotion in the morning, in which RBC brought in plentiful quantities of Tim Hortons coffee to warm up patrons who may have been wondering exactly who is this Tim fellow and why does he want to have coffee with us anyway.  Clever promotion for both the bank and Tim Horton’s and a nice touch for Canadians far from home.

On my visits to many Canadian cities and towns I’ve frequently stopped in for a cup of coffee at a Tim Hortons because they are so convenient.  I suppose because of their presence just about everywhere there, these shops provide a sort of common comfort food to Canadians across their country, much like McDonald’s (at least more than any other quick service or fast food outlet) does here below the border.   Tim Hortons is so popular in Canada, I once had a Canadian friend tell me that anyone who owns one of these franchises essentially had a license to print money because, in his words, “these places are like gold mines.”

Perhaps, then, the Fort Knox location makes a symbolic statement.  Given the vast size of the U.S. market, I am sure Tim Hortons sees plenty of opportunities here, so I am sure that their stores will be popping up on more radar screens — and other bank branches — in the U.S. before too long.

Ice Wine Taste Test

An article in last Friday’s NY Times (http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/travel/escapes/26icewine.html?scp=1&sq=icewine&st=cse) on Canadian icewines caught my attention both because of the connection to Canada and because I had previously not heard of icewines.  I’ve sampled many wines over the years but am by no means an oenophile, so my being unaware of a notable wine variety is not that unusual.  It turns out that icewine has quite a following and the wineries of the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, and to a lesser extent those in southern Quebec and the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, have played a major part in elevating the popularity of icewine on this continent and beyond.

The key factor that distinguishes icewine is that the grapes are left on the vine past normal harvest season and when the temperature is below -8 Celsius (about 17 Farenheit), usually in December or January, the grapes are carefully picked by hand.  At such low temperatures the water content in the grape stays frozen resulting in a significantly higher concentration of juice when the grapes are crushed compared with the process for making other wines.  The yield from each harvest is also correspondingly lower, which translates into the wine being more expensive to purchase.

With this background in mine, a few days later I ventured out to a local wine shop to purchase a bottle to sample.  Although judging by the websites for several leading icewine wineries, there is an extensive range produced, this far south in the U.S. the selection is quite limited and I was only able to track down a bottle after visits to three shops that normally have extensive wine offerings.  At the place I located this elusive wine, Ansley Wine Merchants, they actually stocked two types of Canadian ice wine, Inniskillin’s 2006 Vidal and Jackson-Triggs 2007 Proprietor’s Reserve Vidal.   I got both thinking I would compare the two.  (They also had an Austrian icewine on hand, but the priciness — US $55 for the 375 ml bottle of Inniskillin and US $21 for a 187 ml bottle of the Jackson-Triggs — restrained me.)

A few days later, after letting the wine chill, my wife and I tried each of these two curiosities.   Icewines are generally referred to as dessert wines and I was expecting them to be sweet in the manner of many flavored liqueurs.   Sampling the Inniskillin first, this partly turned out to be the case, but the sweetness was balanced by a brisk acidity, which apparently is characteristic of icewines, so the level of sweetness is not intense to the point of tartness.   The same was true of the Jackson-Triggs, although this particular vintage seemed even sweeter.  I’ve never been good at describing the flavors present in wines, but the makers of both attribute flavors of tangerine, papaya and apricot, which even I can discern.   My wife immediately pronounced the taste pleasantly complex.  Being more of a vodka drinker myself, I was glad to see that an icewine martini was among the serving recommendations and this suited my own tastes better than the straight icewine.

Sweet drinks are not normally to my liking, so I am unlikely to become an icewine connoisseur.  Yet, all in all my introduction to icewine proved to be an interesting diversion and another useful learning experience about an aspect of Canada previously unknown to me.

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