Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

St. Lawrence Market

Bing Cherries

Bing Cherries

I went to the market today with two dear friends and we all left with sacks of produce exploding with possibilities.  If you’ve never been to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto before, you’re missing out on a world of possibilities.  It may not be the biggest market or the best market, but it’s MY market…only an 11-minute walk away.  I’ll tell you more about it shortly.  Until then, you’ll have to munch on my photos of the seasonal produce I schlepped home…

orange beets

orange beets


07 2009

Ginger Grater

ginger grater

I picked up this handy little tool at Bowery Kitchen Supplies Inc., located in the Chelsea Market (appropriately, also home to the Food Network studios).  This store is a kitchen connoisseur’s dream offering great value on a multitude of products.  I can’t visit NYC without popping in to supplement my burgeoning stable of gadgets.  The now-defunct Bodum store (an oasis of shiny white and glass) was around the corner, so trips to this neighbourhood left me burdened with heavy bags and a packing nightmare.

 Fortunately, this compact ginger grater is easy to pack, made of white porcelain (did I mention my obsession with white china), and reasonable prices, satisfying all requirments when shopping abroad.  Williams-Sonoma has a similar model for about $15, but you can find the model pictured above for one-third the price at Chinese markets and other kitchen supply stores.

grated ginger

 Cooks Illustrated promoted this tool in their September, 2007 edition and I highly concur.  Metal graters, including my beloved Microplane Grater, tend to cut the fibrous root as part of the grating process, potentially leaving your dish a bit hairy.  The nubs on this ceramic board, however, tease the pulp out into a fluffy, glorious cloud and leave the fibres behind.  Any juices can be tipped, along with the pulp, into your preparation; simply discard the mass of fibres into your organics bin. 

Always one for multi-tasking, you’ll be relieved to know that this grater can be used for chocolate, hard cheeses and even cinnamon.  Just rinse the board under running water and it will wait patiently in your drawer or hanging from its hole, taking up no space at all thanks to its slim profile, until called into action.  This, dear reader, is my tool of the week.


06 2009


Grapefruit and Lavender

Another discovery brought to me courtesy of Martha Stewart, Papabubble is an international cult candy shop with outlets in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and now Manhattan.  Their artisanal hard candies are handmade in plain view at each store.  You can watch the owners as they knead, beat, stretch and slice the sweet bites into submission.  Simple ingredients, a dynamic range of flavours and cute packaging make them hard to resist.  While there, I managed to sample almost every flavour, some of them even still warm from the marble slab.  My must-have favourites include chili-lime, lavender, caramel apple, and lemon ginger along with the most adorably delicious pink grapefruit.


You can watch a Martha Stewart’s visit at: Martha at Papabubble



380A Broom Street, between Mott St and Mulberry St.

New York, NY

Open seven days a week


06 2009

Mast Brothers Chocolate



Rick and Michael Mast, the bearded beatnik brothers and proprietors of Mast Brothers Chocolate, are the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers in New York.  The brothers from Iowa roast cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Madagascar and Venzuela in their Williamsburg, NY factory and create micro-batches of pure alchemy, turning said beans into delicious tablets of deeply complex chocolate subtly flavoured with a small range of flavour profiles:  salt & pepper, fleur de sel, cocoa nibs.


My palate’s preference is their dark milk chocolate; made with 60% cacao, it has the intense bouquet of a dark with all of the butteriness of a milk, offering the best of both worlds.


Approximately 250 businesses offer their artfully wrapped bars for sale, but if you’re in the neighbourhood on the weekend, pay the brothers a visit at their factory’s storefront. 


Mast Brothers Chocolate

105 North Third Street, between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue

Williamsburg (718-388-2625)

Open weekends, noon-6 pm


06 2009

Welcome to Crispy Bits!

Welcome to Crispy Bits.   This blog is devoted to all things food.  From recipes to restaurants, from ingredients to implements, all aspects of the sweet and savoury will be explored on these pages.  Enjoy your time here and I hope you find something that whets your appetite.


06 2009