St. Lawrence Market

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The St. Lawrence Market is one of Canada’s oldest public markets and in 2012 it earned world recognition when National Geographic gave it top spot in a list of the world’s 10 best food markets. I’m totally inspired by this list by the way. Of the ten markets named in the article, the St. Lawrence Market is the only one I’ve made it to, which means I’ve got a lot of discovering left to do.

On my day trip to Toronto last month, I was so busy rushing around the city that I didn’t make it to the market until 4pm.

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Things had started to wind down by that time. I had missed the mid-day rush that you would expect of a downtown marketplace on a Friday afternoon. Instead I wandered at my leisure around the quite market hall. My first stop was a little mustard stand, thank goodness for luggage restrictions or I would have walked home with three tangy jars of condiments. I had to settle for a taste test instead. I grabbed a handful of pretzels and gave a variety of flavours a try.

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From there I preceded to a cheese stand across the way where I asked the young man behind the counter for the smallest pieces of “Gouda” he was allowed to give me. While I was persistent to pronounce Gow – da as the Dutch do he insisted on calling back that he had a lovely aged Goo-da. With a weakness for those delectable little crystals found in a well aged Gouda, I ended up walking away with more cheese than any one person should eat in a sitting; seven dollars spent. From the same little shop I bought a container of mixed olives and stuffed chilli peppers.

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I moved on to a bakery where  I bought a small loaf of black olive ciabatta, one of the few options left for bread at that time of day. There was a delightful looking focaccia, which for one person was just simply too much. The last stop I made was at a fruit and vegetable shop, where I bought a couple of ripe red tomatoes and a little bag of grapes.

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Fifteen dollars later, my arms were full of picnic worthy snacks. I sat on the outside patio laid down a smorgasbord of finger food and ate to my heart’s content.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful photos — I love the St. Lawrence Market too!

    1. marketmaiden says:

      Thanks Katie. I have yet to go to the Byward Market in Ottawa… how is it?

      1. The Byward Market is a cool area, but it’s not amazing. Most of the produce vendors don’t grow any of the fruits and vegetables themselves — you can buy bananas and strawberries and peppers, but a lot of it is the same produce you’d buy at a grocery store. That being said, there are some local growers, and I love going in the spring when the fiddle heads and wild garlic are in season.

        There are also some neat shops… One of my favourites is called the Byward Fruit Market, they sell all kinds of interesting things. Amazing and beautiful selection of mushrooms… This spring I was crazy for morels and didn’t have any luck foraging for them, so I stopped by the shop more than a few times to satisfy my cravings!

        I also love the plant vendors — a couple of years ago I bought a fig tree for eight bucks and this is the second year it’s fruited… In my kitchen 🙂

        Here’s an interesting article I read about the need for a strong vision for the market. The article is about the Byward Market, but a lot of the issues could apply to any similar market: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ByWard+Market+crisis+needs+vision+plan/8760269/story.html

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