One of my favourite places in the grocery store is the cheese section. Not the dairy section, where you can get store-brand cheddar and mozzarella, but the actual cheese section, where they stock all the other cheeses: brie, camembert, gouda, havarti, edam, fontina, roquefort, gorgonzola, feta. If you haven’t tried any of the above, then you haven’t tried enough cheeses. Take a look at some cheeses the next time you go grocery shopping and try something new. Most of the time all you need is a few crackers to pair it with.
In the photo above is Applewood, a soft smoked cheddar cheese. It’s super delicious on sandwiches and alone on crackers. This one is made with artificial smoke flavour but I actually prefer it to the real smoked cheddars that I’ve tried. It’s one of my favourites, and I love to introduce people to it whenever I can.
The SweeTango apple is a new hybrid apple that debuted a couple of years ago in 2009. I don’t know about other places, but around here it only seems to show up in supermarkets for a few weeks every fall. Last year I saw them for the first time at one of the smaller grocery stores here in town. I didn’t recall at the time hearing the name SweeTango before, so I looked up the apple when I went home and read that it was new. At that point, in September 2010, it hadn’t been available for very long at all.
So naturally, this year as the weather started getting colder I started to keep an eye out for these apples. Sure enough, a couple of weeks ago I found them in my regular grocery store. I bought a couple to try.
A SweeTango apple is much like a Honeycrisp in terms of size, texture, and taste: they are typically light pink with red patches and are large, firm and plump with a good crunch and a lot of sweetness. In my opinion, what makes them good is their sweet-but-not-too sweet flavour that the name implies. And while I wouldn’t consider them tangy (as the “tango” implies), they are definitely not boring and worth a try. Pick up a few if you see them in your local supermarket.
I do, however, stand by my opinion that CamelCaps should never be used for anything seen by the public, ever.
Tonight, to go with my leftover mac and cheese, I ate a bunch of sugar snap peas. Until a few months ago, I didn’t know this vegetable existed. These days, they are a staple in my fridge.
Sugar snap peas are similar to snow peas, but they have a more round, plump pod. These peas are eaten whole, in the pod, and are delicious both raw and cooked. I like them because they are convenient — after cooking a meal I can reach into the fridge and toss a pile of these onto the plate for a quick green-fix. They can also be steamed or tossed into a stir fry, where the crunchy, fresh texture is a great addition.
They taste like you’d expect something this green to taste. The pods are crisp and not dry. The flavour reminds me of raw broccoli, but it’s not all that similar (I don’t care for raw broccoli).
You should be able to find sugar snap peas in your local grocery year-round, and they can often be bought loose or prepackaged.