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San Marzano tomatoes at Costco

Well, when you put it that way, it doesn't seem like so much fun anymore...

Anyway, the Unicos were $1.69, the La Reginas were $1.99.

San Marzano tomatoes at Costco

Okay, just for fun I picked up a can each of the La Regina Di San Marzano and the Unico San Marzano Type and just now did a side-by-side taste test right out of the cans: stick in fork, pull out whole tomato, eat. The Unicos are larger, stringier, tangier, and seedier, and the La Reginas have a better texture and a deeper, richer tomato taste. Now it's quite possible that, once cooked into a simple sauce, the taste differences are negligible, but frankly I'm skeptical. For me it's no contest - the La Reginas win hands down. I'm going to stick with the fake imported San Marzanos over the fake domestic San Marzanos.

San Marzano tomatoes at Costco

I agree with 1sweetpea. I also find Canadian canned tomatoes too acidic, and now that I've discovered the Italian imports - which really are delicious - I can once again make a passable spag bol at home.

Kagemusha, what exactly were the results of your blind taste test?

Help from Chocolate Connoissuers (especially Dark Chocolate)

At St. Lawrence Market you can get Cluizel and Amedei, plus most of the brands I mentioned earlier.

Help from Chocolate Connoissuers (especially Dark Chocolate)

If you have the time and inclination, you could try something a bit different and assemble your own gift basket. You could get an inexpensive woven basket from somewhere like Pier 1 and fill it with an assortment of dark chocolate, perhaps bars of different sizes and intensities. Seventy to eighty-five percent is a good range for most dark chocolate fans, I would think. Green & Black's, Dolfin, Ethiquable, Sarotti, and Anthon Berg are all IMO decent mid-priced brands.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels in Toronto?

I was in Holt Renfrew today, shopping for tea and Lego, and I noticed they had boxes of chocolate-covered pretzels for sale. Each box had an assortment of dark, milk, and white chocolate-coated pretzels. I presume they are amazingly delicious and I'm positive I will never, ever buy them.

All -Night Dim Sum....

This probably isn't much help, but there used to be a place at Broadview/Gerrard where we would stumble into after the bars closed for soup and spring rolls. One time we had a hankering for dim sum so we asked the waiter if there was any chance of ordering some. He said, "Sorry, no dim sum until 10AM." He must have seen how disappointed we were because he went into the kitchen and returned 2 minutes later and said, "OK, we serve dim sum from 3 until 6."

Maybe you can find a similarly friendly place willing to bend the rules?

ISO He'brew Jewbelation 13 beer

Thanks for the info. That's a shame about the Samichlaus. There aren't many beers around that you can pair wih fruitcake...

ISO He'brew Jewbelation 13 beer

If you're looking for a rich holiday beer with a high ABV content, you'll want to keep a lookout for Aventinus Eisbock or Samichlaus. Neither is in stock at the LCBO at the moment, but I'll be very surprised (and disappointed) if they aren't restocked by Christmastime.

San Marzano tomatoes at Costco

I stopped eating canned tomatoes a long time ago because of the acid, as 1sweetpea mentioned above. I picked up some of these today and I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

San Marzano tomatoes at Costco

For $1.99 you can buy the 28oz cans of this same brand, La Regina Di San Marzano, at SLM. For those of us (like me) for whom Costco is too far away, and the giant cans are a giant hassle, it's a reasonable deal.

Cross and Blackwell---PICALLILLIE

My local Metro (Front & Church) carries both the Piccalilli and the Branston Pickle. Also you can get it in the St, Lawrence Mkt. Lively Life has it, and probably other places do as well.

ISO Bacon Vodka

According to this article (linked below) it's quite easy to make. Money quote:

"There isn't much to making bacon vodka: You throw a few cooked slices into the bottle, put it in a cupboard, and wait three weeks."

Whether it''s worth the effort is debatable, however. Money quote #2:

"It tastes like I'm having a stroke."

Zappi Factory - new "street" food coming to Toronto? (portable restaurant concept)

I don't think corn relish is banned.. I believe the forbidden items are fried onions, cheese, and mayonnaise.

Apple Fritter Search!

There used to be a coffee shop on Yonge, south of Bloor (it must be nearly 20 years ago), that had trays of fresh apple fritters stacked in their front window every morning. They looked just like in the picture above, and they were fantastic. You had to get there early though, because by the mid-afternoon they started to taste like cigarette smoke....

The ones at Starbucks are pretty good.

Zappi Factory - new "street" food coming to Toronto? (portable restaurant concept)

Well I for one support the idea and hope it does well. The street food situation in Toronto is dire, but Rome wasn't built in a day. If there was a food cart near me offering zapiekanki and sweet potato fries, I'd definitely be giving it a try.

Where to buy Spanish ingredients in Toronto

You can also get the paprika at SLM. Scheffler's has it for sure (La Chinata), probably other shops as well. Domino carries the Spanish rice in bags - I don't know how their prices compare with Rube's.

Where to buy Channel Island/Jersey milk

There are Jersey and Guernsey milk producers in Southern Ontario. Upper Canada Cheese Company, for one, makes their cheeses from local Guernsey milk.

I too am curious to know where you can get the milk in Toronto.

Chocolate Shoes?

This is a link to the floor plans of all the vendors at the fair. Most of the names of the exhibitors are clearly marked, if you zoom in close enough on the individual maps. It's a long shot, but you might be able to spot the name of your vendor.

The site had a list of all vendors as well but they've taken it down since the fair ended. You could try emailing them and ask for the list.

ETA: Found the exhibitors' list on Google:

Cast Iron Pan

It's true about the handles. I have a 12-inch Lodge and it's a bit cumbersome. It's a good pan, but it's bigger than anything I need it for. If you can get away with the smaller size you should consider it. Lodge has a line called "Pro-Logic" which has slightly larger handles and sloped sides.

Have you checked the Cookware board? There are several very comprehensive threads on all things cast-iron.

Uhockey Reviews Nadege and Aunties and Uncles.

This might be very much a minority opinion, but I've always preferred Maggie's over Aunties and Uncles. I guess they're properly called "Maggi's" now, at least according to the tiny little sign in their window. No attitude, just fast friendly service. The family that runs it is super-nice. I love the garlic fries that come with their breakfast combos.

Aunties and Uncles
74 Lippincott St, Toronto, ON M5S2P1, CA

Goldin's Smoked Meat at Home

Considering the Dunn's is cooked and the Goldin's isn't, it might have been preferable to give the Goldin's a head start of an hour or two. I've only tried the Goldin's once at home, and we gave it a good 5 hours of steaming. First we steamed it in the bag in a large saucepan of water for about 3 hours. Then we tranfereed it to a covered roasting pan on the stovetop, on a rack over a half-inch or so of water (out of the bag), and we threw in some carrots, potatoes and cabbage to make a proper meal of it. The brisket was incredibly tender and tasty. We served up the meat with a loaf of silverstein's light rye and 4 kinds of mustard.

Hickory smoked all beef sausage

If it was in a cloth casing, you might be referring to Mennonite-style summer sausage. I bought some last year at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at the CNE. We got two whole summer sausages and two packages of frozen bratwursts for $40. This year's Winter Fair is on right now at the CNE, and there's a possibilty the folks you're looking for are there. These types of vendors often attend various events throughout the year. It might be worth a trip to the CNE this weekend to find out.

Caplanskys on College St - impressions?

It's not nearly as bad now as it used to be, but I remember when just about every sandwich place in town would butter your sandwich whether you asked for it or not. I used to have to watch like a hawk and constantly call out, "excuse me, no butter, please", and often the sandwich maker would look up and ask, incredulously, "no butter!?"

I'm glad that doesn't seem to be a problem at Caplansky's.

Looking for TEA! Almond tea.

One of my favourites is "Tahitian Vanilla Hazelnut" from the Yogi Tea brand. I know you specified almond and not hazelnut, but it's rich and delicious and well worth a try.

Searching for German/Austrian foods in Toronto

if you're near downtown, you can try Reither's deli on Church Street. They have the real deal in terms of imported German and Austrian mustards, sauerkraut, and other condiments, and a big selection of Austrian biscuits/chocolates/candies. It's not the cheapest, but you could do a lot in one stop.

For fresh pretzels and salzstangerl I would recommend the Dimpflmeier Bakery factory outlet.

LCBO and Costco - best one

From what I've been told by LCBO employees, Queen's Quay is designated an "all-brands" location, meaning they are mandated to carry everything on the LCBO stocklist (at least in theory). My own experience in hunting for hard-to-find items is that they are more likely than Summerhill to carry a particular item. But while Summerhill is not QUITE as comprehensive as Queen's Quay, it's still an excellent store, and its location can't be beat.

looking for cheap but good eats in the downtown area - I am a huge foodie

I agree. You'll have better luck if you don't restrict yourself to the downtown core. A day pass on the transit system is just $9, and on weekends it's good for 2 adults (plus up to 4 kids if any).

Just for starters, in Chinatown you have Swatow, Chinese Traditional Buns, Kom Jug Yuen, the Banh Mi shops (can't think of their names), and plenty of good places for pho. Around the corner in Kensington Market you've got Perola, Jumbo Empanada, Emporio Latino, Segovia for great chili and Amadeu's for grilled whole sardines. I think all of these places qualify as cheap, and as excellent value for money.

Uncle Ray's Potato Chips in Toronto?

Bulk Barn gets a lot of mentions on this board for hard-to-find items. I really need to check it out. Thanks for the info!

ISO really good General Tao chicken

They're similar but not identical. Chili chicken has hot peppers and chopped onions, and Manchurian chicken has hot peppers, chopped garlic and ginger, and coriander. All three dishes start with fried dark-meat chicken.