Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be a pain! Turn it into a delicious adventure by exploring local shops and artisans in the weeks to come. From the perfect roast to the ultimate stocking stuffers, here’s where we’re headed to make the most of it.
BUILDING A CHEESE BOARD
Head to Thornbury’s Cheese Gallery for a wide selection of Ontario cheeses and accessories. Their varied selection and suggested pairings will keep you and your guests happy before, during, and after dinner. Bonus: stop for a glass of Ontario wine while you shop. Nothing makes the holiday rush seem smoother! City-Bound curd nerds are excited by Sanagan’s Meat Locker‘s all-new, all-Ontario cheese case. The team there has curated a list of small batch, artisan cheese not available anywhere else. Think funky, oozy numbers and wheels made of sheep, goat and water buffalo milk!
MAKING THE ULTIMATE ROAST
When it comes to meat, nothing beats going straight to the farmers. If you’re going the beef or pork route, head for VG meats. They’ve got a few shops in Southern Ontario where you can buy direct, but many of their ethically raised meats are on grocery store shelves too. BONUS: you can order many of their frozen meats online — Farm-to-City convenience at it’s finest!
For those who are city-bound, Bespoke Butchers offers some of Toronto’s top locally-sourced selections — they’re a Feast On? preferred purveyor, too!
FEEDING VEGETERIANS FOR THE NIGHT
Cold weather does not mean we should stop looking for Ontario food, on the contrary! One of our favorite spots to pick up winter vegetables is the St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market in Waterloo. Stalls piled high with cabbages, root veggies (gratin anyone?) and greenhouse goods have us returning year after year. For those of you stuck in the city, hit up one of Toronto’s many winter markets. Evergreen Brick Works market pairs down to just Saturdays, while markets like Sorauren Farmers’ Market (Mondays 3pm-7pm), Dufferin Grove’s Organic Farmers Market (Thursdays 3pm-7pm) and the UTSC Farmers Market (First Wednesday of the month) all move indoors.
LOOKING FOR STOCKING STUFFERS
We like our tokens to be eye opening and excited. That’s why we love gifting bottles of Pristine Gourmet Virgin Oils. No one seems to expect anyone in Ontario to make beautiful oils worthy of the spotlight like your typical EVOO, but Pristine does. Find them online via Foodie Pages. If you’re looking for something a little sweeter — we recommend handmade candies and chocolates (of course!). Bell Candy have been making candy in Ontario for over 150 years and are sure to impress. We also love the goat caramels from Haute Goat in Northumberland County. Be careful though: you may not be able to give them away!
SERVING DESSERT (YOU ARE.)
We’re big fans of the fruitcakes made by Pastry Chef Kylie Anglesey at Thyme & Again in Ottawa. They’re made in the summer (you read that right!) and painstaking cared for, by hand until the holidays. Every week, they’re brushed with brandy syrup and tucked in tight awaiting their forever homes. You can read more about them in the latest edition of Edible Ottawa.
What’s the perfect pairing for holiday sweets? A warm cuppa tea. Our friends at Pluck Teas make the perfect blend for the winter season called Canoe Lake Blend. It’s got notes of maple sugar and pine needles and smoke… it’s basically Christmas in a cup.