Sensational Signs of Spring
By: Samantha Wiles
Are you enjoying some more sunshine these days? Taking in the pleasant scent of fresh flowers and relishing in the warmer spring air? It’s easy to get excited about spring, especially when thinking about all of the seasonal food items that become available. When talking with the merchants at Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market we learned what they are most eager to share with their customers right now. From Ontario produce to delicacies from the ocean depths and beyond, here is their list of the freshest items to fill your plate with this spring.
Spring Milk Cheese
Did you know that the best time to enjoy artisanal cheese is springtime? After a long winter consuming dry feed, dairy animals — and as a result, their milk – thrives from greener pastures, quite literally. In the spring, dairy animals are once again grazing on fresh grass, herbs and wildflowers, which gives the milk they produce extra richness. Quality milk producers around the world know to put spring milk to good use in fresh and ripe cheeses. Nick from Olympic Cheese brings in special spring items such as artisan goats cheese and Camembert from France to celebrate the season.
Seasons of the Sea
The water temperature is rising and that means spring has also arrived under the sea. When thinking of in season products we naturally tend to envision fruits and vegetables, but seasonality is also very important to consider when purchasing seafood. In May, many specialty shellfish become available such as spot prawns and soft shell crab, which pair perfectly with the many fresh flavours of spring. Pina from Seafront Fish Market recommends checking with your local fishmonger to find out what they are getting in fresh, and discover a new favourite.
Glorious Greens and Foraged Finds
Spring is one of the most wonderful times of the year for produce and is the highly anticipated return of local freshness in Ontario. The growing season starts very green with many foraged products that are available for a short but sweet time. St. Lawrence Market produce merchants and farmers will know exactly when you can find spring favourites like wild leeks or “ramps”, wild chives, fiddlehead ferns and more exotic imports like morel mushrooms.
To find out more about the many items in season in the spring, visit the merchants of St. Lawrence Market. You won’t find many people more excited to share their prep and cooking tips than this group of food enthusiasts. A full list of merchants, as well and how and when to visit can be found at stlawrencemarket.com.