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Good Food Conspiracy at Withrow Park

August 20, 2010

Over the past few years, I’ve heard multiple people make references to this place called “Leslieville“.   Oddly enough, I had no clue where this place was actually located and why it was all the rage.   In fact, I’m still figuring that out as one of its new residents.  

Map of Leslieville (the pink section)

The first weekend after our big move I was anxious to get out there and explore.  It was a Saturday morning, so my first instinct was to jump in my car and head out to the Brickworks Farmer’s Market.   Then it dawned on me that there might be a Farmer’s Market  nearby.  I did a quick search online and BINGO!  

Withrow Park Farmer’s Market was a mere 10 minute bike ride away (see purple section in map above).  Conveniently enough, my boyfriend’s sister’s bike was sitting idle in our garage.  So I secured the bike helmet, tucked a few grocery bags in my backpack and made my way down Queen Street.  The nerves and nostalgia kicked in given it was my first time on a bike in years.  I felt like I was 10 years old again.   My panting while climbing up the hill on Logan Avenue quickly reminded me that was not the case.  

The area around Withrow was unexpectedly quaint with tree-lined streets and quiet.   I scanned the perimeter of the park looking for any sign of a market.  I almost lost hope, then I noticed white tents in the distance.  A smile spread across my face and at that moment I realized I was OLD.   I don’t know many people under the age of 50 who are this overjoyed by the sight of farmer’s markets. 

Withrow Park Farmer's Market

This market was small with only 10 or so vendors, but sufficient.  It had just what I needed.  Free-run eggs, meats, organic veggies, fruits, AND gluten-free snacks.  

I came across one booth called “Good Food Conspiracy” (sorry, there’s no website to link to yet) where I spent 20 minutes chatting with the vendor and sampling their homemade dips and crackers.  Whomever said sampling was a waste of marketing dollars was wrong.   Had I not tried their products I would not have purchased $15 worth of hummus and crackers.  

Good Food Conspiracy booth

All of their products are made from raw, organic, vegan and gluten-free products (in case you can’t make that out in the above poster).   The product names are pretty clever as well.  I took advantage of the 3 for $14 special and walked away with these: 

  •  Ceasefire Hummus (Fiery) – The base for this version was sprouted chickpeas, followed by raw tahini, kelp and orange juice.  It’s get the “fiery” label from the cayenne and cumin spices which gives it a little zing.  If I had to describe the taste, I would say [I’m having a bite now just to confirm] that the cumin comes through the strongest.  Not overpowering though.  Just enough to surprise the palette. 
  • Ceasefire Hummus (Friendly) – If you can hardly handle pepper on your food, then you’ll want to go with the “friendly” variety.  This is probably the creamiest hummus I’ve ever had.  Get ready for this – it’s made sans chickpeas (or beans for that matter).  The secret ingredient is macadamia nuts alongside yellow zucchini.  Interesting, huh?  I’ve shared it with a few other visitors and we had to hold ourselves back from polishing the tub off in one sitting.  I’m going back for more this weekend.  

 

Vegan, Organic, Raw Hummus

  • Van Gogh’s Gone Crackers – What’s hummus without crackers?  I wouldn’t usually spend $5 on a box of 4 crackers but gluten-free crackers that don’t taste like cardboard are hard to come by.  The base being buckwheat and hemp.  As you can see from the photo, they had a variety of flavours.  I made my choice based on her hummus-pairing suggestions.  This was one of the more mild flatbreads, flavoured with herbes de provence, rosemary and other dried herbs. 

 

Van Gogh's Gone Buckwheat Crackers

Good Food Conspiracy

Other items on my shopping list:   

Oyster mushrooms – I heard the ladies beside me discussing how “lovely they taste” stir-fried with a little oil and garlic.   I was sold on the simplicity and absence of a recipe.  I’ll post a few photos if you’re interested.    

Berries – There’s only a few weeks left of summer so I’m taking advantage of fruits in season while I can.  I cleaned out my wallet buying pints of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.  The latter polished off before I even left the park.  Guess I had forgotten how amazing raspberries tasted when they are freshly picked.   

Organic free-range eggs – These tasted like any other egg.  I just feel better knowing that I’m supporting local farmers who provide organic, humanely produced eggs. 

Well it’s Friday night and I’m counting down the hours until Withrow Park and I meet again.

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