Foodie Pages: Online Farmer’s Market
I’m a sucker for a good gift basket. And a bigger sucker for cool, small Canadian food producers usually found at farmer’s markets or underground food fairs. But sometimes, underground food fairs are hard to find and farmer’s markets’ operating hours don’t jive with my schedule. Foodie Pages is perfect for that! Based in Toronto, Foodie Pages is basically an online farmer’s market, featuring food vendors from all over Canada. Just when you thought that bacon candy was hard to find or that you missed that last One of a Kind trade show and your chance to taste Monkey Butter, Foodie Pages offers those and more on their website.
What’s more perfect for the holidays than a basket jammed packed with cool food items? Like I said, I absolutely adore gift baskets. One of my favourite episodes of The Office (before it jumped the shark) was the episode when Michael and Dwight drove around town with their car full of gift baskets to win back lost clients.
Foodie Pages was kind enough to send me a basket with some samples to try. One of my favourites in the basket were little buttery chocolate olive shortbread cookies from a company new to me: Dinette Nationale from Montreal. That’s the other great thing about Foodie Pages, it’s a wonderful way to learn about new, up and coming Canadian bakeries or restaurants that only produce small batches. Some start-up chefs may not be set up in a brick-and-mortar storefront yet so Foodie Pages offers a great space for those chefs to sell their products across the country and vice versa, obsessive foodies like me can be introduced to cool, new foods. I still have my obsession with those gluten free cashew cookies I discovered over the summer.
Foodie Pages was started by Erin in Toronto, a busy foodie who can’t always fit gourmet food shopping into her schedule. After talking with fellow foodies and food vendors, the Foodie Pages community was born.
Don’t underestimate these thin cookies. Just one is incredibly rich and complex. The bittersweet chocolate is offset by that earthy edge of olive flavours. This is one addictive and sophisticated cookie.
Foodie Pages also publishes brief profiles on each of their vendors. Some of them have intriguing back stories. As much as I love stellar food, I also love a good back story. Heavenly Honey from Ottawa has a great one: they raise bees and produce and package their own honey. The jar I received in my Foodie Box was the maple syrup flavoured honey. The smell was intense when I cracked open that jar lid, smelling of deep nutty maple syrup and sweet honey. I’ve only had raw honey a few times so this was a real treat.
This maple honey wasn’t as sweet as the store bought kind (a good thing!) and seemed to have a greater depth in flavour, the honey and maple notes slowly creeping up my tongue like a little crescendo of sweetness. And the best thing was Heavenly Honey doesn’t leave that sticky aftertaste in my mouth like store bought honey.
Heavenly honey is perfect for cold days, I’ve mixed it in my morning oatmeal and drizzled it on top. I’ve dunked giant spoonfuls in tea too.
Next up is Hot Mamas. True to its name, the jelly in this jar is laced with a red hot spicy chili. If you’re brave enough you can spread it on toast. I smeared some on crackers and my tongue lit on fire. I’m a wimp though. A normal person would only consider this jelly as mild. It makes for a great gift though – a sexy stocking stuffer for that budding chef on your list.
I was the most excited about the Monkey Butter. I never make it to the One of a Kind shows where they sell this stuff. Did you know they make a maple bacon peanut butter?
Based in my hometown of Vancouver, BC, Monkey Butter’s flagship flavour is dark chocolate and banana. That’s right, there are bananas in their peanut butter, hence the name of the company. Elvis would have loved this spread.
The fruit in the peanut butter sweetens it so Monkey Butter is generally healthier than your run-of-the-mill peanut butter chock full of sugar and preservatives.
I thought the Monkey Butter was going to be creamier when I opened the jar but I’m sure the sticky peanut butter has just settled at the bottom of the jar during shipping. It was thicker and stickier after a few stirs with my butter knife. I truly can’t get enough of this peanut butter. I have an obsession with chocolate and peanut butter already and now that I have it in a jar, I basically eat the stuff with a spoon.
The sticky peanut butter is a perfect match for the sweet bananas and bittersweet dark chocolate. You can actually see chunks of banana folded into the peanut butter. I will definitely be ordering more of this stuff from Foodie Pages.
Happy holiday shopping for your foodie friends and family, be sure to check out Foodie Pages for their custom Foodie Boxes and other goodies!