Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and drink

Best wishes, and potential dishes, of the season



’Tis time for nicely seasoned greetings and foodstuffs of all sorts. So being the practical, world-conscious Canadian gal that I am, can I gently remind you of the best gifts of all — ones that disappear, preferably those that are B.C.-born or –bred.

How about a year’s supply of Whistler Chocolate? Gift certificates, or the real thing, from Howe Sound Brewing? Or a sack of Across the Creek Russian blue potatoes paired with a couple of Pemberton Meadows steaks for the pal who has everything. You can offer to cook.

On the other hand, I can’t think of a soul who wouldn’t welcome rare and exotic already-homemade comestibles, or even down-to-earth retro ones like a batch of spicy nuts ’n’ bolts mixed up by your very own hands and baked golden-brown in your very own oven.

Or consider beautiful B.C. wines, a box of smoked salmon that’s easy to ship to friends in other time zones, fine hand-made soap from an emu farm in the Okanagan — gifts like these give double or triple overtime when you count the giftee, who’s delighted to receive it, the giver, who’s delighted to source it so easily and conscientiously, and the delighted gift producer, who’s grown, raised or made it and has friends and family of his or her own to support this Christmas season.

Another usually welcome gift that produces volumes of pleasure beyond the physical resources it consumes or tangible space it occupies is a mighty good book. Chances are that once it has been consumed by the intended recipient it, too, will disappear — into the hands of another eager reader or, at least, into a second-hand book sale where its capability to give will keep on giving.

Thankfully, ideas centred around food and eating, in case you haven’t noticed in this column, segue into just about every human activity and foible, from politics to pottery-making. Lord knows you don’t have to be a “foodie” — how I hate the term, sticky as it is with classism and the swagger of competitive eating — to appreciate a good book about food. So here are a few offerings, in time for holiday or any-day giving:


In Bad Taste? The Adventures and Science Behind Food Delicacies . Dr. Massimo Francesco Marcone. Okay, so you’ve caught me red-handed, but wasn’t that a good set-up for a book bent on demystifying food brinksmanship? Like, is it worth paying 30 bucks for 50 grams of coffee ( kopi luwak <) made from coffee beans a civet in Indonesia eats and then poops out?