Taking food recycling to a whole new level

real junk food project 2

Figured this was a pretty neat piece of news to share with our readers.  Adam Smith is a trained UK chef who has come up with an interesting restaurant known as “The Real Junk Food Project”. He cooks up nutritious meals using volunteers and all food that is deemed “un-sellable” by supermarkets and restaurants. This is the food that has passed its arbitrary expiration date but is still usable. The restaurant is located in Leeds, West Yorkshire and it has grown to involve a team of 5 directors and about... Read The Rest →

The food of Croatia

To be perfectly honest, while travelling the coast of Croatia from one end to the other, we didn’t really have a chance to experience any real Croatian food because we didn’t find any restaurants offering it. That’s not to say that there weren’t any restaurants, quite the contrary actually, but none that would offer something traditional. All we could find (granted in mostly tourist towns) were “full English breakfasts” and various weird renditions of the cuisines of other countries. Where is the seafood on the coast (duh!?!)? The stuffed peppers... Read The Rest →

Baluard Bakery – Barcelona

Raisin danish - Baluard

Located right across from the Barceloneta market in (surprise surprise) Barcelona, this amazing tahona (bakery) serves up incredible masterpieces made of flour, water, butter and love. The croissants served here are by far the most amazing I have ever had: they’re flaky and buttery to their saturation point. Since they bake at various intervals during the day, the pastries are always slightly warm and this certainly makes it an unforgettable experience. Anna Bellsola is the creator and owner of Forn Baluard and she comes from a long line of bakers. Having... Read The Rest →

The desserts of Spain

Chocolate, cherry and pistachio danish

Being completely obsessed with anything dessert, I took advantage of our European adventure to visit some pretty neat pastry shops in Spain and enjoy their traditional and not-so traditional treats. I can honestly say that given better ingredients, North American desserts would be on par with what I tried in many of these places. However, our butters aren’t nearly as fatty, our chocolate isn’t created with the same cocoa butter to sugar to milk solid ratio and our fruits aren’t nearly as flavourful so regardless of our skills with the... Read The Rest →

Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana 2

If I was to be banished on a deserted island and could only take one thing with me, it would be a lifetime supply of crema catalana (may not be the smartest choice but it’s definitely the tastiest). Crema catalana is like creme brulee done right, a lot more in the way of complex flavours and a much better custard to crunch ratio. That’s not necessarily to say that I wouldn’t eat the French version in a heartbeat but I would definitely trade it in for its Latino cousin any... Read The Rest →

Can Culleretes – Barcelona

Mixed Grill at Can Culleretes - after

One of the main reasons Notes on a Meal returns to Barcelona is the Can Culleretes Restaurant, located in the heart of the Gothic neighbourhood, lost somewhere among the alleyways. It is a magical spot, still decorated and running the same since it first opened its doors in 1786. It is not pretentious, not fancy, not quiet, not necessarily friendly but absolutely charming and the food is pretty damn good. The decor is outdated, all the way from the terracotta floor tiles to the wood panelled walls littered with photographs and... Read The Rest →

How to order pintxos

If you suddenly find yourself in the north of Spain and enter Basque territory unprepared, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find the process of ordering pintxos intimidating. To ease your stress, the Notes on a Meal crew has sacrificed it’s pride and consumed many tasty morsels  in order to compile this list of tips and tricks for pintxo success: Walk around the block a little before settling down on your first place. As a general rule of thumb, the place that is overfilled with locals (ie. they’re standing in the... Read The Rest →

Pintxo basics

To put it simply, a pintxo is any snack served in the bars and restaurants of Northern Spain (the Basque region). They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, generally spiked by a toothpick or skewer (that’s what makes them different from tapas) and often on a slice of bread. They are served after 11 am for the lunch rush and until 10 pm when most people head home or out for dinner. There’s generally an unofficial break between 2pm and 5pm (siesta) but if you really look, you’ll... Read The Rest →

Notes on a Meal goes to Europe

Hello to all our readers! The Notes on a Meal crew has finally returned to Toronto from a very epic European adventure and we’re full of ideas, posts and pictures. We’ve been quiet for the whole duration since eating and typing can get messy but we’re back and recharged. Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be sharing recipes, pictures, tips and tricks for avoiding the usual tourist traps and more. Just as an overall thought, this trip has made us appreciate the multicultural nature of Toronto’s food... Read The Rest →

Tasty European Travels – Part 1

I know it sounds very silly to consider a place like the Amsterdam Airport a worthwhile point on our European culinary journey but it was definitely an eye opening experience. It was our first encounter with the food culture present on this continent and how different it is from what we’re used to in Canada. North American fast food chains were present but they were hidden in far corners of the building while local sandwich shops were taking culinary center stage in the main food courts. Fresh fare and organic... Read The Rest →

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