O Canada! Do Pass the Bacon!
By Florence Fabricant
Canadian bacon, usually smoked and ready to eat, is something entirely different in Canada. North of the border, it is brined, rolled in cornmeal and sold uncooked. A juicy meat with a sweet, nutty flavor hinting of cloves and a light saltiness, it makes a delicious sandwich and will certainly ennoble eggs Benedict.
Real Canadian Bacon — a brand name — is sold in slices for a quick sizzle in a pan, or ready to roast in two-and-a-half and five-pound sizes. About 20 minutes a pound at 325 degrees for the smaller size and 15 minutes a pound for the larger is all it takes for extremely succulent results. The coating is called pea meal, because crushed dried yellow peas were originally used to make it, and the name stuck.
A product of Ontario, the bacon is shipped to Troy, Mich., where the Agriculture Department inspects it before it is distributed, frozen. It can be ordered from www.realcanadianbacon.com for $7 to $9 a pound, depending on the size of the order.
Transported by Tea? Try Putting It in Your Shoes
Ines Sun, who opened the Wild Lily Tea Room on West 22nd Street in Chelsea four years ago, now has a somewhat less Zen Like place called the Wild Lily Tea Market, 545 East 12th Street. It has a counter where teas are sold — many of them herbal — along with pastries and light food, a few cafe tables and ample space for displaying loose tea, teapots, green-tea soaps and writing paper, and gift boxes. And $7.50 will buy a pair of green-tea deodorant insoles for shoes. For the warming weather, Ms. Sun has a new iced tea with mint, licorice and earthy Chinese Puer tea.
Like Cool, Moist Herbs, or Really Dry Ones?
Why do you need a special container for fresh herbs, I wondered, when you can stick a bunch in a jar of water, cover it with a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator. The fact is that the Fresh Herb Keeper by Progressive International in Kent, Wash., does a better job. Small bunches of parsley, mint and sage held up beautifully for about a week. Fill the bottom container with water, screw on the top cylinder, add the herbs and put on the rubber cap. Unscrewing the top section makes it easy to snip a sprig or two. The herb keeper is $12.99 at Zabar’s.
And if you are after dried herbs, how about angelica, gentian, meadowsweet or wild pansy, among others, all organically grown in France and sold in pink and purple paper sacks in Fairway’s store at Broadway and 74th Street? How do you use meadowsweet? You are on your own: the sacks contain no cooking suggestions, although the herbs do make delicious infusions. They are $2 to $5.
Sound of Danes Invading: Smacking Lips
The Danes have kept Cocio, a delicious chocolate milk, all to themselves for more than 50 years. But now the drink, made solely of 2 percent milk, sugar and cocoa, is here.
Cocio (the name rhymes with Tokyo) is not as sweet as most chocolate milk, and because it contains no thickeners it’s a bit lighter on the palate. It is sold in New York at Grace’s Marketplace, Citarella and Dean & DeLuca. It is also available at Dean & DeLuca stores and cafes in Kansas City, Kan., and Charlotte, N.C. The 13.5-ounce bottle is $2.50 to $3.
Hand Over Your Folding Money and Watch It Live Up to Its Name
Alfred Rios puts on his glasses, examines a dollar bill and begins an intricate process of folding and unfolding. In a few minutes he hands you a tiny camel, an elephant or a perfectly folded shirt. Mr. Rios, a waiter at the Four Seasons restaurant in Midtown for 36 years, said he learned origami in his native Ecuador. Now the restaurant’s offices are filled with his work, and perhaps, if he is your waiter at a late lunch in the Pool Room and he is not too busy, he will make a rabbit or a heart for you, too.