I’m Danielle and I’m a Lobster Roll- aholic.
When we arrived in Toronto one of our first stops (because it involves food and we are a family of piglets) was St Lawrence Markets. St Lawrence Market is located downtown in an area known as “Old Town” built in 1850 it houses 120 vendors selling seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables, baked goods, cheese, delicatessens and specialty retailers.
The market is crazy busy on Saturdays (closed Sunday and Monday) but during the week is crowd free and much easier to see all the goodies on offer.
One of the most popular businesses in the market is Buster’s Sea Cove and for good reason.
Ummmm, Lobster Rolls.
They do the most delicious (and addictive) Maine-style Lobster Roll I have ever tasted. It comes on a slightly grilled, soft and buttery brioche roll and has just the right ratio of lobster meat to herbs and sauce. They also don’t skimp on the lobster, that thing is jammed packed and comes with a pickle, fries and coleslaw on the side.
The Lobster Roll keeps me coming back.
If you are a lover of lobster then Lobster Roll’s are perfect because you can eat all that sweet juicy lobster meat without the mess of trying to tackle a lobster in its shell.
When I’m travelling I love visiting public markets but then I get annoyed surrounded by all the lovely fresh produce or the obscure food items that you can never find in your local supermarket and all I want to do is buy them and cook a meal. As much as I enjoyed walking around Pike Market in Seattle and Granville Market in Vancouver I always find it torture not being able to purchase anything, especially the seafood and flowers because we were staying in hotels.
The St Lawrence Market is only a 15/20 minute walk from home and so I have started making a mid-week trip down to the market with my grandma shopping cart on wheels with one of the other mums from school.
After a lunch of Lobster Rolls, we hit the stalls.
This week I spotted something I have never seen before in my life and had no idea what it was?!?
I have since found out that Fiddleheads are the fronds on a fern and are only available for a very short season at the start of Spring. I’m told cooked in butter and salt or pickled they are delicious. I will buy some on my next visit and give them a go before they are unavailable.
Peameal Bacon is a popular item throughout the market with every other vendor claiming to be “the home of Peameal Bacon”, or the “original Peameal Bacon roll” or “world famous home of the Peameal roll”.
Peameal bacon is back bacon made from lean, boneless pork loin, wet cured and rolled in cornmeal.
I feel like a traitor because despite the name of this blog I have yet to even try Peameal Bacon, blame the bloody Lobster Rolls because when push comes to shove the Lobster Roll is going to win out every time.
As much as I am in love with the markets one thing drives me nuts ………
I’m a firm believer that different sides of our brains can be more dominant on one side than the other. I am a case in point!!! Personally, my brain shuts down on both sides when it comes to maths and science. It is all white noise to me and literally goes in one ear and straight out the other with barely a skerrick being retained in between.
I managed to complete Year 12 in high school and obtain my **Higher School Certificate without a single maths or science subject included in my final result.
In Year 11 and 12 it was compulsory at my school to do maths and so along with my fellow right-brain dominant peers we got put in the math class called Maths in Society also known as Vege Maths, Maths in Space or Maths for dummies. I was so woeful it was suggested I not continue with Maths or Science in Year 12 so I could focus on other subjects.
This week my lack of maths skills came back to bite me on the bum.
Canada uses a mixture of the Imperial and Metric systems and when it comes to produce and the signs on produce they use Imperial. Prices are in $ per lb’s.
My pea brain and lack of math’s skills can’t cope, throw in the fact the price advertised isn’t the real and final price because various taxes then get added at the cash register and I’m a mess.
It doesn’t help that I also don’t know and have never known the cost of milk, bread or any other basic everyday food item so I’m a disaster waiting to happen at the markets.
I often get sticker shock when paying for items due to my own lack of attention but this week I had a humdinger.
Compared to Australia, Salmon is fantastic value. We have gone from eating Salmon as a treat to a weekly meal. I find it is usually cheaper than buying beef in the supermarket.
Standing in front of the seafood counter I was given a choice of about 6 different types of salmon. It all looks the same to me but one stood out because of the colour compared to the others. As it was all displayed as giant sides of Salmon I showed the lady with my hands how much I wanted and she took it away to be cut.
The owner busy in the background noticed one of his staff cutting the salmon and dropped what he was doing to come over and talk to me about the amazing salmon I was purchasing and going into a big speel. Only, semi-interested I wasn’t really listening but he just kept banging on and on. In hindsight balloons should have dropped from the ceiling and a brass band should have started to play because when I went around to the cash register to pay one smallish piece of salmon was $53.59. No wonder I was being treated like a rock star!
I’m all into cooking and eating quality ingredients and will splurge on quality cuts for special occasions or entertaining guests but if I was to spend $54.00 on the protein element of our evening meal EVERY SINGLE DAY for just the 3 of us we would end up living in a cardboard box.
1.34 lb’s is nothing … It was about as big as my hand.
I slipped into Jesus mode and performed the loaves and fishes slicing the mini piece into 3 even more mini pieces.
They better be the Wagyu of Salmon!!!
I threw them in a pan and then once they hit that heat they shrank even more. I broke the news to The Canadian and 9-year-old that toast might be required for post dinner eats.
Served them up
The verdict –
Well, nice enough but not $54.00 worth of nice.
Lesson learnt, I will be asking the market vendors to weigh and tell me in advance the price before purchasing.
The Green Peppercorn sauce I made is super easy and delicious and will go with any seafood.
Green Peppercorn Sauce (Serves 4)
2 teaspoons green peppercorns (in brine and drained)
1 Tablespoon Baby Capers (rinsed and drained)
1 Small Eschalot finally chopped (also called french shallots)
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 Cup of good quality whole egg mayonnaise
1/4 Cup of Natural Yoghurt
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
** The Higher School Certificate is the name of the certificate awarded to students in my home state in Australia for those that successfully complete subjects in the final two years of high school.