Smells like burao
One evening last week, while propping up the kitchen counter at Canoe (a restaurant currently at the very top of its game), I was surprised by a treat—a little sampler of a new dish chefs Anthony Walsh and Tom Brodi have been playing with. It stars a “porcelait” from the St-Canut family farm in Quebec’s Lower Laurentians—a milk-fed piglet, in other words. Canoe has been working with the chops—exceptionally tender, lean, finely textured meat with a delicate sweetness. It was absolutely delicious. The meat is distributed through La Ferme to their usual customers—Canoe, Crush, Splendido, George, Biff’s, Rain, Rosewater, Pangaea, Rosedale Diner, as well as the Ancaster Old Mill, Hillebrand Estates Winery Restaurant, Wellington Court in St. Catharines and the Bloomfield Carriage House Restaurant in beautiful downtown Bloomfield. If St-Canut doesn’t whip up some serious new reverence for pork in Ontario’s haute gastronomic circles, I’ll eat my hat. Oh yes—you can buy a porcelait of your own at Cumbrae or Olliffe.
Seeking the olfactory equivalent of a game of Chinese whispers, I have been looking for examples of wine writing from cultures as far removed as possible from our own. I imagine that a stay-at-home connoisseur on Vanuatu, for example, when presented with, say, a Niagara Riesling, would come up with all sorts of fascinating analogies to plants and aromas from her own experience that would be meaningless to the average Canadian reader. At least, I would hope so. It would be sad if the world had shrunk to such mean dimensions that everyone’s frame of reference turned out to be the same. The Chinese whispers game kicks in when we present Canadian snoutmonkeys with the exotic plants and see if they can relate them back to the Riesling. I think it would make for an entertaining game over the coming festive season. So, if anyone has ever come across wine reviews that draw totally mysterious similes, please do share in the comments section below.