French not crazy about Julia Child, Maple Leaf Gardens has a future, top food-buying trends of 2009

French not crazy about Julia Child, Maple Leaf Gardens has a future, top food-buying trends of 2009

Pricey ice cream takes hit in 2009 (Photo by Monsieur Gordon)

• Retail analysts have released a list of 10 Canadian food-buying habits in 2009, and they’re all of a totally unsurprising theme: cheaper (lentils instead of chicken), less (leftovers instead of groceries) and trading down (Breyers instead of Häagen-Dazs). Missing from the list: free (the dumpster behind Ace Bakery). [Globe and Mail]

Julie and Julia premieres in France this week, and ex-pat Americans are shocked to discover that French people don’t really know or care about Julia Child or her cookbooks. In the words of one Parisian, Child’s culinary style is “the vision of a revisited France, adapted to the American taste, at a time when tastes were lifeless.” Sacre bleu. [New York Times

• Where Sittler and Barilko once laced their skates, soon Torontonians will be able to buy a nice plump rotisserie chicken. Loblaws and Ryerson University are in cahoots to develop historic Maple Leaf Gardens into a combined supermarket and athletics centre. We won’t hold our breath. [Toronto Star]

• A blogger and freelance journalist hospitalized in the U.K. with a flesh-eating bug is jazzing up institutional life with “hospital food bingo.” “Traction Man” posts photos of all his meals to his blog, where readers are invited to guess what the slop might be. His also adds his own reviews, including allegations of bedpan-roasted potatoes. [The Guardian]

Tom Parker Bowles, British food critic and son of Camilla, accuses his countrymen of being “armchair foodies” who devour food programming and books but still can’t be bothered to cook for themselves. The solution? Elementary school cooking lessons. [The Independent]

Guinness rolls out its “mid-strength” tipple this week, which supposedly tastes exactly the same as the original but has half the alcohol content. If they’re going to fix something that ain’t broke, why not start R&D on Guinness Lite Lime right now? [The Guardian]