An artisan (from Italian: artigiano) is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools. As an adjective (spelled "artisanal"), it has been used as a marketing buzz word to describe or imply an association with the crafting of hand made food products, such as bread, tofu, beverages and cheese.
As I am just newly jumping into the “Foodie World” (though I must admit, I’ve been a closet “Foodie” for quite some time) I am looking at things a different way. Loving the trends that are starting to show themselves.. willing myself to try new things (even if it has texture “issues”…GULP) and what I’m enjoying more, is trying these new trends out for myself!
Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to “plan” a work function at one of my all time favorite “Happy Places” – Granville Island Market . It is an Artisan’s Haven, a Foodie’s Mecca… and best of all.. it’s located in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities I know of, Vancouver, BC.
Of course, what’s a trip to the Island without visiting Granville Island Brewery (YUM YUM WINTER ALE!!) Their tasting room is fun – and informative. This season, Chocolate Stout is the *new* one to try! My opinion… definitely a dessert beer. Winter Ale on the other hand… heaven!!
I also worked with Edible Canada and had our group go on a “Market Tour”, as well as a 3-course-wine paired meal in their new restaurant directly after. WOW, was I impressed. During our tour through the market my group tasted its way through the different Artisan vendors. I have to admit, even I, who is down in the Market quite frequently, learned a few things.
We had a stop at Oyama Sausage Company , incredible! Their prosciutto just seemed to melt in my mouth. Also tasted some Chorizo and a type of fennel salami… mmmmgood. I can’t wait to go back and do more of a shop there.
A visit to the Benton Brothers had us sampling some fine cheese. How does that saying go?! Everything’s better with Cheese?!?!
Terra Breads had me in carb heaven!! Did you also know, they donate their leftovers to local community kitchens as well as pride themselves on giving back to our community by donating items to different charitable events??
Of course I can’t forget Petit Ami and their sampling of their Holiday Blend coffee… Starbuck’s, you’ve got competition on this blend! YUM. My also new favorite vendor in the Public Market …The Stock Market … HOLY… mmmmmmm!!. Fresh Sauces, Stocks, Soups… all in the latest flavor trends! (of course the basics as well). I picked up the “Italian Dream, Creamy Pasta Sauce” – made with Prosciutto-Mushroom-Parmesan… LOVE IT! Add it to some fresh homemade pasta… (find a basic pasta dough recipe here) …and you’ve got yourself a pretty darn fantastic dinner!!
They have their small store front full of Artisan goodies, I’m pretty sure almost everyone in our group walked out with something from the Store. I'd tell you what I bought... BUUUUT Christmas is coming....
Over all – there is nothing bad I can say about the Public Market, and I’ve only captured a teenie-tiny portion of what Granville Island offers… there’s still the dozens of fresh fruit and vegetable vendors… the freshest Seafood & Butchers…. The local Artisan’s selling all kinds of unique-one-of-a-kind items…. *sigh* truly a happy place!! Of course, after I’ve spent time in that kind of atmosphere, I’m inclined to play a bit myself….
In keeping up with my promise to try out some of the several recipes I learned up at the Whistler Cornucopia Event last month… I just had to try and recreate one of CRU’s Executive Chef Alana Peckham recipes she showed us… Edamame Hummus… picture of her version is here… (Tiny Bubbles)
Here’s my adapted recipe (from CRU’s Executive Chef Alana Peckham)
2 cups Edamame Beans (I used 1 package of frozen beans…and just shelled them myself)
½ cup diced shallots
3 garlic cloves – minced
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
- Saute Edamame beans, Shallots, garlic in pan (use a drizzle of oil)
- Remove from heat, and working in batches, puree mixture and oil in a blender until desired texture. (I added oil until the mixture was relatively smooth, but would still “scoop up and hold easily” to the pita chip.
- Let sit at room temperature (covered) for at least 15 min to ensure flavors develop nicely.
- Serve with pita crackers! YUM YUM