With Cognac, it’s all about terroir

The environment, including the chalky soil, is everything when it comes to producing the right grapes

With Cognac, it’s all about terroirCognac begins as wine. Like any wine, it’s shaped in part by the environment in which it grows. Soil, aspect and climate, among other things, combine to create a unique environment, what the French call terroir. A wine, in turn, is a distinct expression of that terroir. In the Cognac region, terroir is, for the…

Fungi fundamentals: the truth about mushrooms

Fungi have great names – turkey tail, pigskin poison, honey mushroom – and come in all shapes and sizes

Fungi fundamentals: the truth about mushroomsMy local nature club recently hosted a mushroom walk. No, that’s not where you take your pet mushroom for a walk. We visited some trails in central Ontario looking for different types of mushrooms, poisonous and edible. We weren’t foraging so we left the woods as we found them, although many others go to local…

How to choose wines for Thanksgiving dinner

Our columnist's picks for Thanksgiving dinner wines

How to choose wines for Thanksgiving dinner“Our life is frittered away by detail,” proclaimed Henry David Thoreau. “Simplify, simplify, simplify!” On Thanksgiving, many of us heed Thoreau’s advice and remind ourselves and our loved ones to stop fretting over little things and give thanks for the big things we too often take for granted. Yet, one area that seems to defy…

Cognac: A spirit’s spirit to survive and thrive

The traditional cognac houses have had to overcome grape plagues, the rising popularity of Scotch whisky, counterfeiting and war

Cognac: A spirit’s spirit to survive and thriveAugier, the first modern cognac house, was organized in 1643. Today the brand is owned by French spirits giant Pernod Ricard. It recently relaunched the brand with a line of cognacs said to reflect the early style of the product. Over the two centuries following 1643, many of the leading cognac houses, including the big…

Cognac, a short history of an enduring spirit

What is the difference between cognac and other types of brandy?

Cognac, a short history of an enduring spiritCognac is a type of brandy produced in the Charente region of France, centred around the towns of Cognac and Jarnac, and stretching from the Île de Ré to the Gironde Estuary on the Atlantic coast, to Angoulême and the foothills of the Mastiff Central. The Cognac Delimited Region, the exclusive area where cognac can…

Thermapen ONE a high-tech way to check your meat temperature

The ONE in the name refers to the speed of a reading – one second – with accuracy within 0.3°C (0.5°F)

Thermapen ONE a high-tech way to check your meat temperatureEven after years of preparing steak, fish and chicken, do you still cut into your protein to make sure it’s cooked just right? I’ve used a typical thermometer, but I keep cutting meat on the grill due to a combination of concern about inaccuracy and my cooking ineptness. A good solution is Thermapen ONE by…

MEATER thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking

No more standing over your stove or grill; you can monitor what’s cooking from your phone

MEATER thermometer takes the guesswork out of cookingWhether you’re tracking the time or simply gauging by touch, some people just have the knack for knowing when their meat has been cooked to perfection. For others – like me – it’s always been about constantly hovering over the hot stove or grill, poking your chicken, steak or fish with a thermometer or cutting…

Food industry code of conduct finally gains traction

Recognizes that manufacturing - including farmers - are the anchor to the entire food supply chain

Food industry code of conduct finally gains tractionA new coalition led by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has presented a roadmap to peace within the food industry. It’s a positive step forward for the food production industry and consumers. For years, grocers have unilaterally imposed fees on their suppliers, with questionable excuses. While grocers maintained a hard line to protect margins,…

Weaponizing science to justify protein choices a dangerous game

Suggesting humanity got it wrong by eating meat is unsupported by scientific evidence

Weaponizing science to justify protein choices a dangerous gameProtein wars have taken a back seat to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Most of the attention was obviously given to the virus, variants, vaccines and how to keep safe. That makes sense. But since we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, proteins appear to be back in the spotlight. Just…

Don’t be so quick to condemn processed foods

It's played an essential role in offering edible, safe and nutritious foods to all Canadians, yet food processing remains misunderstood

Don’t be so quick to condemn processed foodsProcessed foods exist so we can save time, money and energy. They’ve made our food systems more efficient over the years. It’s all about convenience. But in recent years, the health attributes of processed foods have increasingly come under scrutiny for a variety of reasons, biased and unbiased. Many reports by professional organizations and interest…
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