Good fishmongers are hard to find so when Codfathers opened in Kelowna about 25 years ago, Chef's in the valley breathed a sigh of relief. Originally founded by the Bishop family, the market has been owned and operated since 2002 by Jon and Anne-Marie Crofts, who emigrated from the south of England.
The trade of "fishmongery" was fast becoming a dying art across Europe and North America, due to the rise of big box stores and bulk trade in seafood as a commodity. Both Jon and Anne- Marie believe passionately that Seafood should not be treated as just another mass produced protein, and that it should have special status as one of the few remaining foods that have to be hunted and gathered, sometimes at considerable risk to the fisherman. The place for modern fishmongers in the world is to show these wild gems the respect that they deserve, and use their mongering skills to ensure that fish is presented and prepared to the highest standard, so that they make it to the plate in prime condition.
The Codfathers site has a great collection of recipes for every imaginable seafood and fish. Be sure to check it out: http://www.codfathers.ca/recipes.php
As a family business Codfathers has always been aware of the importance of conserving our amazing ocean resources and using them thoughtfully so that future generations can enjoy them too. This concern culminated in our decision back in 2006 to become partners with Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean-wise program. After being accepted for the program, they are proud to be the first full-service fish market in Canada to embrace Ocean-Wise. For information on this program please visit the Ocean-Wise website at http://www.oceanwisecanada.org/about. All seafood items in their store are clearly labeled with the Ocean-Wise logo if they are considered sustainable by Vancouver Aquarium's team of biologists (the vast majority of their products are).
Also, for products where there are no Ocean-Wise alternatives they always source the most sustainable option available. In addition they have committed to promoting and encouraging small artisanal fisheries, and wherever possible providing the names of the boats/fishers, the area where they are caught and the method of catch used, to their customers.
Codfather's also has a great fish and chip shop onsite. Stop by for lunch and sample the catch of the day!
2355 Gordon Dr
Monday - Saturday: 9am to 6pm
Sunday: 11am to 5pm
In the Shuswap area of the North Okanagan is a productive organic goats cheese company called Happy Days.
Happy Days Dairies mission is to produce premium quality, 100% Canadian, Goat and Organic cow dairy products with the utmost care and attention given to farmers, animals, customers and business partners. Each one of their dairy farmers is committed to treating their animals humanely with access to clean bedding, dry and warm shelter, open air barns, access to the outdoors, pastures, fresh clean air, high quality nutritious and natural food, clean and fresh water. They encourage their goats and cows to engage in their natural behavior by placing them in social groups where they can live in a herd to run and play.
Happy Days Dairies vision is to be the leader in producing 100% Canadian Goat Dairy and Organic Cow Dairy products without compromise on quality, service and the humane treatment of their animals.
Here are some interesting wine and goat cheese pairings:
Sauvignon Blanc - The crispness of this wine is a perfect accompaniment to the soft creamy Okanagan Goat Cheese - This soft unripened cheese is available in several flavours, including: Plain, Garlic and Parsley, Lemon Pepper, and Olive Oil and Rosemary. Try it in summer salads or on crackers with this elegant wine.
NV Brut - The saltiness of this cheese lends itself to the effervescence of the Brut Sparkling. On a crostini or with salad, bubbles and feta are an interesting match. Goat Cheese Feta - available in crumbles or brine. Fresh and tangy.
Pinot Gris - The rich butteriness of Pinot Gris will capture the nuttiness and depth of character in this Organic Gouda - mild flavoured with a semi firm texture & creamy taste with a hint of nut on the finish. Grate on salads, add to pastas or enjoy on its own with some crackers and jelly.
No matter what your views are on Valentine's Day from worth celebrating to way too commercial, one simple thing that you can do is enjoy some sparkling wine and celebrate with your special someone.
We have four Sparkling wines to choose from 2006 Reserve Brut, 2007 Blanc de Blancs, 2010 Brut Rosé and the NV Brut. See below a recent review by Beppi Crosariol from the Globe and Mail of our Brut Rose sparkling wine:
Brut Rosé R.D. 2010: "The colour is an enticing delicate rose-petal pink, like a faint blush on a pretty face. It’s serious bubbly from one of Canada’s best sparkling wine producers, aged for 36 months in contact with the bottled yeast prior to having the sediment disgorged. Bone dry in that electric Blue Mountain style, it shows bright lemon, green apple, berry and toasty baguette flavours over a satisfyingly chalky texture."
We suggest starting the evening off with some bubbly. Looking for a super easy appetizer to enjoy? Try this recipe for Smoked Salmon and Caper Cream Cheese Toasts and pair it with our 2010 Brut Rosé Sparkling wine.
Reviews for our other Sparkling wines can be found on our website.
Happy Valentine's Day!
This story is about green meadows, happy cows, fresh thinking and age-old cheese making traditions taking place in the lush landscape of Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley.
Natural Pastures specialty artisan cheeses are known for having a unique, delicious taste or “terroir”, developed from the fresh, pure milk which the pristine soils, waters and pastures produce here in the Comox Valley. The animals are stress free and live in healthy environments. Because the cows eat the local grass and herbs, generously watered by Pacific Ocean-soaked rain, the milk used to make the cheese has its own “terroir” or distinct flavour. The term is familiar to wine-makers, where different regions have their distinct terroirs.
Selected local dairy farms are committed to environmental sustainability, and the natural wildlife habitat has been enhanced. Their enhanced stream habitats raise thousands of wild Coho Salmon each year. Their pure, fresh milk complements Natural Pastures artisanal cheese-making traditions which are managed by Doug Smith and Paul Sutter, head cheesemaker, leading their dedicated team to capture the essence of the unique flavours of the privileged environment of Comox Valley with their fine artisan handmade cheeses. Edgar notes that “Natural Pastures Cheese Company’s world-class cheeses are due in part to the traditional Swiss training and professional accreditation of their cheesemaker, originally from Switzerland, and to the consistent and hard work of all the employees of Natural Pastures at their federally inspected production facility in the city of Courtenay.”
Here are some wine and cheese pairings worth trying:
Pinot Gris - Buffalo Brie - An exotic twist on their world champion Comox Brie, their new Buffalo Brie is the very essence of traditional and inspired cheesemaking. Rich water buffalo milk from the Island transforms this cheese’s texture and allows your taste buds to explore new pathways. The creaminess of this brie will compliment the rich creamy notes of the Pinot Gris with enough acidity to bring out the earthy character of the cheese.
NV Brut - Parmadammer - A parmesan style cheese with a deep, rich nutty flavour. Available at the cheese shop and farmers markets. Sparkling is a natural partner for stronger, harder cheeses. Try it with some spicy pecans.
Pinot Blanc - Boerenkaas - Dutch for ‘Farmer’s Cheese,’ award-winning Boerenkaas has a sweet nutty flavour and bold, tangy finish. Superb in soups, salads, omelettes and pizzas. The sweet nutty flavour and tangy finish will match the Pinot Blanc simplicity and bring out the best in both.
Cheese Factory & Shop
635 McPhee Avenue
Canada V9N 2Z7
Tel: 250 334 4422
Toll Free: 1 866 244 4422
Nestled in the cool moist climate of Vancouver Island in the shadow of Mt. Arrowsmith, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks produce a selection of hand-crafted cheeses to delight the senses. Using the highest quality milk from their own herd of Holstein, Brown Swiss and Canadienne dairy cows, they have an artisan cheese to suit any occasion, meal, or just a light fresh snack.
Visit them at the farm! Watch the cheese makers in action and learn a bit about how they make cheese. Take a self-guided tour of the farm and enjoy a stroll along the walking trails. Stop by the Farmgate Store for samples of all their cheeses and stay for a picnic. And you just can’t leave without visiting all the animals: cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, bunnies and Carl (the llama)!
Here are some cheese and wine pairings we think you will enjoy:
Pinot Gris - Pair with their best-selling Brie. It has a creamy texture, velvet white rind, with mushroomy overtones that works beautifully with the richness of the Pinot Gris and the acidity brings out the creaminess of the brie. The little wooden board, rescued from the burn pile of a local guitar manufacturer, can live again as a coaster.
Pinot Blanc - Caerphilly, Famous as the key ingredient in Welsh “Rarebit”, it is a good cheese for sauces as it toasts well. As a table cheese it is characterized by a buttery tang. Perfect for the richness of Pinot Blanc.
Gamay Noir - Rathtrevor - Inspired by Swiss Gruyere and named after the local provincial park. Its careful ripening process and long aging make for a fine table cheese that pairs well with fruits, nuts, and a good wine. This cheese will compliment the juicy berry characteristics that come through in the Gamay.
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks
Open daily year-round from 9am – 5pm!
403 Lowrys Rd, Parksville, BC V9P 2B5
The holidays are the perfect time for sparkling. Think Christmas morning, New Year's Eve or any of the other great reasons to give or receive a pressure packed bottle of deliciousness. In 2012, I wrote a blog about Sparkling wine and how troubled I was that many customers felt that sparkling, or bubbly was only for anniversaries or New Year's Eve. See www.bluemountainwinery.com/blog/Sparkling I am pleased to report visitors to the winery seem to be reading the blog and acting on some of the suggestions that were made. People are now drinking more bubble for no reason at all. In addition, in the last few years we have had more wineries in the Okanagan starting to produce sparkling wines.
Recent additions to the bubble scene in the valley including "The Bub" from Okanagan Crush Pad, Natural Brut Sparkling Riesling from Tantalus (sold out), Stoneboat Piano Sparkling, Bella Sparkling Chardonnay and Sparkling Gamay Noir, 8th Generation Confidence. And the grapevine swirl's with other producers starting sparkling production.
A couple of recent reviews of some great holiday sparkling have been provided by Beppi Crosariol from the Globe and Mail, Anthony Gismondi from the Vancouver Sun, Christoper Waters from Canoe.ca, Darren Oleksyn from Calgary Herald and the Wine Align team. Be sure to check out their lists before you head to your nearest retail outlet.
Maclean's magazine even did a feature on the sparkling wine industry in Canada last year and slowly it seems wine lovers everywhere are starting to realize that they can enjoy sparkling any day of the week for any reason or no reason at all. We all have lots to be thankful for in our lives so be sure to have a bottle or two on hand for those days when life needs celebrating.
Fine Farmstead Organic Cheeses from Salt Spring Island
These makers of fine organic cheese on Salt Spring Island use the fragrant milk from their own small herd of purebred Jersey cows. They have about 25 cows in total. Depending on the season, they milk between 12 and 20 cows. The cows are treated well as they are the foundation of the company. The healthier and happier they are, the more sweet and fragrant their milk is. Organic management is used throughout the farm meaning good food, no drugs, no chemicals, free access to the outside world and lots of opportunity to interact socially with other members of the herd.
Julia Grace (cheese-maker) and Susan Grace (farm manager) have been producing cheese at Moonstruck since 1998. All of Moonstruck cheeses are made from raw milk in small batches. The job of the cheese-maker is not only to transform milk into cheese but to preserve as much of that fragrant flavour as possible during the process. That is why they use simple, old-fashioned recipes. All of their cheeses develop natural rinds because they believe that good cheese, like good wine, needs to breathe.
Some favourite pairings:
Pinot Blanc & White Moon: White Moon is a surface-ripened bloomy rind cheese, milder than a Camembert. The easiness of the Camembert works well with the pear and apricot flavours that come through in the Pinot Blanc. The rich mouth feel of the Pinot Blanc compliments the richness of the Camembert.
Sauvignon Blanc & Savoury Moon: Savoury Moon is dusted with organic summer savoury following a great tradition from the south of France. The herb infuses the cheese inside the breathable wrapper giving a woodsy, herbal note to the cheese. This herby earthiness marries well with the crisp and clean Sauvignon Blanc.
Gamay Noir & Ash Ripened Camembert: This earthy creamy cheese works well with the juicy vibrant acidity that is Gamay Noir. Try it with some savory crackers and a little berry compote.
Pinot Gris & Tomme d'Or: Tomme d'Or is a cooked curd cheese similar to the Alpine cheeses of Europe. Made to age long, it becomes a grating cheese when it is over a year old. Made from raw milk, the curd is very slowly heated so that the curds shrink and mat to form a smooth, buttery texture that becomes increasingly firm with age. The nutty flavour of this cheese will lend itself to the Pinot Gris's acidity and notes of stone fruit. Enjoy with a spicy peach marmalade.
During the summer months, you can find their cheeses at the Salt Spring Saturday Market and at the Tuesday Farmer’s market from 2-6 pm.
The farm store is open Mon-Sat from 11-4pm (but only softly open on Sundays for those who are truly desperate).
Although many farmers have completed their harvest for the season, there are still winter markets to enjoy when the weather gets cold. Here are a couple of local Okanagan area markets that run through the holiday season. The items will differ slightly from the summer farmer's markets but there is still lots of delicious baking and local crafts to enjoy!
The Shatford Centre is once again hosting the Penticton Farmers' Market Winter Market at the Shatford Centre from 9am to 1pm on the Saturdays of November 22nd and December 6th and 20th.
Join them for goods from all around the Okanagan. From fresh baking to vegetables and snacks to crafts, each vendor will have something interesting.
Penticton Farmers' Market
Oliver Arts and Crafts Fair at the Oliver Community Centre
Friday, November 21, 2014 10am - 7pm
Saturday, November 22, 2014 10am - 4pm
Free Admission with a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank.
Held Saturdays from 9am-1pm from November to March at the Parkinson Rec Centre.
Winter Market Dates 2014/2015:
November: 1st, 22nd, 29th
December: 6th, 13th, 20th
January: 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st
February: 14th, 21st, 28th
March: 7th, 14th, 28th
Please note dogs or other animals are not allowed at the market.
An ATM is onsite at the indoor market in the hall near the bathrooms.
Customer parking is located in the Parkinson Rec parking lot, access off of Harvey Ave or Parkinson Way.
Available in Ontario are two of Blue Mountain's wines. Found in the LCBO Vintages, check their website to look up availability and find an outlet near you.
"Just released in Ontario Vintages stores and also available direct from the winery, this non-vintage bubbly from one of Canada’s top Champagne-style producers is superb. A blend of mostly pinot noir with chardonnay and pinot gris, it’s bone-dry, rich and creamy, with a sherry-like tang and bread-like autolysis essence. Wonderfully yeasty, honeyed depth; $23.90 direct from the B.C. winery bluemountainwinery.com."
Score 93 - Beppi Crosariol, globeandmail.com, October 2014
"Medium-bodied and firm in the best sense, this serious white displays peach and tropical fruit drizzled with toffee, lifted by lemony acidity and subtle toastiness. Marvellous."
Score 91 - Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail, April 30, 2014)
Be sure to tell your friends and family in Ontario about these BC wines available in their local LCBO.
The old adage is sparkling with everything. But is that really true?
When pairing sparkling wine and food the acidity of the wine is key. There are some classic pairings – caviar, oysters – but there are also more unexpected foods that might surprise you.
Potato Chips - Take a lesson from the Brits, the crunch, saltiness and fattiness of a great potato chip will sing with a sparkling wine with some good acidity. Sparkling Rose is also an extraordinary match, both will make the other better.
Sushi and an extra dry sparkling refreshes the palate between bites of raw fish and delicate sushi rice. Some of the compatibility comes from the high yeast content of both Sparkling and soy sauce.
Indian Food! Crunchy poppadoms can be perfect with Sparkling. Makes a great snack or starter, kick it up with some mint sauce, mango chutney or raita.
Breakfast, more specifically eggs, a rich eggs benny and your favorite sparkling are the best way to start your day.
Cheeses - Full-bodied Sparkling pair quite well with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan while lighter bodied Sparkling complement soft cheeses such as goat cheese and brie.
Fish n Chips, another British specialty. The mousse or fizz of the bubbly work with the crispy skin of the chips and the acidity again cuts through the oil in the batter. Casual but elegant.
Fruit, different types of fruit naturally, sit better with different types of Sparkling. At the top of the fruit list are berries. They lend a sweetness to the palate that accompanies the flavour of a light sparkling. Stone fruits such as peaches and plums can also pick out some of the flavours in Sparkling.
Sparkling does go with everything but try it for yourself. Experiment with a wide range of foods. You could even host a party where everyone needs to bring bubble and something to try with it. Either way it is meant to be fun. Let us know what your favourite pairings are with sparkling wine. Most importantly enjoy!
Our 2010 Brut Rosé R.D., 2007 Blanc de Blancs and 2006 Reserve Brut will be released on Monday, October 27th. Check back next Tuesday for Chantelle's blog, "Where to enjoy a glass of Blue Mountain Sparkling in the Lower Mainland and Whistler".