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Janice Beaton and Charlie's Bakery - Kensington, Calgary

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Janice Beaton and Charlie's Bakery - Kensington, Calgary

Gobstopper | Jun 25, 2005 10:25 AM

Friday morning was my first day off that coincided with the Currie Barracks Farmer's Market schedule in weeks. Didn't have much time. I love the Ladybug as much as ever. The B.C. cherries aren't quite as flavourful as they will be in the coming weeks. Usually I've avoided Simple Simon's with the hard sell, but this time I tried out a coconut pecan pie. Pretty good! and the price and bachelor serving size works fine with me. Of course I'd like to see the pecans candied individually, and the coconut grated fresh, but then it wouldn't cost less then two bucks. The savoury stuff I didn't try. I'm very sad to see that the cold smoked fish booth is closing shop, and that the Cookbook Co. will be the only available outlet for them (as well as some of the other markets).

Yesterday afternoon, I walked to the western edge of the Kensington shopping district. My third trip to Charlie's bakery, and the first time that I had gotten there before some items had sold out. Since the seductive walnut/fig sourdough was gone, I picked up a whole wheat loaf and a demi baguette. The baguette was good, no cheating, and actually cooked with a nice brown outside, unlike those nasty raw looking supermarket baguettes. The whole wheat has proved to be quite dense and maybe a bit dry, but I may make some french toast with it this morning.

We went next door and had an excellent experience at Janice Beaton. They have a well labelled counter, cheeses presented by type and faced properly. Quite honestly, it's food porn. Service was really good, educated, friendly and even encouraging. I walked away with some St. Loup Chevre, a sort of goat cream cheese. Fairwinds Farm (local) also makes a chevre, which I believe is available at the market. Let it replace the Philly in the fridge. Also, upon recommendation, a Piave from Italy. The Piave was good, between a gouda and a pecorino, the sharpness goes up as you move closer to the rind. It hung out really well with a bit of cab-sav jelly. Finally, some Bundnerfleisch, a swiss air-cured beef, done locally (Canmore I believe). Sliced razor thin - the price was quite reasonable. The colour was awesome and the surface held together extremely well. The taste was deep, without the mouth bruising that prosciutto can sometimes cause. If there was anything I would want to see more of at Janice Beaton, it would be an expansion of their charcuterie, and with it, some bacon without Sodium Nitrates.

Very much an excellent food shopping day out of Calgary. The barracks may not have the glamour of Granville Island, but the prices are sure great. I only needed a bit of Les Truffles to finish me off, but I can live with some delayed gratification.

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