Do you ever find yourself standing in the produce section of the grocery store wondering…”Where did this food come from?”. Meanwhile, busy shoppers are throwing elbows trying to reach the strawberries from California, cheering “It’s finally summer! Strawberries are here!”. I find myself so confused and wanting to tell them…”hello, the strawberries have been available from California for like, 3 months already. They’re not in season here, they’re in season in California! In fact, some parts of California can grown them all year round!”. However, I don’t want to rain on someone’s sunny day, so I usually keep this somewhat snotty comment to myself. With this happening to me so regularly it inspired me to write this post in the hopes that I may encourage some, if not many, of you to be more aware of the food you’re choosing and why. Below are my favorite markets in Calgary to shop at. Why not skip your usual grocery store and try somewhere that has local and seasonal food.
1. Bite Groceteria - We love Bite!! They have fresh chickens daily from Mountain View Farms that are unreal! Anytime you’re thinking of having roast chicken dinner make sure you have a chicken from Bite. If you are lucky enough to be able to eat cheese, they also have a rockin’ section of fine cheeses. Not to mention a stellar spread of flours, legumes and rices. Today I found bamboo and heirloom forbidden rice that I can’t wait to try! The owners are super knowledgeable and friendly too, Julie was nice enough to chat with me today about the benefits of choosing local meat. Interested? Go and check it out for yourself!
2. Calgary Farmers’ Market – I love this market for it’s diversity of retailers. You know how ‘they’ say to only shop the outer edge of the grocery store because that’s where all the nutritious food is? Well, I always feel like I am at this market. From gluten-free pot pies to home grown herbs you can find it all!
3. Crossroads Market – This market has a HUGE selection of local produce, which is right up my alley. Once you’re finished stocking up on veggies spend time at the flea market it’s truly an…experience
4. Sunterra – If you don’t mind paying a bit extra Sunterra does have a good selection of alternative products for the sensitive eater and the ability to order-in local, happy meats. Last year I ordered our Thanksgiving turkey from here and it was organic and delicious!
5. Calgary Gluten Free Store – This store is my new best friend! If you are looking for ANYTHING gluten free this is the place to go. They have a huge selection of baking items as well as snacks and condiments which is a total bonus! You can also order online if you can’t make it to NE Calgary.
6. Community Natural Foods – Either location is a good choice. They both have a great selection of alternative dairy products and bulk baking goods.
7. Sunnyside Natural Market - This tiny little market lives across from a monster Safeway, you could easily miss it. But if you did, if you would be missing out on it’s lovely selection of live vegetable and herb plants that normally live outside. Great local, organic produce and a wide selection of alternative flours and organic brands.
8. Earth’s Oven – This gem has a knockout selection of gluten free breads! Enough said.
9. Barel’s Bakery & Nosh – This is a new discovery for me and I’m told it’s Canada’s only government certified 100% nut and dairy free bakery. How ’bout that!
10. Spud – If you find yourself unable to make it to the grocery store or you just prefer to get delivery, Spud is an awesome choice. It’s as easy as ordering online on Tuesday and awaiting your beautiful basket of seasonal, local produce on Thursday (this is the delivery day for my neighborhood, check their website to see when yours is).