Garden Gem Tomatoes

Garden Gems are arguably the perfect supermarket tomato, but you won't find them in any supermarket. The only farmer growing them on anywhere close to a large scale—100 plants (which is not very much in the grand scheme of tomato cultivation)—is located two hour northeast of Toronto. His tomatoes will be available at the Don Valley Brickworks farmers market in August. I'll post an update when the time comes. 

In the meantime, tell your supermarket produce manager you want Garden Gems.

Or better yet, grow them yourself. A $10 donation to the University of Florida gets you a package of seeds, and helps fund more research into delicious tomatoes. 


Pastured Slow-Growing Chickens

There is nothing so hard to find as a good chicken—a bird, that as Julia Child once wrote, "is an absolute delight to eat as a perfectly plain, buttery roast, sauté or grill.” The first problem is genetics. Even the organic chickens at the supermarket are ultra-fast growing modern broilers that are killed too young and taste like cardboard. The second problem is feed. Most chickens eat a high energy diet of processed soybeans and corn. If chickens don't get to go outside and forage for leaves, seeds, bugs and all that good stuff, they just won't taste like chicken. 

So look for chickens that get outside, or are fed green feed in the winter. And look for chickens that don't grow too quickly. And keep in mind that an older a chicken gets, the tougher the legs are and the longer they need to cook, so try roasting them at a lower temperature, around 325°F. There aren't many farners raising these chickens on a large scale, but here are two that are

Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch

Mary's Pasture Raised Chicken 

Better yet, check out your local farmers market.