taste the world

here  and now

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This is me, right here, right now, with the latest tastes, in brief.

Read on to find out just what I’m seeing, tasting, drinking, and interested in today. I’ll be blogging from around the world, with whatever bits of news cross my path.

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The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Cod by Mark Kurlansky

Tar Sands by Andrew Nikiforuk

Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard


The Globe and Mail newspaper ran a great series on the high level of sodium in Canadian diets, and how it’s contributing to high blood pressure among more and more of us, even kids.

The hidden sodium in food is startling. My go-to fave foods - cheese, charcuterie, sushi, Vietnamese noodles -  are all loaded with salt.

Read the series, and check out the quiz. Would you believe that there’s less sodium in a Big Mac than a Subway Club Sandwich. Or that 31 Miss Vickie’s chips have less salt than a cup of Cheerios? Scary.


The Dash Diet for Hypertension by Thomas Moore, M.D.

This is the Bible of blood pressure - even my doc endorses this plan which promises to reduce blood pressure levels in 14 days with a diet regime that’s low in salt, high in fruit/veg and more or less follows Canada’s food guide.

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr

If, like me, you’re still trying to get your head around the shift from newspapers to blogs and “cloud computing” this is the book to begin to demystify the brave new information world.

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

This National Geographic compilation offers lots of ideas for escapes in Canada, the US and Mexico that promise you’ll come back home both relaxed - and enriched by the experience. I’ve got my eye on an ecovolunteer trip, to help save the whales in Bergeronnes, Quebec.

The Big Thaw: Travels in the Melting North by Ed Struzik

Struzik is an environmentalist and journalist with a special interest in the Arctic. This book takes you into the remote corners of the North, with the world’s leading scientists - 11 trips to study polar bears, walrus, caribou, glaciers and how the changing climate is affecting them all. Dispatches from the front lines of global warming.

Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating  by Michel Richard

So much innovation - so little time! Chef Richard uses   ingredients in new ways and develops techniques that work - carrot top soup with miso is a revelation. I’m writing about carrots, from Nantes to purple heirlooms, and Richard says “today, carrots are where potatoes were 30 years ago”. He poaches fish in carrot juice, combines it with pomegranate juice, uses a potato peeler to create carrot ribbons for salad,and combines carrots and potatoes in a caramelized carrot “risotto”. His tips and techniques - like microwave bechamel or food processor sorbet - make professional results simple at home. From beet chips to snow pea linguine, Richard is a master with vegetables, too. You’ll recognize many “tricks of the trade” within these pages. Read it from cover to cover - again and again.