Tapas Memories with Canola Eat Well
Some of my favourite childhood/teenage summer holiday memories are in Menorca, Spain, sitting around the table with my family eating local tapas. We would spend a lot of time laughing, eating and drinking way too much sangria. So when I was invited to join Canola Eat Well and Chef Rob (of the soon to open Campo) for tapas at Overbudget Inc on Queen West, I immediately began to reminisce about Mediterranean memories. Tapas Memories with Canola Eat Well
Our group of food enthusiasts, Chefs and writers watched as Chef Rob taught us how to properly blanche an Octopus, that the best ingredients are local (wherever you are in the world) and that the word tapas literally means ‘cover, lid’, (Historically, food dishes were given free with a drink and served on a dish which was balanced on the glass, therefore ‘covering,’ the drinks).
Chef Rob also challenged us to create our own dish using typical ingredients used in Spanish tapas. My partner, Alberta farmer, Jeannette, and I created a…let’s say ‘unique’ dish…which although wasn’t pretty, was very, very yummy.
The evening was not only a celebration of Spanish food but also of Canola oil, a Canadian product grown by Canadian farmers: Canadian-Oil. Canadian farmer, Jeanette, walked us through harvest season on a Canola farm, her family farm’s dependance on good weather and the emotional investment that comes with being a farmer. I will be honest, before meeting Jeannette, I didn’t know that farmers were; a) so good looking and well dressed; b) so passionate about their crops and c) were people who took their responsibility to feed and sustain our country so personally. I left the conversation with Jeannette, inspired, and with a new appreciation for the local, fresh and loved produce that I feed my family every day. The canola that her family works hard to produce is in homes across the country and in kitchens around the world.
‘Canola is a great oil to use for infusions,’ said Chef Rob. ‘It doesn’t have a overpowering flavour which really allows it to take on the characteristics of the herbs and spices you put in it. I use Canola for all of my oil infusions.‘ As the wife of a man who loves creating oil infusions, this was prime info. Canola oil is a healthy oil that is used in the majority of professional kitchens nationwide.
We ended the evening perfectly: Everyone sat around a big table, laughing, drinking and eating together. We shared from large platters, chatted amongst our fellow foodies and enjoyed a special evening brought to us by Mediterranean tapas and wonderfully Canadian canola.
*Photography by Josh Tenn-Yuk courtesy of Canola Eat Well.