February 15th was the busiest that I have ever seen the St. Lawrence Market. I’m not sure why the market was booming, but I’m glad to see that it’s getting the attention that it deserves. The market contains over 120 vendors that specialize in selling local foods, such as; meat, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and preserves (“St. Lawrence Market”, n.d.). I don’t travel to the market often, but find that when I do, I’m blown away by the quality and quantity of products that appear before me.
The upstairs of the building was making me incredibly anxious due to the amount of people so I decided to take a look around the lower level. Although it was still busy, it was way less stressful downstairs. As I browsed the displays and vendor carts I stumbled across a place called A Bisket- A Basket; it showcased a lovely looking display of jams, jellies, and marmalades. I was just thinking the other day that I missed having jam on toast and this display just made me crave it even more. The whole section was wooden and gave off an incredibly country vibe which reminded me of my grandparents (they used to live in the country and had a delicious vegetable garden). I studied the selection carefully to determine which one would be the winner; at 8 bucks a pop, I had to choose wisely. There were a huge variety of flavour combinations that I had never heard of, many of which included ginger. Some examples of the products are; orange ginger marmalade, piña colada jam, and margarita jalapeño jelly. I ended up purchasing the 250ml jar of strawberry rhubarb jam.
At the cash I struck up a conversation with the owner of A Bisket – A Basket, his name is Urs Aeby. Urs was more than willing to answer a few questions about him and his delicious company. He stated that before creating A Bisket – A Basket he was a chef in hotels overseas. He worked in places like Malaysia and the Middle East where he created French cuisine. An interesting point that he mentioned was that he would always try to create new fusion recipes and asked his kitchen staff to create dishes that were different and creative. When Urs retired he decided to create this business which he has now owned for the last 10 to 15 years (he couldn’t remember exactly).
I questioned Urs on the quality of his products and was told that all of his items are made with natural ingredients, however, they are not organic. His reasoning behind this was that before opening the business he knew horror stories of friends that went bankrupt due to the high cost of using organic products. To him, it was not worth it to make the products organic; he finds that the jams still have the same quality whether they’re organic or not. He does buy all the fruit locally and takes pride in using no preservatives in his products.
When I got home I decided to give the company a google and I discovered that A Bisket – A Basket also has a website. It is rather simplistic, but it does get across what the company has to offer. The site lists all of the products that they have and lets you know their location and contact information. I recommend checking them out either online or at the St. Lawrence Market (“A Bisket – A Basket”, n.d.).
It was refreshing to learn that the jam I bought was not loaded with preservatives and was created with all fresh produce — it is absolutely delicious. Going to the market was a great experience for me, I would love to back again to talk to Urs more about his company and to talk to other local vendors. I think that it’s great to support locals and that more people need to be aware of the fantastic products that Canada has to offer.
A Bisket – A Basket: Sweet and Savory Condiments. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.abisketabasket.ca/aboutus.html
St. Lawrence Market. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/pages/read_more_st_lawrence_market/