April 11, 2007


Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 12:55 pm

Allow me to share a fetish with you.

Come on now, keep reading; don’t chicken out here, it’s largely harmless and I’ll wager that tucked away in some dimly-lit corner of your soul you’ll find that we are of one mind on this, a quiet realization stirring from long sleep. Also, it’s really awesome.

If you should find yourself in Toronto on a Saturday, you’d be remiss not to take a stroll down to the corner of Front and Jarvis, where you’ll find the St. Lawrence Market. I urge you to take a look inside, because The St. Lawrence Market is Toronto’s red-light district for food porn.

Does the though of freshly-cut prosciutto wrapped around a pungent wedge of north-Quebec cheddar prompt even the slightest twinge? Would back bacon on a freshly-baked bun, with a small dollop of homemade Dijon, cause your salivary glands to perk up even a little? Look into your heart, beating proud rhythms aside your stomach as it does, and ask it about french crepes with strawberries and cream, about dark, rich maple syrup, beautifully marbled cuts of beef, strange and wonderful cheeses, novel condiments, exotic spices and the finest produce available.

And then lie to me, if you feel you must, but I will not be deceived; I will see the wanting in you, and know that a man can only lie to himself for so long before he is not a man but a cold and shivering thing, driven to ground by his own denial. I will find you, in the midst of that long dark night of the soul, and offer you a bacon sandwich, because they’re really delicious.

Honestly, the merchants in there have no shame whatsoever. In food-porn terms the place is brazen, prurient. And it’s fantastic – the smells, the crowds, the unhinged, vibrant variety of the whole place is wonderful. Did you know that there’s about a million different kinds of honey, with their own regional distinctions and subtle fragrances? Uncountable dozen different kinds of rice? Thousands of novel, innovative cheeses, mustards, exotic vegetables? Not me. I’ve been shopping at your ANSI-Standard North-American Grocery Stores for way too long. Boy, is that going to change, though.

(That wasn’t so bad, was it?)

So, plan a day trip if you’re planning a trip at all – go for lunch and, I strongly recommend, plan to have a little bit here and there shared amongst, rather than everything from one place all at once. It’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.


  1. Gnaaaargh I had bread and cheese for lunch because I had nothing else ready and then I was still hungry so I had a Snickers bar because there is nothing else available and I HATE YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH RIGHT NOW that I’m even shouting, sorry about that.

    It doesn’t help that the entry is fantastically written and crafted. Or rather, it helps.

    I think I must go downtown to that one grocery store in Georgetown. Soon.

    Comment by Zeynep — April 11, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

  2. Er… sorry about that?

    Comment by Mike Hoye — April 11, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

  3. All I can say in reply is:
    I’d guess it’s the most-photographed area in Seattle

    Comment by me — April 11, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

  4. Will need to keep that place in mind the next time I’m in Toronto…

    Comment by Jeff — April 11, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  5. Damn, why must I read this when lunch is so far away. Curse you and your culinary adventures. Maybe coffee will make me feel better.

    Comment by Guillaume — April 12, 2007 @ 9:49 am

  6. Eat at your peril. I share the tragic story of my uncle, whose formative early married life was lived in a flat 5 minutes’ walk away from St Lawrence Market. A growing family (4 kids) forced him to move, first to Kitchener and later to Highgate (a small town halfway between London and Windsor). Until his final retirement last year, he used to commute daily to his job at George Brown College. He claimed it was to retain seniority, but we all knew it was so he could continue to buy cheese at the St Lawrence Market.

    I have not even mentioned the financial costs of raising four children (inc 3 teenage sons) to eat only the best smoked salmon and artisanal Quebec unpasteurised milk cheese.

    Comment by Darcy — April 12, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  7. Very true; like many fetishes, fullest enjoyment does not come cheap.

    Comment by Mike Hoye — April 12, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

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