Book Reviews

Book review: The Edible City – Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork.

The food of a metropolis is essential to its character. Indigenous plants proximity to farmland, the location of grocery stores, immigration, food-security concerns, cook’s training, all contribute largely as to how the population nourishes itself.

By all accounts, Toronto has all the right elements, but they need to evolve.

This excellent book with a cornucopia of essays on comestibles and drinkables explains what Toronto used to be, and how it could and should evolve.

This, the largest city in the country, is a magnet to millions of immigrants from most countries of the world. According to officials, more than 180 languages are spoken by a variety of peoples, who also bring with them their culture.

While only 20 years ago one had difficulty finding okra, Japanese eggplants, eddoes, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, rambutan, mangosteen, lemon grass, Thai basil, today practically every store offers at least some of them. You want rice, then you can choose between Basmati from India or Pakistan, converted, short grain, long grain, Texmati or any other time.

If you are interested in Toronto’s history, you will find it in this book. You want to know where and how the name Hogtown for Toronto emerged, then read page 163.

There is also an excellent article about bread quality and variety, which makes for interesting reading.

For those, who like farmer’s markets, here is a complete list of all, including comments on

their offerings.

The article on free-range eggs will make the reader understand how marketing boards gouge chicken farmers who then pass costs on to consumers. The same is true for milk.

In short, the term marketing in this country is a misnomer, and in this book you will read how the “system” works.

There are also interesting recipes that you can try.

Several talented, famous and less known writers contributed to this highly informative book from their perspective. All were carefully selected by both editors with the objective of informing the reader what food in Toronto is all about.

Restaurant reviewers and a range of past and present food establishments are mentioned for those interested, but of all, the notion of dining out experience and what Toronto diners expect from a high-end restaurants dinner is the most revealing and informative.

Highly recommended to all interested in food, food supplies and history.

One Comment

  1. i dont undrestand the theme or lesson of the edible city book and i also didnot undrestand what did the arther wanted us to understand