Eating locally and in season is the focus of Anna Olson’s new cookbook, Fresh with Anna Olson.
CityLine.ca caught up with Olson recently to talk about the philosophy behind the recipe collection, and why putting local produce in our shopping basket makes so much sense.
“You’re going to end up having better results,” the author and TV host reasons. “If you’re buying ingredients that are at their peak and come from a shorter distance away, you’re going to be happier with the end result. Also it supports the local economy and just keeps the spirit alive.”
Olson moved to the Niagara area in 1995 and found herself surrounded by local growers, and one of the country’s most robust wine producing regions. In fact not long ago she opened Olson Foods at Ravine, a partnership with Ravine Vineyards, in St. Davids.
“I’m lucky living in Niagara that it’s not only wine country, but the soil and climate is great for tender fruits like peaches, apricots and cherries. Also there’s corn, potatoes, pretty much all produce that you think of as Canadian,” Olson notes. “But as I like to say, if you live in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, you’ve got your own pickings to choose from. Common things like apples, pears, onions, squash, are available unilaterally across the country and those are the flavours I really like to cook with.”
Olson has been cooking and baking since childhood, and her grandmother in particular was a huge influence.
“It was the respect she had for the ingredients, the respect she had for the task, and the act of generosity and love, what cooking was to her is what she put on to me,” Olson explains. “I carry that with me, whether it’s for my family, my friends, or for work, that respect and love is still there.”
For more with Anna Olson, click on the video below.
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