Toronto Life appreciates The Edible City

By Fraser Abe
Toronto Life
November 16 2009

The Toronto food scene gets a ton of media coverage, but until recently there has been a dearth of books covering the city’s ever-expanding dining experiences. One of the latest contributions to the genre, The Edible City: Toronto’s Food From Farm to Fork, launches this Sunday at the Gladstone Hotel as part of This Is Not a Reading Series. The book details Toronto’s food past, present and future in cutesy chapters titled Antipasto, Primo, Secondo, Contorno and Dolce.

Sure, it’s a bit cheesy, and yes, there’s a lot of history involved, but The Edible City is by no means boring. We learn Toronto has an eponymous cocktail—sugar syrup, Fernet Branca, Canadian whisky and bitters—and that writer Katarina Gligorijevic couldn’t find a bar in the city that serves it. Chris Nuttall-Smith writes that buying small, fresh farm eggs is like conducting a drug deal. With the sad passing of the venerable St. Lawrence Market egg man Harlan Clark, we hope Nuttall-Smith doesn’t have to go deeper into the criminal underground for his peewees. But the most memorable essay comes from Kathryn Borel Jr., in which she takes Dexedrine to stay awake, gets drunk on red wine, criticizes Pizzeria Libretto’s sauce (for shame!), picks up a chef at the Painted Lady who teaches her how to roast a chicken (instead of fooling around), then bids the unsuspecting chef farewell with a fake phone number.

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