Queen of all things to do with baking Anna Olson was in Singapore recently to promote her new show on the Asian Food Channel, “Inspired with Anna Olson”. We simply could not resist the temptation to quiz her on where to get our sugar fix if we ever found ourselves in her hometown, Ontario.
1. For the chocolate lover
“Ontario is a very big province, it actually takes you 24 hours to drive from one side to the other; west to east, so I haven’t even covered all the ground in Ontario, but I would say close to home, for the chocolate lover – you would want to come to Niagara, which is wine country close to the US border. Go in February because all of the wineries have a chocolate festival, and you can just hop from winery to winery and each has chocolate desserts which pair with each wine. You don’t even have to have wine; you can just have the chocolates! One of my favourites would be Inniskillin Winery to start you off.”
2. For the one who loves pastries
“One of my favourite pastry shops in downtown Toronto is called Nadège Patisserie – her Macaron are what made her famous, but I actually love her classic French pastries – things like Canelé, and her other Viennoiseries like flaky pastries, and her desserts are just so elegant! I always end up eating twice as many as I think I’m going to have.
If you want something more rustic and truly Canadian, and if you love pastry, then again come down to Niagara. There’s a little bakery, 13th street Winery, and the butter tarts there are – dare I say, might be better than mine!”
3. For the ice cream addict
“Then you want to head east of Toronto, heading towards Quebec. About 2 hours outside the city, there’s a region called Prince Edward County. There’s a great little ice cream shop called Slickers, which have become famous for their camp-fire burnt marshmallow ice cream – not toasted marshmallows but burnt marshmallows – and it tastes just as if you’ve toasted your marshmallows over camp fire! They’ve also got innovative flavours using local ingredients, such as Rhubarb Ginger Ice cream. I always go for two or three scoops.”
4. For those looking for a healthy treat
“I am going to steer you to a small farmer’s market called the Welland’s Farmers Market. It is a top pick of mine because you have stall after stall of fresh local fruit that have been picked the morning you buy it. So there’s nothing healthier than a fresh peach, or raspberries that are still warm from the sun having just been picked, nectarines, plums, fresh blueberries, pears, and apples. It depends on the time of year you go, but that is the healthiest way to get a sweet treat.”
5. For creative, imaginative sweets
“There is a very young chef doing amazing things at Richmond Station downtown Toronto, and I know the chef – yet I’ve only met the pastry chef once, Farzam Fallah, and his desserts are innovative, creative but delicious too.”
Inspired with Anna Olson is now showing on the Asian Food Channel (Starhub Ch 435) , every Friday at 9pm.