Our time in Toronto was short. My time to explore the city with my family was even shorter. We tried to make the most of it and on our first morning there, a Saturday, we had a quick adventure at St. Lawrence Market. It was recently named the number one food market in the world in the National Geographic book, Food Journeys of a Lifetime, and even though I didn’t get to spend much time there, I am not surprised by the high accolades.
We arrived quite early so the market was not very crowded. We were able to get good looks at the organic produce all artfully displayed; at the wide variety of incredibly fresh seafood; and at the expansive butcher stalls with cuts of meat I’d never heard of before, such as the tomahawk rib-eye. I asked one of the butchers if they were brontosaurus ribs (remember The Flintstones?); that’s how big they were!
We strolled the aisles and chatted with the friendly merchants, most of whom offered us free samples of their goods. We even came across a gentleman making fresh pasta. As we walked, I couldn’t help but notice all of the people speaking Italian. All around me I heard, “buon giorno“, and “come stai?” and of course I gravitated toward the sources. That’s how we landed at Ponesse Foods. A very kind woman, who I can only guess is “Mama” Ponesse, heard me calling to Lucia. She was so excited about my daughter’s name that she offered her a free banana. My husband Mark ended up talking with Signore Ponesse who quickly figured out that: 1) Mark is not Italian; 2) I am Italian; and, 3) Mark and I are married. Signore Ponesse made sure to let Mark know that since he married into an Italian family, he will be well taken care of and he will never go hungry – all the while shaking his finger at him. I just stood there and listened, smiling and nodding in agreement.
We found an empty picnic table just outside the market doors and settled there to enjoy our goodies. I was especially fond of the cherries we bought at Ponesse Foods while Lucia was quite excited about her green olives! Soon after, it was time for me to head over to the Metro Toronto Convention Center to attend the first day of the TBEX Conference, which was the whole point of our trip to Toronto. Lucia wasn’t happy that I was leaving them behind, but I’m assured she quickly got over it once she realized she and her father were off to have their own adventures.
Stay tuned for more on our time in Toronto, including guest posts by Mark aka The Working Dad!