Recipe: Vacuum Sealer Beet-Cured Gravlax

Gravlax is one of my favourite Nordic treats. With simple ingredients - and a just little time to smooth its flavours - gravlax is also the easiest luxury to make at home.

I’ve tried dozens of recipes over the years. The most traditionally accurate call for two fillets of fish - preferably from opposite sides of the same fish - liberally cured with salt and sugar and sandwiched skin-side out around a core of herbs and spices. It’s then tightly wrapped with cling film and popped into the fridge with a weighted object on top to help expel moisture.

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De la Mer: All Men Are Equal Before Fish

Walk through the doors of De La Mer Fresh Fish Market, and you just might want to Instagram it.

You might be drawn to the shop’s name laid in black tile alongside whimsical representations of fish. Or the nautical-themed decor arrayed against the wall. There’s even a spot perfect for selfies; there, in the back, with the hand-lettered phrase “All men are equal before fish”. In some regards, it’s easy to forget that you’ve walked into a fish shop. That would be a mistake. You definitely want the fish here.

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Bandit Brewery: Crafted Beer

Like all good ideas, Bandit Brewery was conceived over a pint of beer. And, rather appropriately, so too was the friendship between owners Shehzad Hamza and Stephane Dubois; thematically, they also met at a brewery. You can say that the unlikely pair are the epitome of the Canadian Dream; immigrants who came, conquered, and quit their corporate jobs to establish a craft brew startup. 

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Sisterhood Is Brew-tiful

Beer is the third most popular beverage on the planet. But when it comes to food and drink pairing, wine reigns supreme. In fact, is there even such a thing as a beer sommelier?

As it turns out, there are. We met Tara and Crystal Luxmore, also known as the Beer Sisters, at Tequila Bookworm.

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Beer: The Origin of Civilization?

Until recently, I never held beer in very high esteem. Growing up, I’ve always associated beer with frat boys, beer pong, and trailer parks. To me, beer culture was unrefined and encouraged gross over consumption, leading to boorish behaviour. I shared the Ancient Greeks’ preference for wine and low opinion of beer; it’s a barbarian’s beverage.

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Sake With Gushi

"Isn't it customary to never pour yourself your own sake?" I ask as I concentrate on filling four small cups up to the brim.

We're on our fourth bottle of sake and it's starting to have an effect on the accuracy of my pouring. Tonight, I'm drinking with Shinji Yamaguchi and his partner - in both life and business - Blessie Maturan.

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Day Drunk

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon and I've found a prime seat at one of the best places to drink in Toronto. The beer is cheap and free-flowing. The clientele, interestingly quirky. If I'm ever found holding an empty it is promptly taken away; what service! The catch is that I'm not at one of the trending patios in town. I'm in Trinity-Bellwoods Park, and it's time to get wasted.

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