Good Taste
 

November 21, 2019

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's a delicious week here at Good Taste as Ian Brown tells the tale of baking his way through 20 pounds of apples, and we drool over that classic booze-soaked French dessert baba au rhum. If your holiday party calendar is already looking stacked, Christopher Waters has the scoop on splurge-worthy bottles that will wow an audience. Father afield, we take a tour of England's growing wine industry. If you have a question on wine, e-mail it and Christopher will answer a selection in the newsletter and on our website.

 
Need to know
 
Eleven splurge-worthy wines perfect for holiday parties
  Eleven splurge-worthy wines perfect for holiday parties
 

Christopher Waters

 
Full Story
 
 
 
More stories below advertisement
 
 
 
Drinks
 
How do I politely ask a host to serve the wine I brought to a dinner party?
  How do I politely ask a host to serve the wine I brought to a dinner party?
 

Christopher Waters

 
Full Story
 
Take a tour of England’s surprisingly good vineyards
  Take a tour of England’s surprisingly good vineyards
 

Dean Lisk

 
Full Story
 
Trails and ales: A tour of some of Britain’s coziest post-hike pubs
  Trails and ales: A tour of some of Britain’s coziest post-hike pubs
 

Daniel Neilson

 
Full Story
 
 
Food
 
Picking apples is a fall tradition, but what happens when you end up with 20 pounds of them?
  Picking apples is a fall tradition, but what happens when you end up with 20 pounds of them?
 

Ian Brown

The onset of my appleplexy happened in the following way. The woman, her name was Michelle, was an acquaintance of Gayle, a friend of mine at work. I had never met Michelle. Gayle, however, was spending the weekend at Michelle’s farm near Glen Huron, Ont., which is about 10 kilometres south of Georgian Bay, hence subject to the allegedly moderating climatological influence of the Great Lakes. In other words, it’s smack in the middle of one of Ontario’s apple belts. Michelle had a small orchard: Did I, Gayle asked, want a bag of hand-picked honeycrisp apples?

 
Of course I did. I am a fiend for the honeycrisp, for its bracing tight and snappy appleyness, although farmers find it a pain to grow (it considers Nova Scotia the ideal climate) and harvest (you have to snip the stem as you pick it so it won’t puncture other Honeycrisps, whose skins are so thin the apple can suffer from sunburn). The Honeycrisps were on the small side, which somehow made them even more delicious. I sent Michelle a note of thanks, though I may have overdone it on the gratitude, because two days later Michelle was in the lobby in person, with another gift: 20 pounds of apples, knotted into a nylon bag. I carried it home swinging from the handlebars of my bike like the head of John the Baptist.

 
 
Full Story
 
That classic French dessert baba au rhum is making a comeback
  That classic French dessert baba au rhum is making a comeback
 

Jackie Kai Ellis

The first time I tasted a baba au rhum was in pastry school. We had been learning the French classics such as éclairs and St-Honoré, and eventually tackled this bread-like cake, heavily infused with a boozy syrup. The dough is essentially a brioche mixture with so much butter added to it that the texture becomes soft and oozing. It needs to be piped, like a thick cream, into doughnut-shaped moulds for baking. After the crust has taken on a tawny colour, the cakes are flipped out of their pan to dehydrate in a low oven. Once cooled, they are soaked and soaked for days like a sponge, swelling until every crumb is saturated. In keeping with tradition, the cake is painted with a glossy glaze and then topped with crème Chantilly, fresh cream whipped with vanilla.

 
As I took a bite of my first baba in class, the cake flooded my palate with the fragrant syrup, carrying hints of citrus and vanilla. When it intermingles with the cream, the bittersweet heat of the rum softens. I was surprised that such elegance came from what initially seemed like a bloated bun.

 
As with most recipes that have endured for generations, the baba au rhum has faithfully been in and out of fashion on French menus. Now, after decades of being relegated to the back of the recipe box, along with frog legs and escargot, the baba (and, actually, the frog legs and escargot, too) is enjoying a comeback.

 
 
Full Story
 
 
Restaurants
 
Canada’s Kitchen 2019: Meet the country’s next top chefs
Canada’s Kitchen 2019: Meet the country’s next top chefs
 

Julie Van Rosendaal

 
Full Story
 
 
Style Advisor Magazine
 
Our November edition offers a blizzard of holiday inspiration, from food to fashion to gifts.
 
View More
 
 
Politics Briefing Newsletter
 
Stay informed about Canadian politics with Chris Hannay's Politics Briefing newsletter. For subscribers.
 
View More
 
 
Experience the spectacular beauty of France in 2020 on a Globe and Mail River Cruise!
 
Whether you choose Bordeaux (May 25-June 3) or South of France (June 20-30), your favourite Globe journalists will journey alongside, sharing their insights on the day’s pressing stories and informing various excursions that celebrate France’s history, culture and wine. For further details on both of these amazing journeys, visit us at www.GlobeandMailCruises.com
 
View More
 
 
About this newsletter
The weekly Good Taste newsletter delivers wine advice and reviews, recipes, restaurant news and more.

If you do not wish to receive this newsletter anymore, please refer to the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email communication. Or, you can log into The Globe’s website and manage your preferences under Communication Settings.

Can't log in yet? Registration is free and allows you to read more articles for free. Here are tips to stay logged in.

For feedback email Lori Fazari directly.