My favorite purchase of late: Apples to Oysters: A Food Lover’s Tour of Canadian Farms. Tasting a “humble,” dirt-covered carrot – delicious! and straight from the farm - prompted author Margaret Webb to trek to each of Canada’s provinces to meet farmers growing or raising local food in sustainable ways.
Webb had me at hello. She fell in love with the oyster farmer from PEI and I fell in love with her book. She weaves her personal encounters – meeting farmer Johnny Flynn – with summaries of the affects of farming oysters, tales of her day on the fishing, and her first taste of a raw oyster:
“Contemplating the half decade of life that would be sacrificed for my one second of pleasure, my mind swirling with images of sex and death, I placed my finger on the sensuous swell of meat. Springy! I raised the shell to my nose and sniffed the ocean liqour. Fresh! Tipped the tender morsel into my mouth and chewed. And, oh, perverse, addictive pleasure.”
Webb ends each chapter with a selection of recipes, some from her partner, local restaurants, or classics from the farmers themselves.
Webb has a refreshingly pure excitement and love for food. Her adventures make her giddy. This passion in turn makes the book successful – relatable and engaging. Webb does not preach the green way, but truly believes in and enjoys it, yes, for the sake of the environment, but primarily because sustainable, local food just tastes good.
If you’re in Montreal, look for Apples to Oysters at Appetite for Books, where I bought my autographed copy.