This morning’s breakfast for the mister looked simple enough but when you get to know the ingredients, they are a few stories worthy of being told. I started with his most favourite bagel – sesame. This treat came from the Ottawa Bagelshop on Wellington Avenue, east of Island Park. I toasted it and then covered it with cheese from Serious Cheese on Bank Street in Old Ottawa South. On the left is Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.‘s Petal Luna goat cheese and on the right is Beemster‘s Graskaas, a Dutch cheese with a gouda-like flavour. I topped the cheese with gourmet jams from a local food artisan, Michael Sunderland. The two jams I chose from michaelsdolce were: Blueberries and Lavender and then Strawberry and Balsamic. I also picked up the jams from Serious Cheese.
And now for a little background on the breakfast creation.
The Ottawa Bagelshop is well-known for their Montreal style bagels. They say their bagels are “rolled by hand, boiled in honey water, then baked in an old-fashioned, wood-burning oven. They have no preservatives, no dairy products or by-products, and no salt.” Their varieties include the two classics, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. They also have such specialty bagels as cinnamon raisin, oatmeal raisin, whole wheat, lemon cranberry, seven grain, flax seed, and lastly spelt. The Ottawa Bagelshop has been serving Ottawa since 1984. In addition to their retail store front, they have a sit down area to enjoy their coffee and foods. They also do catering.
Serious Cheese is a new addition to Old Ottawa South. In addition to their many cheeses, they also sell breads from local bakeries True Loaf Bread Company and Art-Is-In Bakery, baked goods from their own in-house bakery, gourmet food products and kitchen wares. I have to do a shout out for their in-store baked ginger molasses cookie. It is the best I have ever tasted. And I make a pretty fantastic ginger cookie myself. And only 99 cents. If that kind of pricing is meant to lure me back, that technique will work!
Beemster Graskaas cheese is a true delicacy. It is a Dutch cheese made from the first milk of spring when the cows are released onto the fields following their winter in the barn. The cows graze on pesticide-free pastures, 20 feet below sea level in North Holland. These canal-lined pastures are the most famous Dutch ‘Polder’ and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The milk from this early spring grazing is considered the creamiest milk of the year. They collect enough milk from this short grazing period to be able to make only 2,000 cheese wheels. The history of the production of Graskaas goes back to 1901. The cheese is aged for a month.
The Petal Luna hard goat cheese is from Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. in Prince Edward County. This cheese took gold at the Royal Winter Fair in 2008 in the Goat Hard category and it took bronze at the Royal Winter Fair in 2009 in the Surface Ripened category. The milk has been infused with locally grown calendula petals! Fifth Town suggests that it is a good match with medium bodied fruity wines such as Cabernet Franc, so I was fine touching up their cheese with these delicious jams.
Michael Sunderland is behind michaelsdolce gourmet jams, new to Ottawa this year. The 125 ml pots of pure goodness come in 11 varieties and are being sold throughout specialty stores, as well as being used at some restaurants. Michael Sunderland uses local fruit for his product when available. In addition to his talents in the kitchen, Michael also has a love for photography.
As for pricing, the bagels are typical ($6.95/doz), the jams are ‘treats’ ($4.25 for a 125 ml jar) and the cheese is in the ‘super treat’ range ($63.75/kg for Petal Luna and $49.99/kg for Graskaas).
The mister had only good things to say about his Sunday breakfast. I suppose partly because it was made for him and delivered. But more than that, he just loved the taste of his toasted sesame seed bagel and both of the delectable cheeses. He was particularly fond of the Strawberry and Balsamic jam. No funny names in any of the ingredient lists helps to keep the tastes real. “It was all good.”
Ottawa Bagelshop and Deli, Inc.
1321 Wellington Street
Mon to Thurs: 6:30 am – 7 pm
Fri: 6:30 am – 8 pm
Sat: 6:30 am – 7 pm
Sun: 6:30 am – 6 pm
1189 Bank Street
Mon to Sat: 10 am – 6 pm
Sun: 11 am – 5
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.
4309 County Road #8