We are just back from a few days out of town and in some ways it felt like a food bender. The Urban Dictionary defines a bender as: “The status of being bent for more than a day. Usually results in loss of memory, money, strange tattoos, and other things you’ll have a hell of a time explaining. “ Imagine what four days of eating out can do to you and I would say that most of this definition applies.
When I went looking to restock my pantry and plan for tonight’s at-home meal, I was thinking comfort. I knew I was going to the freezer for the overflow of the recently made carrot and coriander soup. Some nice bread with that seemed pedestrian but not if it was going to be really, really good bread. I was sure that I wanted something from a bakery. No strange ingredients I could not pronounce.
I was already on an errand to the The Red Apron so The True Loaf Bread Company, next door at 573 Gladstone Avenue would be my bread destination. It was minutes before closing at 1:00 pm and so many choices had already been taken. We both agreed that the Fig and Fennel would make an interesting combination with the soup. I told her I was also doing a salad and was eyeballing the Ermite cheese next door to put on top. She suggested that the Ermite would also go well sprinkled on the soup and how about I try La Sauvagine cheese on the bread. So creamy and dreamy. Its soft flavour would temper the strength of the fennel and the sweetness of the fig. Back to The Red Apron to pick up the two cheeses. We were living large.
La Sauvagine cheese is a washed-rind cheese from La Fromagerie Alexis de Portneuf, located in Saint Raymond, Quebec. It was named “Grand Champion” cheese at the 5th Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.
Ermite cheese is from Fromagerie de l’Abbaye Saint-Benoît in Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Quebec. It is the only cheese dairy in North America that is run by Benedictine monks. The first cheese created in the Abbey in 1943 was the famed blue Ermite cheese.
It is worth noting that the True Loaf Bread Company‘s remaining bread at closing, goes next door to The Red Apron to be sold. I have also seen their bread at Serious Cheese in Old Ottawa South for those unable to make the trip to the middle of town.
That La Sauvagine cheese did go very well with the bread. Their hearty artisan bread is just so superior to anything you would ever find in a grocery store. And although the mister found the fennel a bit strong (and he actually is a big fennel fan) we both agreed it was addicting, as we kept cutting slice after slice.
The carrot and coriander soup from the freezer heated nicely. I did try the Ermite cheese as a topper. There was a lot going on with all those flavours as we also enjoyed the bread along side the soup. I liked it well enough just because everything was so fresh and pure in ingredients.
The salad was piled high with greens, then topped with shaved red onions, a selection of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and red grapes, halved. The sprinkle of Ermite cheese stood strong beside the sweetness of the fruit. The dressing was oil, white balsamic vinegar, finely chopped shallot, salt, pepper, honey and Dijon mustard. So light tasting. So refreshing. And you guessed it, we nibbled on more bread.
If you want a hearty artisan bread, you won’t go wrong picking up a loaf of anything at the True Loaf Bread Company. And it appears they throw in their menu consultations for free!
True Loaf Bread Company
573 Gladstone Avenue
Open 7 am to 1 pm.
Closed on Sundays and Mondays.