A Fruitful Interview

Fruitful Market is an all-organic grocery and kitchen that opened less than a year ago at Dundas and Carlaw where they have quickly become a welcomed edition to the Chic Leslieville neighbourhood. Fruitful Market stocks daily essentials from fresh produce, dairy, meat and grocery items to coffee and prepared salads and sandwiches for take-out.

The owner, Yannis Banks, comes from a finance background but has always loved food and grew up working in his mother’s restaurant. A couple of years ago, Yannis worked with an organic fertilizer company that led him to research organic agriculture and he became very aware of soil health and how greatly it can affect the nutrition in produce. Thus, Fruitful Market was created out of a desire to find and supply truly nutrient-dense food and the concept has evolved to include a kitchen where the produce brought in can have two functions/purposes.


Fruitful Market, from the street.

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Braised Rabbit & Mushrooms

It’s funny how you can spend your spare time day dreaming about what to cook for a class assignment, but those million ideas are thrown out the window as soon as you notice a whole rabbit on sale for $5/lb ($11/kg) at the grocery store. This rabbit called to me, the vegan cashier nagged me, and the cycle of life continues. In total, I paid $15.66 for the 3lb (1.4kg) rabbit.

baggedRabbit Continue reading “Braised Rabbit & Mushrooms”

Caramelized Vanilla Pear Jam

Every spring I say I’m going to fill my cupboards with homemade jams and preserves. The produce is full of flavour that I have missed through winter, yet somehow every summer just zooms by and come November, when I start thinking about Christmas gifts, there is little fresh produce left to work with. I’m left to be creative within the season, and currently that means pears.


Giant Anjou Pears.

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Fruit Hunting


Oriental Harvest on a quiet Thursday morning.

When I think of exotic fruits, I remember my first trip through Chinatown as a teenager. Shop displays encompass sidewalks giving the sea of pedestrians little room to shuffle along. Shop keepers yell out, talk, and laugh with customers in Mandarin. Elderly women pull full shopping carts, caring little for feet they run over. And the displays! Piles upon piles of unknown fruits, vegetables, backpacks, trinkets and foul smelling dried fish. I grew up in Toronto, yet I felt culture shock for the first time. Chinatown is a world of its own, a place for inspiration and discovery. When our Food Theory assignment was to become a fruit hunter, I knew exactly where to go. Continue reading “Fruit Hunting”