Tuesday, 26 August 2008
It is almost a year ago that I wrote the following:
How is it that this huge cosmopolitan city of Toronto does not have a store near by that sells the following at a reasonable price?!
- rye flour
Last year, we finally found rye flour here in Toronto at a supermarket chain called Sobeys. We paid Cdn$5.60 for a 2.5kg bag of “Five Roses” dark rye flour. (We usually avoid the Sobeys chain – they generally overcharge disgracefully: $5/lb for butter… fully a dollar more than we pay at ‘no frills’ supermarket down the street.)
Yesterday, we rode our bikes over to the store to replenish the rye flour. NO 2.5kg bags of “Five Roses” dark rye flour!! They did have some little bags of “Bob’s Red Mill”: at around $3 for 600gms! We continued riding, visiting all the supermarket chains. Not one of them was selling rye flour in bags larger than 600gm (Yes, it was BRM, all priced about the same, give or take 25¢). Most of them had zero rye flour on their shelves. Some of them had 5kg bags of a multigrain blend wheat flour (white and whole wheat), cracked wheat, cracked rye and whole flax. How useless is that?
Rye flour is available in bulk at health food stores, but it’s expensive. Apparently it’s available downstairs at St.Lawrence Market too. It’s probably sold at “Whole Foods” too but I don’t think they’ll let me in there; my biking clothes aren’t designer and I’m not sure we have enough of a credit limit on our cards to pay if we do find rye flour there.
At one of the stores we visited yesterday, we tracked down the manager. He said that they USED to have bags of rye flour but stopped carrying them because nobody bought them. (Goodness, how sad to learn the demoralizing fact that I’m “nobody”.) He did apologize. And he was very pleasant and nice. But he didn’t offer to get the rye flour to put onto his shelves….
So what gives? Rye bread is available pretty much everywhere. Is whatever rye that isn’t used by the commercial bakeries going to the distilleries to make whisky? Don’t get me wrong. I like rye whisky/whiskey too! But I think if I had to choose between having rye whisky and rye bread, I’d choose the bread….
So again, I ask: where in Toronto can I buy rye flour at a reasonable price? A 5kg bag would be nice.
edit at 10:40am EDT: I just spoke with someone at “Five Roses” and am absolutely devastated to learn that their “dark rye” flour has been discontinued due to slow sales. Wah!!! One good thing though, the woman I spoke with did say that she would pass on my dismay to the correct department, with the note that as the price of wheat rises, people will be looking for alternative grains.
2nd edit at 12:25pm EDT: I didn’t mention that “Five Roses” (was a Canadian company) is now owned by the US based company “Smucker Foods”. And now here’s some really disturbing news. “Robin Hood” (that I always thought was Canadian, but googling shows that it was started in the US and moved into Canada in the earlier part of the 1900s) is now ALSO owned by “Smucker Foods”. So much for competition….
I’m really concerned that we’re not going to be able to get our fix of Reuben sandwiches this year! But it’s looking that way if we can only find rye flour for $5/k! (I haven’t looked to see the cost of a loaf of rye bread – I’m determined NOT to buy bread ready made! It’s just not as good!)
whisky vs whiskey
It is driving me crazy that Firefox is telling me that “whisky” is misspelled. I know I can add it to my own private firefox dictionary but come on… “whisky” isn’t exactly an unknown. Ask any Scot.)
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