ISO rye flour and corn pasta in Toronto

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?!

  1. rye flour
  2. corn pasta

When I made sourdough rye bread for BBD#03, I used up the last of the lovely dark rye flour I had. And I had no idea that it was going to be difficult to replace! I know that I bought the last bag at the supermarket (Loblaws). Today, we went to four different supermarkets (including Loblaws), searching for bags of dark rye flour. Ha. No such luck. The closest was a multigrain mix of flours. If I wanted to make multigrain bread, I’d mix the flours myself! I don’t need someone else to do that for me, thank you very much.

And here is why I suddenly have a bee in my bonnet about corn pasta: When we were on the west coast, my sister made the most fabulous pasta dish that she based on her chicken enchilada recipe. But instead of using corn tortillas, she used corn pasta.

The dish was so good that she entered the recipe in the Canadian Living KitchenAid 2007 Cook of the Year Contest. Unbelievably, the judges forgot to mention that her recipe had won first prize.

(Silly me. I neglected to get the recipe!! But I have emailed her to ask her to send it.)

One of the things we loved about it was the corn pasta. We had never had corn pasta before and it is delicious! So on our bicycle journeying today, we stopped at various supermarkets to buy corn pasta. Ha. No such luck! Only one of the supermarkets even had any corn pasta and it was $3.50 for 340gm.

Yes, you read that correctly: $3.50 for 340gm

Perhaps I’m old fashioned; I really think that is WAY too much to pay! Just before riding home in defeat, we stopped at the expensive Health Food Store close to our house. They sell all kinds of pasta in bulk EXCEPT corn pasta. The corn pasta is sold in plastic bags for $3.40 for 340gm. Not much better, is it?

(The expensive Health Food Store also sells rye flour in bulk. But judging from their other flour prices, I’d really like to find another source.)

It looks like some jackass has done a demographic study to ascertain that people in our area of Toronto do not buy rye flour or corn pasta. Does anyone have any idea which part of Toronto we have to go to find these items at reasonable prices?

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11 responses to “ISO rye flour and corn pasta in Toronto

  1. Sheryl

    Have you tried Rube’s in St. Lawrence Market?

    I get my rye flour there, and while I’ve never noticed corn pasta, I’ve never been looking for it. I bet he has some, as he’s got a good selection of other obscure pastas.

  2. ejm Post author

    Good idea, Sheryl, even though I find Rube’s to be a little on the expensive side. But they do have a lot of different flours. And you’re right, they may have corn pasta as well.

  3. the writer of the should-have-won-the-prize recipe

    I just went back to the store where I bought the corn pasta and it was $3.64 for 340 grams. I didn’t notice the price the first time as I was making this dinner to include a diner who is celiac and cannot consume products with gluten. I can’t abide rice pasta so I bought corn pasta without even looking at the price.

    The recipe CAN be eaten with regular old wheat pasta; in fact, that’s how I entered it in the contest (where the judges were wrong, dead wrong!) You could probably use rice pasta if you really wanted to but it makes me ill to think of it.

  4. ejm Post author

    Thanks for checking the price on the corn pasta on the west coast, WOSHWTPR. I was beginning to feel VERY hard-done by that corn pasta seemed to be so much more expensive here than there.

    Rats. One of the things I really liked about it was that it was made with corn pasta. I’m sure that it’s really good with wheat pasta too but then it will be similar to other pasta dishes. For me, it was the corn pasta that really made the dish. (Of course, I’ll have to try it with regular pasta too – it was really very good)

    I wonder if it would work to break up corn tortillas and cook them like pasta… “La Perola” in Kensington Market sells corn tortillas that aren’t astronomically expensive.

  5. Ivonne

    I was so glad to read this post, Elizabeth! I am constantly amazed how difficult it is to find ingredients in this city! And we’re not even talking about highly specialized ingredients. Rye flour? Come on! Every grocer should carry some rye flour.

    As a baker I’m constantly amazed at the lengths I have to go to in order to find certain ingredients. Well said!

  6. ejm Post author

    It is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it, Ivonne? In our travels to various large grocery stores on Sunday, we found a 2.5kg bag of dark rye flour (Five Roses – the same brand that I have been using) for $5.60 at Soby’s. Personally, I cannot stand the chain – they generally overcharge disgracefully ($5/lb for butter… fully a dollar more than we pay at “no frills” for a liter of cream). But we were too far away from St.Lawrence Market by the time we found the rye flour and I really wanted to have some so we bought it. I’ll be interested to do a price check at Rube’s.

    Remind me to write to Five Roses, Loblaws, A&P to ask why on earth rye flour is not a staple item in Toronto.

  7. Paz

    How interesting. I’ve never heard of rye flour or corn pasta before. Makes me wonder how easy it would be (or how difficult) to find it in NYC. Good luck on your search, especially for reasonable priced products.


  8. ejm Post author

    How ridiculous for you to not be able to easily find tahini, Susan! (I wonder if it would it be difficult to make? Sesame seeds must be pretty readily available…)

    I guess we have to start making a habit of speaking to our store managers. Two of our nearby supermarkets now carry 10kg bags of unbleached all-purpose flour. I’m pretty sure that it is partly because I asked them to do so and then thanked them when they stocked the shelves with it.

    I will have to do the same with rye flour now that I know I’m going to be making rye bread on a relatively regular basis (we neeeeeed rye bread for Reuben sandwiches). And I’ve just been reading that rye flour is the perfect flour to dust with if one wants to put hats or decorations on top of a loaf of bread. Apparently the dough doesn’t readily absorb the rye flour so the decoration stays intact instead of being absorbed into the rest of the loaf. (I hope that made sense!!)

    The corn pasta might not be such an easy fix though. It seems like it might be quite specialized.

  9. Sue

    I am almost to the bottom of my bag of rye flour and my husband and I have been checking different stores to find some. I guess I will go to one of the managers and ask him or her to order some for me. I make rye bread and I also make pumpernickel bread. Good luck with finding Corn Pasta and rye flour.


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