Friday, 13 May 2011

Raccoons and macaroons

I flew to Toronto on Wednesday with Porter. There are several things I like about this airline, the first is that you fly into Toronto City Airport and get this view

and the second is their mascot, a raccoon called Mr Porter. Here he is guiding a plane

 and here he is enjoying some cake. A raccoon after my own heart.
I love "The Victorious Sponge" as a name for a cake shop
Canadians view raccoons as irksome trash bandits but they don't cause me a problem in Newcastle so I think they look cute, like little bears that won't rip your face off. There was some raccoon excitement later in the day when I came face to face with a little scavenger before it shimmied up a tree.
This is a reconstruction using actors
Sarah and Charlie met me at the airport and we got straight to business with my favourite Canadian chocolate bar, an Oh Henry.

We got off the streetcar at Queen St East, a long road of mostly independent shops and cafes that could knock the socks off identikit British high streets. We visited LPK's Culinary Groove which specialises in vegan and gluten-free goodies. These beautiful cakes are a far cry from the brick-like flapjacks I ate as a vegan.

We stopped at Bonjour Brioche for milk bread and a delicious coconut macaroon, then went to Lady Marmalade for a massive all day breakfast, followed by ice cream from Ed's Real Scoop. I sampled tortoise flavour which is actually made of turtles (turtles being a Canadian treat make of caramel, chocolate and pecan in the shape of a turtle. I have heard tell of turtles but never ONCE has a Canadian relative ever given me one). I bought a small tub of maple and walnut with butter pecan, both of which were superb. I also liked their choice of cones.

 We continued along Queen St East visiting as many bakeries as possible. As we peered into counter upon counter of cinnamon buns, butter tarts, date squares, peanut butter cookies, almond tarts, apple pies and all manner of muffins, I began to wonder if Toronto actually has the edge over New York for baked goods. Clearly this theory will need to be thoroughly researched before any meaningful conclusion can be drawn, and I'd welcome any help you might be able to offer.


  1. My mum has admitted "took me forever to realise this was a toy raccoon. I was thinking I could see it perfectly, thinking what a lovely round furry face it had and how clean it was". That's actors for you, mammy. Or finger puppets.

  2. i will offer my help in support of research - shall i book a ticket now?
    also that mr porter raccoon is so darn cute!