Dirt on the menu? It’s ‘hyper-local’

My friend Steve managed his four kids and mealtime with frozen veggies, and I sorta did the same.

mqdefaultBut in provactive food porn, for those who’s lives are hopelessly dull, Toronto’s Globe and Mail reports chef Justin Cournoyer is heading north of Toronto in his Subaru Forester (because only soilvares would drive a Subaru, or that it would matter) to forage in the wilderness. He’s on one of his biweekly pilgrimages to harvest wild bounty, such as chamomile, ginger, peas, woodruff or ground elder. These he will place into a cooler to take back to his small hyper-local Ossington Avenue restaurant, Actinolite. While he’s out, he’s also seeking an ingredient that the average forager might overlook: soil.

“You want soil that is near maples and pines,” he says. “If it’s too into the pines, it’s too acidic.”

He prefers not the silty topsoil that one could procure from a front lawn, but the stuff that is rife with pine needles, decaying organic matter and broken-down leaves. He wants the scents and sensations of an Ontario forest captured in a handful of dirt, and he wants to cook with that dirt.