On Christmas morning, I eat their chocolate cherry panettone. That herald of the season. It is tradition. At Easter this year, I was surprised by their chocolate hazelnut brioche. A poem in my mouth. Mother’s Day brought little chocolate cakes, tall cupcakes really with a caramel butter cream icing! Although I am no mother, I felt special having my very own cake. And on Valentine’s Day, the double decker, heart-shaped lemon sugar cookies spread thick with strawberry jam, cater to the lonely.
Not that I need a special occasion to indulge. Just this morning, on my way to a meeting at a cruel hour, I consoled myself with a lemon poppyseed babycake. Not my usual breakfast fare. Usually, it’s the granola. Toasty, chewy organic grains, cranberries, dates, cashews and coconut clumped together with honey, no run-of-the-mill cereal this. I like mine with a splash of vanilla soy. Earlier in the week, I was torn between two loves at lunchtime: would it be the thinly sliced cucumbers with creamy cambozola on walnut bread or the roma tomatoes, avacado, mesclun and asiago between slices of fluffy foccaccia, encrusted with parmesan and rosemary?
It is a dangerous thing to live across the street from Terra Breads. At least dangerous for those of us who long to be long and lithe, but alas will never be. The temptations are daily. Take the cookies for one. No better make it two. Cookies to match my every mood. If I’m a little blue, there’s nothing like a sugary ginger cookie to lift my spirits. Chewy apricot oatmeal with a cup of tea calms the nerves. And for the afternoon fade, I pop a couple chocolate espresso and rise to any occasion.
I admit to taking a little too much comfort in bread from time to time. Recently, after a particularly trying day, I sucked back an entire demi-loaf of green olive. The cheeky Greek olives egging me on. And am I the only one who considers the fig and anise an entree?
A young friend of mine, already an accomplished chef, just got a job at Terra. She wants to learn the art and craft of breadmaking, the old-fashioned way. Terra’s artisan breads and rustic pastries as they call them, are made with quality ingredients, often local and organic. They are baked in a stone-hearth oven. My friend is over the moon. It seems Terra is held in high esteem in chef-dom too.
When you walk in the door of my neighbourhood cafe, you are immediately hit with the homey aroma of fresh-baked bread. But there is another sense in the atmosphere: belonging. There are always people chattering over cappuccino’s or slurping steaming bowls of soup around the communal table. On a Slow Food Tour last spring, I stopped by Terra’s 6th Avenue locale with a couple hundred other cyclists. I sampled their warm flatbread drizzled with honey. Made special for the event. I felt like I was part of something much bigger that day. Behind the scenes, Terra is also quietly doing their part in the community. I heard through the grapevine, that some of our less fortunate wait outside the Granville Island store at close of day when luscious leftovers are lovingly given.
Just a few of the reasons why I write this testimonial to Terra.