By Emily Senger - Friday, March 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
Canadian Business reporter acts as an informant
A Canadian Business magazine reporter acted as an informant as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s comedy show slogged through the sticky world of Canadian maple syrup crime.
In the episode of The Daily Show that aired on Feb. 28, reporter Tim Shufelt told Americans about the secret world of maple syrup cartels or, as Stewart called it, “a terrifying new front from an unexpected source.”
In the five-minute segment, The Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones begins by interviewing Shufelt, who sits in a darkened room to “protect his identity.” Continue…
By Mika Rekai - Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM - 0 Comments
From syrup to slurpees, food and drink made their mark in 2012
A mite shy
New Zealanders went into deep withdrawal after the nation’s Marmite producer, Sanitarium, suspended production at their Christchurch plant in the wake of an earthquake that damaged the factory in 2011. Repairs were supposed to be finished by summer, then October, but the shelves are still empty of the popular yeast-based spread. Sanitarium officials warned New Zealanders to use it sparingly, but 500-g jars were being hoarded and sold for more than $50 online. While some Kiwis have withstood the shortage bravely, loyalties were sorely tested. In the spring, supermarkets reported that sales of Australian rival Vegemite rose significantly.
It was a heist made for headlines. In late August, thieves broke into a Quebec warehouse and stole barrels full of Canada’s original sweetener, part of a 23,500-barrel reserve of maple syrup. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers keeps the stockpile against shortages. Representing more than one-tenth of Quebec’s 2012 harvest, the syrup was said to be worth more than $30 million. In October, the RCMP tracked down the stolen syrup in New Brunswick, extricating maple-syrup producers from a sticky mess.
Joke’s on him
While filming an episode of The Mind of a Chef in Montreal, U.S. comedian Aziz Ansari was mistaken for local comic Sugar Sammy at Wilensky’s sandwich shop. Ansari, who accompanied New York chef David Chang and two local chefs to the shop for one of its famous fried bologna and salami sandwiches, impersonated the Canadian comedian for as long as he could. When someone revealed his name, the Parks and Recreation star said, “Different Indian comedian.” Sugar Sammy is a broad-shouldered, athletic and fashionable comic best known for his bilingual stage shows and reputation as a hard partier. Aziz Ansari is a short, slight comedian with a beard and moustache. After leaving, Ansari asked the chefs if they ever get mistaken for other chefs, then pointed to Chang, who is Chinese-American, and said with a grin, “Morimoto?”
This year, 10 Indian states banned the sale of gutka, a popular chewing tobacco made of crushed betel nut, nicotine, spices and chemical additives, in an effort to curb oral cancers, which make up almost a third of all cancer diagnoses in India. There are an estimated 65 million gutka users in the country, and the tobacco is popular as a cheap pick-me-up for everyone from rickshaw drivers to university students. With 80,000 new cases of oral cancer a year, the health ministry says the treatment of tobacco-related diseases costs more than $5 billion annually, almost five times more than the government earns from taxing gutka. The ban came as a shock to the manufacturers, who have banded together to challenge the legislation in court.
Classy with a C
At home, the diet-busting cinnamon buns sold at Cinnabon are found at subway stations and busy malls, where the irresistible smell of the pastry baking tempts passersby. This year it became the first U.S. franchise to open in Libya after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi. The Tripoli location, which made its debut in August to a flurry of excitement on Libyan social media, is the largest Cinnabon in the world. While the original recipe remains untouched, the restaurant is modelled after a European-style café, offering a cosmopolitan array of Italian coffees and pastries. A three-storey affair in a fashionable neighbourhood, it offers private dining rooms for meetings, dates and special occasions, as well as a playroom for children. A trip to Cinnabon here is a status symbol for the city’s wealthiest residents.
XL not sold here
The Big Apple is no friend to the Big Gulp. In September, the New York City health department banned the sale of sugared beverages larger than 16 oz. at restaurants, food carts, sports arenas and movie theatres to curb obesity. The ban is another bold step from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to improve the health of New Yorkers, but the rest of the United States is unlikely to follow his lead; in November citizens of two California cities rejected a fat tax on pop. New Yorkers thirsting for supersized pop can still get their fix. Fruit juices that are more than 70 per cent juice, diet pop and alcoholic beverages are exempt, as is 7-Eleven’s infamous Slurpees, because they are sold in a convenience store.
XL not sold here either
This September, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspended operations at an XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alta., after E. coli was detected in meat products. Then CFIA documents showed the bacteria was discovered two weeks before the suspension, during which time uninformed retailers continued to sell XL meat to Canadian and American customers; 18 people got sick, but there have been no known fatalities. The Alberta beef industry took a licking, but the processing plant was running again in October with more inspectors and stricter testing in place.
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, September 7, 2012 at 7:00 AM - 0 Comments
The Ocean’s Eleven gang attempt a sweet and sticky $30M score
Police in Quebec are hunting for thieves who stole $30-million worth of maple syrup from a warehouse with such precision that no one knows who did it, or even when it happened.—News report
[Two months earlier. Fade in on: A room in a luxury hotel.]
CUT TO: Danny stands in front of a crude model made from sticks and glue.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM - 0 Comments
From the headlines of Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2012
North Korea is reportedly making significant reforms to collective agriculture. Foreigners cannot visit rural areas in the cloistered republic, but defectors say co-operative farms are being subdivided into smaller units, and farmers are being allowed to keep more of their crops for consumption or sale. Agriculture is always a bellwether in centrally planned economies, and the changes might signal a reformist appetite in the circle of Western-educated Kim Jong Un. But they’re good news in themselves, either way.
New rules requiring TV commercials to be no louder than the surrounding programming came into effect Sept. 1, one year after being promulgated by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. Former chairman Konrad von Finckenstein’s 2011 call for comments was met by a deluge of support from viewers tired of “ear-splitting” ads. The new rules require broadcasters to abide by international ad-loudness standards, which are also being adopted by the U.S. this year.
By Sasha Saunders - Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 6:10 AM - 0 Comments
A grim breakfast in Scotland became Sasha Saunders’ defining patriotic moment
I spent last summer working in Scotland at a boarding school. Each morning the staff members and I would sit down at a long cafeteria table to eat our usually very British breakfasts. On one particular morning it was a special occasion—special because there were pancakes (or what Canadians would recognize and refer to as pancakes). Excited by this surprise start to my day, I shovelled more than a few onto my plate and joined my colleagues. “I need the butter and I need the maple syrup!” I enthusiastically announced. Everyone at my end of the table stopped and looked up. “Here’s the butter, but we’ve only got your standard, run-of-the-mill honey or corn syrup.” I won’t lie. At that moment, as a Canadian abroad, this was a travesty. It never occurred to me that people in other countries eat their pancakes sans maple syrup. I can safely say that ever since that grim morning I have always gone a little heavier on the syrup when served pancakes or French toast. I remember my colleagues were all shocked by my extreme and evident dismay when I heard I’d have to eat my pancakes plain for the first time ever. I couldn’t quite explain it to them. It was just a Canadian moment.
By Rachel Mendleson - Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 1:10 PM - 1 Comment
He and his wife of six decades, Shirley, were inseparable. Around her, he would really open up.
Charles Albert Hansman was born on June 30, 1926, in North Bay, Ont., to Albert “Ab” Hansman and his wife, Edith. The youngest of three children, and only boy, Charlie, or Chuck, as he was known, was soft-spoken and had a keen interest in “anything that moved, walked or flew,” says friend Bob Kennedy. Charlie’s father, who worked for the Ontario Northland Railway, was a founding member of the Laurentian Ski Club. Charlie “was absolutely fearless on a pair of skis,” says Bob, and often won local competitions.
In high school, Charlie focused on vocational classes. He began hanging around the Cottrill girls, six sisters who lived a few blocks away. Before long, he set his sights on Shirley, a tall, gregarious brunette with whom he shared piercing blue eyes and a love of skiing. Too shy to tell Shirley, three years his junior, how he felt, she heard from the other boys that she had, according to him, been spoken for. They started dating in 1947. He’d need another nudge to ask for her hand: when Shirley, who was working at ONR, found out that Charlie, then training to become a journeyman at North Bay Hydro, wanted a car and a boat first, she bought him a car. They married in 1950. (Charlie began building his boat in the basement.)
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 30 Comments
I wonder if any of the other Macbloggers have been straining at their imaginations trying to find a PG-rated way to talk about the name change over at Canada’s second-oldest magazine. It took me a while to remember that General Semantics has an answer for this. So: The Beaver, now to become Canada’s History, was named in 1920 for what we’ll call beaver1, the rodent Castor canadensis. The periodical was obliged to make the change because of jokes about and search-engine confusion with beaver2, a colloquialism for an anatomical neighbourhood in the human female. Continue…