Sherman's Food Adventures: Mrkt Haul

Mrkt Haul

During these challenging times due to Covid-19, the way people do business has changed.  It is with no doubt that it has been difficult for B&M dine-in restaurants to adapt since their business model relies on customers visiting their dining room.  Furthermore, retail stores have been affected differently depending on what they are selling.  Some grocery stores haven't seen so much business in years (ie. Safeway).  So this brings me to the point of this post - adapting to the current business landscape.  There is a new platform called Mrkt Haul where local business can showcase their products so that people can order them online for pickup.  Featured vendors rotate every month with a variety of products.  Recently, I was given a preview of their September haul with an item from every vendor (ordering is open until Sept 13 for this month).

The most prominent item, due to its clear lid box, was the Mochi treats from Matcha & Cocoa.   These little mochi cupcakes came in matcha, cookies & cream, s'mores and coconut mango.  With a tender chewiness, the bite-sized mochis were also moist and sweet.  My personal favourite was the coconut mango due to the fruity aromatics.  I can see this as a scene- stealer if you bring them to a party.

Two boxed ready to heat and eat items consisted of a Vegan Lasagna from Conscious Food Creations and Chicken Inasal from Hapag Filipino Grill.  If you know me, I'm no vegan, but this lasagna was not bad.  Noodles were not overdone and the freshness of the veggies made it light and easy to eat.  As for the chicken inasal, it was good too.  The well-charred chicken was nicely brined hence the meat was tender and flavourful.  Underneath, there was annatto-garlic rice which was aromatic and nutty.

When I spotted the two bags of Nina's Pierogis, they looked much bigger than ones you would find at the supermarket.  They were completely overstuffed with filling, yet at the same time, sported a relatively thin dumpling skin.  This combination meant tender Pierogies with lots of flavourful and airy filling.  I enjoyed both flavours and found the butternut squash to be super impactful and sweet.  The cheddar and potato was very cheesy and soft in texture.

One of the most unassuming items in the haul was the Raspberry Rose Preserve from Le Meadows Pantry as it was full of fruit flavour with just the right amount of floral essence.  Loved the recycled Chopstick Cheeseboard from Chop Value as it was both beautiful and environmentally friendly.  I don't have a dog, but the Kettle Cod from Bob the Dog will be given to a friend with one!  Of course after eating all these items, one needs to wash up, and what better than a bar of Citrus Bomb Soap from the Poco Soap Co.  Eco-friendly and basically an appealingly smelling soap, we enjoyed using it.  On the topic of smelling nice, the Manang Mina Asiaben-Luisito from Kapé Phillipine Coffee was complex in flavour from the sweetness of peanut-brittle and mamon.  Lastly, there was a handy reusable ziplock Pouch from Happy Baby.

Something that looked and ate like popcorn wasn't popcorn at all.  Rather it was Popped Lotus Seeds by Sacred Foods.  Offered in 3 flavours, the lotus seeds were crunchy, nutty and well-seasoned.  I particularly enjoyed the spicy wasabi with the unmistakable kick.  Of course white cheddar is always a fan favourite and these ate like Smart Food.  The Himalayan salt was well-seasoned without be overly salty.  I could still taste the natural flavour of the lotus seed.

Continuing with snack food, the Goji Granola Bites from True Nosh were right up my alley.  One of my biggest complaints about any granola product is the amount of added sugar.  There was none of that here with this product as I could really taste the goji berries as well as the natural flavours of the granola.  I felt rather healthy eating them!

To be honest, one of the items that I was not looking forward in trying was the Velo City Veg from Coastie Craft Burgers.  Yes, I'm a meatatarian, so the mix of split pea, walnut and roasted beets didn't seem so enticing.  However, after forming the mix into patties and frying them up, I didn't mind them at all.  I found it to have the texture of firm refried beans with a natural sweetness.

I gotta say that the selection of Brownies from The Brownie Bakers was one of my favourites.  The brownie stack consisted one each of the classic with walnuts, salted pecan caramel, white chocolate peppermint and rocky road.  They were ooey gooey and purposefully sweet.  I actually preferred putting them in the fridge so they would firm up a bit.  I really enjoyed the salted pecan caramel with hits of salty sweetness and the crunch of the nuts.

Also at the top of my list was the Cream Dream Cookie from the Ooey Gooey Cookie Co.  It featured a chocolate chip cookie stuffed with cookies n’ cream chocolate and topped with even more cookies n’ cream chocolate & Oreo crumbs. If this sounds sweet to you, it sure was, but I didn't mind it since it was bursting with flavour as well as the cookie living up its ooey gooey name (10 secs in the microwave!).

I guess I left some of the desserts to the end (except for the mochis, as I dug into those right away) including the Mangonada from Crema Ice Cream.  Sporting Creamy mango sorbet with chamoy sauce.  Oh man, this was a flavour bomb with the natural sweetness of mango intermingling with the spice and tang of the chamoy.  Very refreshing and impactful at the same time.

To wash this all down, I gave the Blueberry Kombucha from Top Hat a try.  Normally, I don't drink kombucha, but the addition of blueberry really helped.  The vinegariness was nicely balanced by the sweetness of the fruit.  This was truly refreshing and was really good with the popped lotus seeds.  I gotta say that the items in this haul really helped open my eyes to some truly excellent locally-made products.  I would've never known about them otherwise.  With the Mrkt Haul platform, not only do I get to order these amazing products, there are new vendors featured every month.  Good time to support local in a very convenient manner as well.

*All items were complimentary*


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