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Last week I got a pleasant surprise delivered to my office when a cooler arrived packed with some of the most delicious and fresh radishes and tomatoes I have tasted in some time. 

This came from Leciel, a company based in Mirabel which has taken on the challenge of competing with foreign radish growers by supplying Quebec grocers (IGA, Metro, Super C, Adonis, Maxi and Provigo) with fresh, local radishes year-round, a first for the Quebec market. This makes Leciel the largest greenhouse radish producer in North America.

It was during a trip to Holland that founder Stéphane Bertrand and his son, newly appointed General Manager Steve, stumbled across a radish greenhouse. They quickly saw the potential for bringing such production back to Quebec. Since the taste of greenhouse radishes is very different from field radishes, they must be seen as a new vegetable in their own right. Sweet, mild and not very pungent, the possibilities are endless. This may explain why Europeans eat three times as many radishes as Quebecers.

Formerly known as Les Serres Bertrand for its production of pink tomatoes, the company branched out into the cultivation of cannabis five years ago. Last year, its partner, Canopy Growth, terminated the production agreement, due to a lack of demand in Canada. The Bertrand family wanted to get back to their roots and bring their state-of-the-art facilities to Quebec families in search of nutritious, affordable, local products. The company is back in the market-gardening business with a vengeance, producing 300 million radishes a year on five hectares of land. 

“Our mission with this crop is to restore a classic vegetable to its former glory,” said Steve Bertrand, “By offering four varieties of radish in a wide range of colors and tastes at an affordable price, we hope to diversify consumption opportunities and integrate radishes into family routines.”

Leciel markets four types of radishes in three different packages: red radishes (sweet, crunchy and not very spicy), French breakfast radishes (elongated shape, white tips and very mild taste) and three-color radishes (combining red, white and purple radishes for an explosion of color and flavor). The products are offered in bouquets and leafless packaging in an innovative ready-to-eat format. Grocers are already catching on – some stores have seen their sales almost double since the products became available.  

Foe Leciel, the environment is at the heart of every decision. With initiatives such as the use of LED lights and a biomass heating system derived from the circular economy, the company’s reduction in GHG emissions is equivalent to taking 3,000 cars off the road for a year. As soon as they are grown, the vegetables are transported to Quebec grocery stores in less than 24 hours. They are all free of pesticides and preservatives. Leciel also recovers 100% of the water not consumed by the plants, filtering it and reintegrating it into the greenhouses. Finally, all packaging is made from recycled materials without rigid covers to reduce the ecological footprint. 

In less than a year, the company has distributed its products on most of Quebec’s major banners. It aims to continue innovating in the world of radishes but also to diversify its large-scale vegetable production. Already, Leciel has reimagined the former cannabis drying chambers to house an equally innovative crop: lion’s mane mushrooms and pink, blue, yellow and grey oyster mushrooms. Leciel is still a producer of specialty tomatoes, growing several varieties including rose, cherry and grape. Today, with almost 10 hectares under cultivation, Leciel aims to triple its production in the medium term by adding another 20 hectares of greenhouses to its existing infrastructure, thus consolidating its position as an industry leader. 

Go to www.serresleciel.com

Calling all fans of buttery and flaky pastries, Tim Hortons has a new menu item for you: Savoury Pinwheels! Tim Hortons launches new buttery and flaky Savoury Pinwheels pastries, available in two delicious flavours: Roasted Red Pepper & Swiss or Caramelized Onion & Parmesan.

Available now at participating Tims restaurants across Canada, Savoury Pinwheels are baked fresh throughout the day, served warm, and are available in two flavours: Roasted Red Pepper & Swiss or Caramelized Onion & Parmesan.

  • Savoury Pinwheels are the latest addition to the Tim Hortons Anytime Snacker platform of buttery and flaky pastries, which are served warm and are the perfect snack to satisfy your savoury cravings.
  • Also new at Tims starting today, you can spice up your breakfast routine with the return of Habanero Classic Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches, which feature a deliciously creamy and spicy Habanero sauce.

“Our new Savoury Pinwheels are the perfect snack to satisfy your afternoon cravings, or are great to order with a soup, chili, or any lunch or dinner at Tims,” says Carolina Berti, Vice President of Category and Innovation at Tim Hortons.

“Our guests have loved the savoury Anytime Snacker products we’ve been rolling out and we can’t wait for them to try our latest Savoury Pinwheels.”

Also new at Tims starting today, guests can spice up their breakfast routine with the return of Habanero Classic Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches. Guests can choose their favourite classic bagel, sausage or bacon, and enjoy our deliciously creamy and spicy Habanero sauce in their breakfast sandwich along with a freshly cracked egg and cheese.

The new Savoury Pinwheels and Habanero Classic Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches are available at participating Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada and for delivery through the Tim Hortons mobile app.

Canada, get your taste buds ready: Popeyes has just unveiled two bold and spicy Buffalo-flavoured menu items, a Crispy Chicken Wrap and Loaded Poutine. The flavourful new line-up launches today, and is available across the country for a limited time.

“Canadians are not shy about flavor, and so we’re thrilled to offer them a new way to spice things up at lunch and dinner with the big, bold taste of Buffalo,” said Rob Manuel, General Manager, Popeyes Canada. “While we of course can’t wait for guests to taste test this new take on our popular Crispy Chicken Wrap, I’m most excited about the Loaded Buffalo Poutine. It’s the perfect addition to this Canadian-exclusive launch.”

To get your mouth watering, here’s a bit more about the two limited-time offerings Canadians can find on their beloved Popeyes menu items:

  • The Buffalo Crispy Chicken Wrap, a new iteration of the Crispy Chicken Wrap that launched in July 2023, features crispy chicken tenders with bold buffalo sauce wrapped in a soft tortilla with lettuce and tomato.
  • The Loaded Buffalo Poutine is a unique take on our delicious existing poutine, with crispy nuggets covered in bold buffalo flavor.

Available at participating restaurants in Canada, for a limited time only. For more information, visit popeyeschicken.ca.

McDonald’s is shaking up the Canadian culinary scene by introducing its innovative Remix Menu, a first for the brand in Canada. Among the exciting additions is the Surf ‘N Turf Burger, which promises a tantalizing blend of flavors. This menu is not just about offering the usual fare; it’s about experimenting with new combinations to delight customers’ taste buds. With this bold move, McDonald’s is inviting Canadians to experience a whole new level of culinary adventure right at their local restaurants.

McDonald’s launches new Surf ‘N Turf Burger and more in Canada as part of new Remix Menu

Here’s a closer look at the new Remix Menu:

  • Surf ‘N Turf Burger: Made with two beef patties and a crispy, flaky Filet-O-Fish patty made with Alaska Pollock, it’s also topped with two slices of melty processed cheddar cheese, tangy pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard on a toasty bun.
  • Chicken Cheeseburger: A crispy chicken patty made with Canadian-raised seasoned chicken and a beef patty, all topped with a slice of melty processed cheddar cheese, a tangy pickle, onions, ketchup and mustard on a toasty bun.
  • Sweet Chili Junior Chicken: Crispy seasoned chicken topped with crunchy shredded lettuce, tangy sweet chili Thai sauce and mayo-style sauce, all on a toasty bun.
  • Apple Pie McFlurry: Soft vanilla served swirled together with caramel sauce and pieces of Baked Apple Pie.

You can find the new Remix Menu at participating locations across Canada through April 29, 2024.

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Harvey’s is celebrating 65 years of customized burgers with the launch of Harvey’s Burger Hunt. Starting today, the burger brand will hide 1,650 free burger cards near Harvey’s locations and iconic landmarks across the country, including four VIP Cards that will give the lucky winners free ‘Harvey’s for a year’.

On April 1 (no joke!), the homegrown chain is also kicking off a $1.65 Original Burger offer, available through Harvey’s app for a limited time to celebrate the burger that started it all.

“Harvey’s is honored to be celebrating 65 years of creating customized burgers just the way Canadians like them,” says Michael Nault, COO of Harvey’s Canada. “Delivering a personalized approach to every meal continues to be what drives us forward and we are excited to invite our guests to help us mark the occasion in a variety of fun and engaging ways.”

To add to the celebrations, starting April 1, Harvey’s will release limited-edition, retro-inspired merchandise and made-to-order t-shirts where Canadians can have their name printed between the brand’s iconic bun logo. Five dollars from each item sold will go to Tree Canada, in support of their collective goal of planting 250,000 trees by 2026.  

“Harvey’s has been a staple of quality food and great memories for many generations,” says Nault. “It’s important to us that our guests who have supported us for 65 years, and our future guests, feel part of our celebrations and continue to enjoy making their burger a beautiful thing for years to come.”  

A look at Harvey’s restaurant in 1959 and now as the brand celebrates its 65th anniversary. (CNW Group/Harvey’s)

Home-grown customization

Harvey’s was founded in 1959 by Montrealer Richard Mauran, whose vision for a made-to-order, charcoal-broiled hamburger, topped the way you like it, was a novel idea among Canadian quick-service restaurants. Nearly 300 locations later and this vision is still 20/20, offering quality, made-to-order food and millions of topping combinations. Along the way, it has expanded its menu with new options to customize, including chicken sandwiches, poutine and its famous Angus burgers.

Canadians who want to join Harvey’s in celebrating can find out more by visiting: harveys.ca.