old country meats and deli
6328 106 street
I find that every January when talk of Robbie Burns day comes up in news articles, it brings about a discussion of that good ol' wholesome meal in a sack - Haggis. Be it with friends, family, or strangers; most people are sure to have, at the very least, an opinion that lands on the distant sides of the enjoyment spectrum. You either love the idea of offal or can't imagine eating it. I don't think I've ever met a person who would cook some up to entertain company with, let alone keep a few pounds lying around in the freezer. However, If I did know this person, I'm pretty sure they would have stopped by Old Country Meats and Deli at one point to buy it.
After a few failed attempts to stop in during operating hours, I was lucky enough this past week to stop by and have a quick chat with owner/operator Todd Panchuk. Todd is a burly fellow who reminds me of a log ridder from days gone by and who speaks with a genuine passion and excitement about his products. The first thing I noticed coming in was how empty the shop was. Two decent sized coolers along with a stand up freezer were just about bare. Todd assures me it was a bad time, with Robbie Burns day in the very recent past and my visit later in the day, supplies were running short. As a side note, I love a local store that runs low by the end of the day, to me that means they are doing timely business (hopefully in this case good business).
In the first cooler, I found sausages, sausages and ummm more sausage. Everything from bratwursts to hot Italian to chorizo; Todd, I take it, makes a cornucopia of sausages. The other cooler had a couple 10 inch pies (already claimed for by customers soon to come) and a tray of delicious looking breaded balls almost as big as softballs. This is where my bad timed visit takes over, as I was now out of fresh meaty goodness to inquire about. With a quick turn to the left, I was staring at a freezer and staring back at me was the reason for my visit. Haggis. Todd makes a lot of haggis and even this close to Robbie Burns day, there was different sizes to choose from; all frozen for your travel convenience. Aside from the coolers, the shop is clean and open, something that made me feel extremely comfortable knowing that all the happenings go on right in front of your eyes. The front end is finished with a simple counter where you can pay, and a little wooden cart topped with napkins and mustard. Could there be products that people might eat in house?
I knew I would be purchasing some haggis, that was the main purpose of my visit here, but I needed to find out what the softball sized treats were. Todd provided a quick answer, I wonder how many people have to ask, and I discovered they were Scotch Eggs - a cold hard boiled egg is surrounded in a sausage mixture, breaded and then deep fried. OMG! Leave it to the Brits to come up with something like this..yes I said Brits. Todd and his coworker were quick to add, with a chuckle mind you, that if you have heart issues this isn't the dish for you.
So here I am, happy as an egg wrapped in deep fried sausage, that I finally made it over to Old Country Meats and Deli. I look forward to my next visit, yes there definitely will be one, and hope the coolers are overflowing with more fresh, and not-sold out items (like his delicious looking bacon). But Chris you say, 'what about the Haggis?' Look forward to a future post about it..you never know, I might just serve it to you if you stop by some afternoon...I want to be that guy!
*thanks to bruleeblog for posting about Robbie Burns day and linking to the Edmonton Journal article explaining where to get haggis. It's nice to have a small community of local food/news bloggers that prove, as I get a daily paper, more eyes are better - especially when unearthing food articles.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
old country meats and deli