It’s summer in the city and Vancouver couldn’t be happier. After months of grey skies, short days, and seemingly endless rain, people in Vancouver are finding every occasion to soak up the glorious summer sun. Translation: patios, barbeques, berry picking, and beach time are THE things to do in Vancouver!
As a die-hard foodie, summer seems to also translate to a fridge that’s jam-packed with containers. There’s meat marinating for this weekend’s potluck and leftovers from the last. Pieces of zucchini, peaches, strawberries, beets remain from my last trip to the farmers market. My humble supply of plastic containers and mason jars are a commodity in these summer months...and apple season is just beginning!
Admittedly, things have gone awry under my watch. I’ve been so smitten by the impressive bounty of fresh produce in and around the city; I often have trouble finishing my haul before it expires. (Oh the problems of a spoiled foodie!) But, I kept keen eye out for alternative food storage solutions that could maximize the shelf-life of my dearest picnic supplies!
Those who know me will tell you that I spend a lot of time at the Granville Island Public Market. I like to think of the place as a foodie’s finest pantry, and I’m hardly alone in this mindset. Granville Island is actually the second-most visited destination in Canada, after Niagara Falls. But, I digress. I was perusing the shelves of artisan goods and Canadian products at Edible Canada’s retail shop and this little package caught my eye:
Abeego. A hemp and cotton fabric that is coated with beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil. A natural alternative to plastic wrap made from components that have inherent characteristics for keeping food fresh. The words were like song to my ears. Mesmerized, I had to have it.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been hopping on my bike and finding the best foodie stops along one of Vancouver’s most notable tourist attractions: the 22K seawall. Abeego in tow, the possibilities became endless. I resolved to take the Abeego, pack some supplies, and my final stop along the seawall would be...anywhere.
The hardest part about the experience was actually deciding what to bring on the journey. The flats of Abeego are so fun to shape and mold. With just the warmth of your hands, it can be a pouch, a wrap, or a bowl cover. I whipped out my favourite supplies from the Granville Island Public Market, including Benton Brothers Cheese and Oyama Sausage’s Okanagan Red Wine Proscuitto. Settling on some Lapin apple slices (the first batch of the season from No. 1 Orchard), I was on my way.
I love that Abeego is both insulating and breathable. So much of my produce succumbs to the humidity of a sealed container, and this is virtually a non-issue when food is wrapped in an Abeego flat. Apparently, many people are curious to know if Abeego is like Press n Seal - they want to know if they can turn their bowl upside down and keep the contents inside. So, I did a little test...
While the Abeego did manage to keep 100% of my wine in the glass and off the grass, I will note that the material is most attracted to itself (ie. why you can make an Abeego pouch). I wouldn’t recommend using it like the Press n Seal, unless you’re drinking a cheap wine and looking for thrill!
Upon my return, I gave the Abeego a quick rinse in cold water. The beeswax hardens with the cool temperature so it actually washes much like a plate. If you have something with more residue than apples and bagels, wash your Abeego with an alcohol-free soap. And just like that, the flats are ready to be used again.
With the end of summer fast approaching, I feel confident with my Abeego in hand. Though the natural wrap is well-suited for cheese, meat, and all kinds of produce, I’m most looking forward to the peak of apple season in Vancouver. Rumour has it that 70 varieties of apples will be at this year’s Apple Festival and, using my flats of Abeego, I fully intend to work my way through the lot, slice by slice! Thanks for the read, foodies!
This final edition of Stops Along the Seawall concludes a 4-part Vancouver food blog series created by Vancouver Foodie Tours. Click here to find more places to eat and things to do in Vancouver. Joyce is VFT’s resident foodie blogger, also hosting The Granville Island Market Tour and Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Food Tour. To read more about the THREE educational walking food tours that make Vancouver’s top-rated food tour experience, visit http://www.foodietours.ca.