10 Food Items You Should Avoid If You Have a Nut Allergy

10+ Nutty Items

Do you have a nut allergy? Know someone that does? Here are 10 food items that may contain nuts!

First of all, you do not have to avoid any Fine Choice Foods’ products.  We are a food manufacturer that is MSG free, trans fat fee, artificial ingredients free, and nut free!

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we got our inspiration for today’s blog while working on the packaging of a few new products coming out. We clearly label our product as “nut free” but what happens when we’re at a café or a restaurant? And let’s not forget that some of our friends who are allergic to peanuts may also be allergic to other tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans and cashews (just to name a few).  So what should you keep an eye out for when you are out? And what should you be mindful of when cooking for friends? READ MORE [»]

Inside Sum-m! Kitchen: Pear Crisp Recipe

PEAR crisp

A few years ago, I went through a phyllo phase. We’re talking about Chicken Pot Pies with a phyllo pastry top. Apple turn overs made with phyllo. Oh, and phyllo wrapped brie. All within a couple weeks of one another. Pear Phyllo Crisp was something I made with my left over phyllo pastry.

Now after researching and writing our last blog, For the Love of Pear, I thought, why not pull out one of my favorite pear dessert recipes and give it a Sum-m! twist! We’re replacing phyllo with spring roll wrappers! READ MORE [»]

For the Love of Pears

Photo by Watchcaddy

Why is it that Apples get a whole lot of attention when fall comes along? First we have back to school season with children bringing their teacher a big shiny apple in hopes to impress them at the start of the school year. Then we have apple pies, apple crumble, caramel apples and more throughout Thanksgiving and Halloween. Yes, we all know that apples are in season between August and November, and that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But least we forget there is another fruit out there that is often a little greener and sweeter, and most definitely nutritionally equal – The Pear! READ MORE [»]

Fine Choice Foods Wins Sustainability Award

We are pleased to announce that Fine Choice Foods was awarded the Sustainability Award at FoodProWest last week in recognition of our leadership in sustainability and for making a positive contribution to the environment through our sustainability practices. During a recent expansion of our facilities, energy efficient technologies and systems were installed to reduce the company’s footprint. This new planet design saves 384,000 kWh per year – enough to power 35 homes for a full year!

Dean at FoodProWest


How to Host Your Own Dim Sum Brunch

Everyone loves a good brunch, but trying to fight the crowds can be a drain. Instead of going, host your own brunch with an Asian twist and enjoy some homemade dim sum. A Chinese version of Spanish tapas, the key to a homemade dim sum brunch feast is variety. Many of these dishes can be made ahead of time and just steamed or cooked in the morning for an easy start to the day.

Dim Sum Go Go

Photo: Robyn Lee

Here are a few classic dishes that normally grace the dim sum table and simple recipes to help get you started: READ MORE [»]

Behind the Scenes of the Food Factory

A couple weeks ago, we had the pleasure of welcoming the film crew from the Food Network’s Food Factory to our plant. They were here to feature our vegetable gyoza dumplings which will be aired on an upcoming segment in the fall.

The day started with an early arrival and before long, the crew was off getting shot after shot of our gyozas in the making.

Filming Dough Making Machine

They worked with ease, effortlessly and gracefully guiding their large video equipment in and out of our production areas. READ MORE [»]

Food Allergens and Fine Choice Foods – Preventing Cross Contamination

Did you know an estimated 2.5 million Canadians, or about seven percent of the population, suffer from a food allergy? Food allergies are a growing concern in Canada and worldwide, but there is no clear explanation why. According to Health Canada, the most common food allergens in Canada are eggs, milk, mustard, peanuts, seafood (fish, crustaceans, shellfish), sesame, soy, sulphites, tree nuts and wheat.

A food allergy occurs when an individual’s immune system overreacts to a food substance, identifying it as dangerous. Reactions can be mild in the form of skin irritations and an upset stomach among others to more life threatening situations like closing of the throat and swelling of the tongue.

Those most heavily affected are children under the age of 3 with close to 6% being affected by a food allergy. Additionally, about 300,000 Canadian children under the age of 18 have a food allergy with the most common one being an allergy to peanuts which affect about 1 in 50 children. READ MORE [»]

Chinese New Year Superstitions

February 19 of this year is the Lunar New Year ushering in the Year of the Sheep (also known as a goat or ram). For those born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, and 2013, this is your year!

Chinese New Year London

Photo: Paul

The Lunar new year is an auspicious time for those who celebrate. The days and weeks leading up to the lunar new year are filled with traditions all geared towards bringing the most luck and prosperity to those celebrating. It’s a time for families to reunite, eat well, and exchange gifts and well wishes for the new year.

The Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days with specific activities and rituals for each day of the celebration. Many of these traditions are based on word play. The tonal Chinese language has a number of homophones which results in good and bad associations depending on what the word sounds like. For example, traditionally bookstores are typically not open during the Chinese new year festivities because the word for “book” (shū書) sounds the same as the word for “to lose” (shū輸) and is bad luck.

In today’s modern world, not all traditions are followed by all families, especially those who have immigrated to other parts of the world. Regardless of whether or not you believe in these superstitions, they are fun rituals and who knows? Maybe they do bring you good luck.

Here are some fun superstitions to bring you luck and prosperity in the Year of the Sheep: READ MORE [»]