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 [»]

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas from an Asian Kitchen

Are you looking for a unique gift item for your food loving friend or family member that seems to have everything? Consider some of these items which are standard items in a well-equipped Asian kitchen. With less than a week until Christmas, here are some last minute stocking ideas.

Ceramic Soup Spoons

A stack of ceramic soup spoons is a wonderful addition to the kitchen pantry. Avoid burning your tongue on a too hot metal spoon. They come in a variety of colors and patterns as well – not just the plain white or blue and white patterns that you see in Chinese restaurants.


30 Days of Kindness – Giving Back to Richmond Family Place

Here at Fine Choice Foods we believe in getting involved in our community and giving back to the people who have supported us through the years.

At Richmond Family Place

When the 30 Days of Kindness campaign organized by Marc Smith of 30 Day Adventures popped up on our radar, we knew we had to get involved. We knew we wanted to do something for an organization in Richmond and so the hunt began. One of our team mates, came across the Richmond Family Place and remembered her experiences using a similar facility when she was a new mom. The support they gave her and many families in her community was invaluable. We had found our organization. READ MORE [»]

Quick and Easy Meals – Ready in 30 Minutes or Less!

This week on the Fine Choice Foods Facebook page we’re asking our fans to tell us their favorite go to easy meal for the holiday season. Many people have shown off their favorite dishes featuring foods from noodles to soup to various kinds of stir fry.

Today we’d like to share some of our favorite go to easy meals:

Fried Rice

Fried Rice at f/2.8

Photo: Kristina

Best made with day old leftover rice, fried rice can be made with anything and everything. The perfect dish for leftovers, all you need to do is chop everything up, mix it in with rice, a little soy sauce and you’re set. Here are some great combinations: READ MORE [»]

Ingredient Spotlight: Soy Sauce

Welcome to a new series where we demystify common Asian ingredients and share how you can use these items in your cooking at home. First up: soy sauce.

Soy sauce is a condiment made from fermented soybeans and can often be found in Asian cooking. It has an umami flavour which makes it great for seasoning a variety of foods. With so many different types and brands, it can be intimidating to know what to buy and how to use it. Soy sauce is a great ingredient to have in the pantry and can be used in a wide range of situations beyond Asian cooking.

Soy Sauce


The Mid-Autumn Festival and the History of the Mooncake

Today, September 8 is Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) and families all across the world with Chinese and Vietnamese roots will be celebrating. The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Lunar Calendar during a full moon. This date varies from year to year according to the Gregorian calendar, but usually lands in September or early October.

Mid-Autumn Festival Light-up

Lanterns set up for Mid-Autumn Festival // Photo: Choo Yat Shing

The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the autumn harvest and gathers families together. Everyone comes together to share a meal, light lanterns, and gaze at the moon. READ MORE [»]

BC Hydro Power Smart Award

Because of our new plant design, BC Hydro has recognized us. We’ve help to save 384,000 kWh – that’s enough to power 35 homes for a full year!

BC Hydro Power Smart Award Close UpWe’re proud to show it off among our cabinet of products.

BC Hydro Power Smart Award Cabinet

Asian Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden This Autumn

As the days get shorter, the nights get longer and summer turns into autumn, it’s time to start your winter garden. Consider adding some Asian vegetables this year for variety on your dinner table. Many are similar to vegetables you’re already likely to be growing. Here are a few of our favourites:

Instead of: Green Cabbage
Grow this: Napa (Chinese) Cabbage

Sweeter and softer than it its green cousin, Napa, or Chinese, Cabbage is oblong in shape with thick crispy steams and yellow-green leaves. Napa cabbage grows well during cooler months, but it can grow year round in milder climates. It can be harvested 50 – 80 days after planting.

Napa cabbage can be used anywhere you would normally use regular cabbage. It does well in salads and soups, and you can even use it in cabbage roll recipes. READ MORE [»]