By MAGGIE M, Wedgee-in-Chief, Editor, theWedge.LIVE 🎄TO SHARE click icons at story’s end. TO SUBSCRIBE go to upper right column.
“What are you serving today Steve?,” almost all visitors asked. I was clearly in the presence of a local celebrity.
There was no blue-haired lady serving at this tasting event. Steve Akeson is Andress’ Your Independent Grocer’s own stylish “foodanista.” His carriage is worthy of a Maitre D’ at Paris’ Maxim’s–no hyperbole.
Dan and Wanita Andress know how to pick winners.
I am an avowed Christmas nut. I love the season–its music, its cheer, its hope and its foods. Andress kicked off my holiday glee. Everyone seemed to share the same mood. An elderly man even offered to take me home! I wondered, “What is Akeson serving?”
“This round was spicy–very spicy!”
Every Friday, Akeson kicks-off a weekend of degustation at the Tasting Hut. This round was spicy–very spicy–serving freshly-baked shrimp amuse-bouches to waves of crowds.
Bang Bang Shrimp was Akeson’s feature of the day–and its less spicy siblings, Shrimp Mini Hors d’Oeuvre Collection.* The latter included a shrimp bundle tied with a green onion ribbon–it’s a conversation starter. I do love chomping on foods too pretty to eat!
“You got 25 grams of protein Maggie,” Akeson added up the nutritional value of my continual nibbling of props. They disappeared quickly–people heard the oohs and yums and lined up for theirs. The aisle got jammed at one point. It’s a good thing.
It seems the Smiths Falls region likes spicy–and something new.
The boxed up crustaceans come with paired tangy, sweet sauces; so, you don’t have to scour the shelves for the perfect dip.
Acheson howled into his device, “Bang Bang Shrimp!” And the digital oracle revealed the Thai origins of this name (and a few unsavoury results *snicker.*)
A yummy Bang Bang healthy recipe :
Toss shredded green and red cabbage with mayonnaise. Spoon into warm corn tortillas and top with cooked Bang Bang Shrimp, diced tomato and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with Bang Bang sauce or sour cream.
“Prosecco, for sure,” answered Akeson, when I queried him on an ideal libation for these flavours. “It cleans away the palate. The wine has to be sweeter than the food,” he added. I have a bottle in my fridge at this very moment–very effervescent and truly, a perfect pairing. This foodanista knows wines.
Alas! I lost Akeson to a customer who pulled him to the cheese section for advice. A la prochaine Steve!
I am going way off the reservation. I summon memorable lyrics, MC Hammer’s, “U can’t touch this!” Amazon, U can’t touch this! It’s the last mile killer.
Stay-tuned for our festive feature including “ugly sweater cookie kits” coming up soon! Subscribe top-right.
* All shrimp creations shown are by leading Canadian food brand, President’s Choice.