Infinite joy

Kevin Yarr

by Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca

One of the great joys of food is its infinite variety, and a wonderful aspect of that is how the arrival of one new person in your neighbourhood can make a big impact on your own personal foodscape.

It happened just last summer here in Charlottetown when a young couple from Germany immigrated to the Island. They appeared one Wednesday at the farmer's market with a display of the lightest cream cakes and the heaviest rye breads it has ever been my pleasure to observe in one place. The loaves became a regular staple in our bread box and the cakes remain a special treat.

The Leonhards now operate a café by that name downtown, and in an important way eating in Charlottetown will never be the same again.

This is not something that happens only in small cities like Charlottetown. In New York last year I was directed by a friend to Rice to Riches, a small restaurant that serves nothing but what is perhaps the best rice pudding that has ever been made anywhere. I would not now even think of visiting New York without going out of my way to eat there.

For the people who live in the Lower East Side, a culinary heaven by any measure, this is yet another jewel in the crown — proof that there can be something new under the sun. It doesn't take the vast engines of corporations or big governments. It takes just one person, with one fabulous recipe, and an urgent desire to share it.

Who has changed the foodscape in your neighbourhood?