’Tis the sea­son­ing

The Coast - - FOOD + DRINK - —AS

When a shoul­der in­jury took Ryan Spence away from or­ganic farm­ing, he wanted to find a way to keep his con­nec­tion with good, clean food. A ve­gan for nearly a decade, Spence was no stranger to ex­per­i­ment­ing with flavour in the kitchen, but it was a Christ­mas gift from his mother that pushed him to try and make a su­pe­rior cheese sub­sti­tute top­ping.

“I took in­spi­ra­tion to try and make some­thing bet­ter,” he says. “On the mar­ket to­day most ve­gan prod­ucts or dairy al­ter­na­tives are filled with chem­i­cals or ad­di­tives, and have plas­tic pack­ag­ing that’s not re­us­able. It doesn’t re­ally re­flect the val­ues of the tar­get mar­ket.” And so Good Parma was born. Af­ter be­ing tested by “picky sib­lings” and at ve­gan potlucks, Spence de­buted his prod­uct at Hal­i­fax Veg Fest back in Septem­ber—now 12 re­tail­ers in town carry his prod­uct.

“It’s re­ally ad­dic­tive. Peo­ple are like, is there MSG in this?” he says, laugh­ing. With a main in­gre­di­ent of or­ganic wal­nuts, he says Good Parma (which comes in glass con­tain­ers, in orig­i­nal and spicy flavours) doesn’t re­ally taste like parme­san, but pro­vides a tex­ture that’s more sat­is­fy­ing than a typ­i­cal nu­tri­tional yeast top­ping.

And Spence is get­ting some karma for his parma: He’s do­nat­ing 10 per­cent of prof­its to the An­napo­lis Val­ley’s North Moun­tain An­i­mal Sanc­tu­ary— a res­cue for abused or ne­glected farm an­i­mals. “They’re pretty much the for­got­ten ones,” he says. “I’ve seen first­hand the care they give those an­i­mals.”

Find Good Parma Satur­days at the Hal­i­fax Fo­rum Farm­ers’ Mar­ket (1209 Mar­ginal Road) and this week­end at the Dalplex Christ­mas Craft Mar­ket (6260 South Street).

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