miznon toronto cauliflower

Renowned Toronto restaurant suspends service of its signature dish

Reports on the rising cost of food have unfortunately become common news these days, however, a post shared by recently opened Miznon Toronto shows how Mother Nature also plays a factor in what shows up on the menu.

The international restaurant's Toronto branch announced on its Instagram account that it would be temporarily removing its signature whole roasted baby cauliflower dish from the menu.

It comes as crushing news to the city's food lovers, given the reputation of the dish, and how the chain's co-founder, Israeli-American celebrity chef Eyal Shani pretty much took the humblest and – dare we claim – most vanilla of vegetables and broke the internet (rather, bombarded email boxes) with it.

Besides notes of the news being "so sad" or lamenting "I knew I should have tried it when I had the chance (loudly crying emoji)," another gloated that they were "Glad I got to enjoy it today!"

One commenter even chimed in: "Yes there is a shortage of cauliflower as I discovered last wk when I wanted to make it Indian style!! Finally found it at an exorbitant price."

According to Blue Book Services, a leading U.S.-based provider of credit and marketing information for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, the demand for cauliflower "far exceeds supply."

Salinas-based Markon Cooperative, Inc., which consists of five independent, broadline foodservice companies in the U.S. and Canada goes on to detail the reasons why.

"Rain from January and February delayed planting due to wet, muddy conditions. Abnormally low temperatures slowed plant maturity. Expect prices to continue increasing through April," said a release issued on April 19, 2023.

This is compounded by the fact that the season in Arizona was ending, as "the majority of new plantings remain behind schedule. Limited West Coast supplies will keep markets elevated until production ramps up in late April to early May," said another release from April 12, 2023.

Although this report is related specifically to the crops grown in Salinas and Santa Maria, California, it should be noted that California is the U.S.'s major cauliflower-producing state, accounting for approximately 90 per cent of the supply.

During the same time, crops from the U.K., France and Spain were severely affected by snow and frost, leaving Europe in short supply.

As a sun-loving, cool-season crop, cauliflower is a challenge to grow because it's not tolerant to extreme heat or cold. In Canada, the biennial plant is grown mostly in Quebec (62 per cent) and Ontario (a measly 18 percent) between June and October.

This means that most of the year Canada depends on imports.

(Side note: WorldAtlas has made a comment about our voracious consumption of the crop noting that "despite the country being regarded as one of the top consumers for [the] vegetable product" it's "a surprise" that our production output isn't anywhere close to that of the U.S. and Mexico.)

Whether this will be the romaine lettuce of May 2023 is yet to be seen.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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