The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 11.09.05


Off my back and out of my kitchen

Our government knows on which side its bread is buttered. Headlines this week reveal yet another round of haggling about the sale of colored margarine in Quebec and I say palms are being greased.

Horror of horrors, it appears that some highly illegal yellow stuff slipped onto shelves and someone actually purchased it before the margarine police discovered the offending spread and yanked it before someone could confuse it with butter.

The butter (dairy) lobby and government has been at this game for far too long in my opinion and frankly I'm sick and tired of being told what I can or cannot eat and buy.

What's next? Is a disappearance of processed yellow cheese on the horizon?

In a province where we have the right to purchase and consume even the most deadly of products such as tobacco, does it make any sense that something as simple as a little yellow (red) food coloring in margarine is illegal?

We are talking freedom here, and I want the government to stay out of my kitchen and the dairy farmers to back off on this issue.

I can agree with health warnings regarding hydrogenated oils and a reduction in the use of Trans fats in common products, but dictating the color of my food infringes on my personal rights and freedoms.

I like farmers and I like butter, but this practice continues to insult us by dumbing -down society using ridiculous legislation.

If I can gamble my life savings away in government-controlled video lottery terminals, then I should be able to eat white bread with a huge slathering of yellow margarine while I contribute to the public purse.

The government, it seems, cashes in on all the vices, including butter.

So I've decided to do something on the public behalf- call me the Rosa Parks of equal rights when it comes to color in food. if you will. Yellow margarine deserves a seat on the bus in this province and although I'm no Jesse Jackson, I want to lead the flock to my cause.

Next week I will be launching a website where you will be able to register you name to a list in protest of this slippery legislation. I will announce the address next Wednesday here.

In the meantime, make this delicious coffee-flavored dessert that uses margarine in the crust. Of course you could exercise your right to freedom of choice and substitute butter in the recipe should you wish. How's that for democracy?

Cappuccino Cheesecake

11/2 cups finely chopped nuts
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
32 oz cream cheese, softened
1-cup sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1-cup sour cream
1-tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/4-teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cups boiling water

Combine nuts, sugar, and margarine; press onto bottom of 9-inch spring- form cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees F., 10 minutes. Combine cream cheese, sugar, and flour, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in sour cream.

Dissolve coffee granules and cinnamon in water. Cool; gradually add to cream cheese mixture, mixing until well blended. Pour over crust. Bake at 450 degrees F., 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.; continue baking 1 hour. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill. Garnish with whipped cream and whole coffee beans, if desired.