Blossom Pure Organic
Blossom Pure Organic halal meat and grocery is one of the only places you can find organic halal meat in the Greater Toronto Area. Owner Fahim Alwan is passionate about his business. It serves as a bricks and mortar shop but they also have online shopping through their website as well.
Alwan was first featured in Toronto Life Magazine for his unique venture. It’s a great read, highly informative and goes into detail about the company and their slaughtering practices –> Allah Mode: Article in Toronto Life Magazine By Sasha Chapman.
Their Etobicoke location is just around the corner from Sherway Garden’s Mall and conveniently located right off of hwy 427.
The store is small and tidy. There’s little inventory, which in my opinion is a great way to ensure you’re getting the freshest product. I’m more interested in the meat so I go straight to the back where I find two display cases and a couple of stand up freezers/refrigerators.
They completely eliminate the middle-man by slaughtering their own meat. Doing this also gives them full control over various cuts they offer as well and Julia mentioned special requests could also be possible. All meat is vacuum sealed to ensure maximum freshness and is freezer safe for up to six months.
He also employs a full-time slaughterman to travel to nearby processing plants to perform zabihah. (To minimize the animals’ stress, he puts the burden of travel on his slaughterman.) — Sasha Chapman, Toronto Life
Beside the meat display, there’s a small assortment of dairy and produce. Alwan goes out to Amish and Mennonite farms to hand-pick fresh items like yogurt. Delivering these products to his stores himself means cutting out the need for a distributor and ensuring only the best goes on his store shelves.
At the front of the store there is a good variety of grocery products. Some I’ve seen at other organic stores, but most of Blossom Pure Organic items like honey, jams and pickles from Amish and Mennonite farms, are unique.
I’ve toured the store, spoken to Julia for some organic 101 and now I’m ready to check out with the following items:
The price is higher than what I’m used to. I don’t think I’ve ever paid this much for grocery or meat before. BUT, I know anything organic is expensive because it’s produced on a smaller scale, using better ingredients. Julia explains that although their price for meat is higher than regular factory meat, comparing to other organic places, they are priced significantly less. Many of their customers are actually not Muslim for this reason.
Personally, I don’t think I could afford to eat organic exclusively. However, my family and I are making small changes by starting out with some of the products we consume the most within the dairy and meat categories. For example, for the past two years we’ve only purchased organic milk for our home and this summer, we will try to switch to Blossom Pure Organic for barbecuing. To help fund these changes we’ve cut out indulgences like pop and processed snacks from our house. Small changes, but in the right direction (in my opinion).
Later that same evening we BBQ the New York steak and make burgers from the ground beef. After rubbing both sides with some olive oil, I season the steak with salt and ground pepper no more than a few minutes before it goes on the grill. Salting too early will dehydrate your steak by drawing out moisture. After removing the steak from the grill I top it with butter and give it another few minutes to rest before cutting to eat. Check out this video for grilling tips using the fist trick for determining how done you want your steak.
I’ve tried a lot of steaks in restaurants and I’ve made a lot of steaks at home. The New York steak from Blossom Pure Organic is the best I’ve had in recent memory. The texture was melt-in-your-mouth and not tough even though it was grilled to medium. I can absolutely taste the difference. I order less than mediocre steaks when we eat out for as little as $20 to as much as $50-60 and this one just about tops them all. So now I’m going to think twice about ordering steaks again (unless it’s a new place for a review!) — instant savings!
Now for the ground beef from Blossom Pure Organic. I season it with a lot of salt, a fair amount of ground pepper, and a bit of garlic and ginger paste. We’re planning to make burgers. When shaping the patties with your hand, avoid over pressing the meat. The idea is to keep it loose in the middle so the juices are kept inside. We sprinkle a little more salt on the patties once they’re on the grill as well. I must say I’m not disappointed at all. It’s really good tasting meat. Very different from factory processed meat.
I feel better about eating meat from Blossom Pure Organic because I know exactly how it’s been handled right from the farm to my kitchen table. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for anything else I eat these days!