Publication date:
Jan 13, 2020

Pasta Flora

Name, in french:
Pasta flora

We’ve decided to use this space to share recipes with you! Some of them will be recipes we make at the store and some will just be recipes we love, recipes we want to try or anything that we realistically can’t make on a daily basis but wish we could. We have so many ideas for pastries and treats but unfortunately, we could never make them all to offer in shop. We usually narrow down our menu to the ones we think will appeal to many, the ones that will have an affordable price point, or the ones we absolutely cannot live without. But we also want to share with you the delicious pastries that aren’t on the menu, so you can make them yourselves at home! We will however be preparing these recipes in a very small batch, as a special of the week so keep an eye on this blog to find out when you can come by to try these treats in shop, if you’d rather have a taste before making it yourself.

It seems fitting that the first recipe we write out for you be Pasta Flora. Anyone who knew my nonna Sophie would agree that Pasta Flora was one of her signature treats: a dense and chewy shortbread crust baked with apricot jam. She took so much pride in making every step of the recipe. In the summer, she would prepare huge amounts of apricot jam, specifically to have enough for a year’s worth of Pasta Flora. An entire area of her kitchen was dedicated to storing apricot jam, understandably, as it is the most important part of this pastry.

By now, you must be wondering why it’s called Pasta Flora. The answer is: I don’t know. A quick Google search leads me to something called Pastafrola, a Greek sweet tart, jam-topped shortbread pastry, but a Wikipedia article about it makes no mention of apricot jam. I also find a lot of recipes called Pasta Flora, described as a Greek jam tart. They were once named “Jam Squares” by my cousin’s elementary school teacher, during a bake sale. At the time, this confused my cousin to no end so for simplicity, we will stick to what my Greek nonna called it: Pasta Flora, and ours is made with apricot jam.

The steps to this recipe are quite straightforward. You prepare the jam ahead of time (it’s also perfectly acceptable to buy a jar of jam). Then you make the shortbread dough and press it into a baking pan. Top with jam, add a lattice design with some more dough and bake it. You’re then ready to cut it up and eat it up! As much as this dessert is a lot sweeter than what I would normally like, I can easily eat an entire pan, probably due to nostalgia.

Like most of my nonna’s recipes, they weren’t vegan to begin with (unless they were vegan by default) so my mother, sister and I have spent lots of time “veganizing” the treats that we most wanted to be able to keep enjoying. The result is a delicious variation that doesn’t compromise taste or decadence. Hopefully the more you see how easy it is to veganize a classic, the more vegan food you will find is accessible to you.

Let’s start!

all hail seitan (happy new year 2020)

wow, what a year for vegans.

from documentaries like the game changers on netflix, to the surprisingly sudden absolutely ubiquitous presence of beyond meat at eateries and markets small and large – there is a change happening: in canada, meat consumption is going down.

vegetarians and vegans now account for nearly 10 per cent of Canada’s population – and we think that’s hot.

“how do you get your protein?” a question forever fielded by various veggies, is becoming increasingly inconceivable – our vegan steaks are in the meat section, our vegan burgers are at mcdonalds. we are turning a corner.

not to be a downer, there were 819 million animals are killed for food in canada in 2019. for perspective, we have only 15 million animals as companions.

there is work to be done. if you eat meat, show a flex… flexitarian that is. already vegetarian? how about eating vegan a few more times a month? already vegan? how about encouraging those around you without judgement? make and serve delicious vegan food, slap them burgers on your neighbour’s grill, proselytize on the unholy power felt following seitan.

ultimately we can be this guy. (don’t be this guy.)

fall menu!

we love this time of year. nice cool hoodie weather, colour in the trees, and new treats!
we are excited.

we’ve got a new flavour of cake:
brown sugar spice cake with pumpkin icing
did you know?

● pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is good for the prostate and building the immune system

● they also contain fatty acids that kill parasites

● raw pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids & beneficial proteins

6″ (8-10 portions) 40$
7″ (12-16 portions) 60$
8″ (18-24 portions) 80$
10″ (30-36 portions) 140$
12″ (45-55 portions) 220$

that big boy’s got a little buddy
brown sugar spice cupcake with pumpkin icing

did you know?

● cupcakes are so-named because they are cakes the size of a cup

$3.50 ea

oh wait, we have another new cake
carrot cake with “cream cheese” icing

did you know?

● it is a myth that carrots improve eyesight

● this myth dates back to world war II and is actually based on a bit of truth; carrots are rich in beta carotene, which the body converts to a form of vitamin A called “retinal,” a key molecule involved in maintaining normal vision

● unless you are deficient in vitamin A, beta carotene (aka vitamin A) won’t make bad vision better

6″ (8-10 portions) 40$
7″ (12-16 portions) 60$
8″ (18-24 portions) 80$
10″ (30-36 portions) 140$
12″ (45-55 portions) 220$

another little buddy!
carrot cupcake with “cream cheese” icing

did you know?

● rather than buying baby carrots, you can cut normal carrots into smaller pieces

$3.50 ea

secret whipped cream special for those in the know! when you order an apple turnover, you can ask us to whip it, and we will – free.
apple turnover – whipped

did you know?

● à la mode means adding ice cream to something

● this meaning only exists in north america

$0 for the whip

what is fall without pumpkin pie? it is nothing. it must be had. enjoy these cute pumpkin pie tartlettes.
pumpkin pie

did you know?

● the pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and featured also at Halloween

● the world’s largest pumpkin pie weighed over 350 pounds and was made with 80 pounds of pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, and 144 eggs (nb: there are no eggs in our pumpkin pie!)

$4 ea

our classic scone will be off the menu for the fall season… in order to make room for our pumpkin spice scone
pumpkin spice scone

did you know?

● our pumpkin spice scone is freakin’ delicious

$3 ea

our pizza is made every morning, and we like to have fun with the flavours. fall sees the emergence of pumpkin rocket pizza.
pumpkin rocket pizza

did you know?

● arugula is also known as rocket, a lettuce that has no internal combustion system

$3.75 ea

when it’s properly burnt, pastry cream forms a hard candy surface – perfect for cracking with a spoon.
pumpkin crème brûlée

did you know?

● crème brûlée is also known as burnt cream or trinity cream

● the world record for largest creme brulee topped out at 26 feet in diameter, weighed 1,600 pounds and was estimated to have two million calories.

$5 ea

as the weather gets colder, what can be better than a hot beverage. get ready to suck these back.
old fashioned 5-spice hot chocolate & pumpkin steamer & chai latté & london fog

did you know?

● if you drink something hot too fast, you can burn your tongue

$3.91 ea

croissants croissants croissants

We’re rolling up more croissants than ever! Guess what, that means they are more affordable than ever. If you have not tried one yet, now is the time.
  • $2.50 each
  • $25 for a dozen *
  • * dozen on pre-order only

    Order here!

    did you know?
    croissants are never taxed.

    you scream! ice cream is here!

    chocolate brownie peanut butter

    it was a rocky road, but now the whole team here

    cookie dough

    put down that yo yo and slurp up the dough dough, fo sho

    rose pistachio

    flowers, they’re not just for looking at anymore — point is, you can eat them


    plain no more, this bad boy tantalizes with taste

    caramel praline

    the merriam-webster dictionary defines praline as a confection of nuts and sugar

    1 pint is technically 473mL, but we upped that to 500mL
    $8.75 a pint
    or maybe you like that scoop game?
    $3.75 for one scoop
    $5.50 for two scoops
    $6.75 for three scoops
    did you know if you dump some ice cream on some food it’s called à la mode? culture.
    $2 to mode up
    you can even get a drink à la mode, how about a Boylan Root Beer?
    $5.50 root beer float
    there’s no milk, and we don’t shake it, but we call our blended ice cream smoothie a milkshake – deal with it
    $5.75 for a milkshake
    sold every day, the sundae
    $6.25 for a sundae
    toppings traditionally go on top, but we can put them wherever you want — $1 ea
    • chocolate bark
    • chocolate glaze
    • sprinkles (free!)
    • whipped cream
    • brownie chunks
    • cherries
    • cherry syrup
    • caramel drizzle

    our spring menu is here

    Whether you are celebrating Passover, Easter, Shab e-Barat, Beltane, Mother’s Day, or even Earth Day – these adorable jars make a perfect gift for family, friends, or (I mean, c’mon) just for you!

    Available in our boutique until May 12th. If you prefer to place an order, click here or call us.

    A super fun twenty
    chocolate jar
    · $38

    4 maple butter truffles
    4 raspberry caramel truffles
    4 hazelnut praline truffles
    4 salted caramel truffles
    4 classic ganache truffles

    An ultra cute twelve
    chocolate jar
    · $28

    3 maple butter truffles
    3 raspberry caramel truffles
    2 hazelnut praline truffles
    2 salted caramel truffles
    2 classic ganache truffles

    way too much lens flare

    Do you know Montreal’s only vegan grocery store?

    Herbivores Marché Végétalien

    The devious duo that started it all, Lex & Izzy, are mercurial to say the least – their facebook page is their playground. Kung fu battles, mock protests, and juicy rumours about closures abound. Feeling lonely? Herbivores even host vegan speed dating.

    Fun aside, their central mission resonates with ours:

    Our primary mission at Herbivores Marché Végétalien isn’t to profit from a “Plant based food trend.” It is to make the world vegan.
        – Alex Papadakos (Herbivores Co-founder
            and President a.k.a Lex Dakos)

    Open noon to 9pm every day: you will find our treats there. You will also find an abundance of vegan products on their shelves, and a great kitchen serving up amazing poutine, brunch, and the best vegan souvlaki you’ll ever eat. Yum!

    Why can’t we call vegan cheese vegan cheese?

    The wonderful vegan Blue Heron Creamery in Vancouver was recently told to stop using the word cheese, and this was covered in the media: Global report with video, daily hive, The Georgia Straight.

    We were recently approached by the powers that be and asked to rename our cheesecake to cashew cake – antiquated dominance of our food regulators by the meat & dairy industry has left these dinosaur rules in place.

    Anna Pipus wrote a rebuttal on that we include in our sidebar.

    The following is an opinion piece from

    CFIA regulations on classifying milk products ‘badly out of date’ by Anna Pippus. Published on Feb 20, 2019 9:13pm

    This week, Vancouver-based vegan cheesemaker Karen McAthy of Blue Heron Creamery made the news when she was told by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to stop using the word “cheese” to describe her plant-based cheeses, cultured in the traditional cheesemaking fashion from ingredients like almonds, coconuts, and cashews.

    Canadian regulations define milk as being lacteal secretions from animals’ mammary glands, while cheese, cream, sour cream, butter, and ice cream, are defined as being made from this milk.

    The regulations were drafted four decades ago, before the explosion of the plant-based food sector, and even before Canadians were thoughtful enough to consider the dietary patterns of those from other cultures in our food policy. Soy milk, for example, has been popular for nearly 700 hundreds years throughout Asia, where most adult humans are lactose intolerant.

    Canadian consumers may think we’re buying soy milk, but look closer: it’s typically labelled soy beverage. This may not be an overly confusing label for plant-based milks, which come in similar packaging and are in the same supermarket fridge as cow milk.

    But when it comes to cheeses and other dairy products, which cover a wide variety of products in a wide variety of packaging, it’s not so easy to discern what a product is without the terms that are familiar to us. For example, is “cultured cashew spread” meant to be used like cream cheese, sour cream, butter, or something else?

    The stated purpose of Canada’s food labelling rules is to prevent consumers from being deceived or misled. But plant-based dairy companies are not trying to mislead consumers. On the contrary: these days, the dairy-free nature of products is a marketing advantage, and the primary reason for many companies’ and products’ existence. They’re deliberately making it clear that their dairy-free products do not contain lacteal secretions from animals’ mammary glands.

    In the United States, regulations permit food companies to use regulated terms — like cheese and milk— with qualifiers, such as “dairy-free,” “plant-based,” “cashew,” or “soy.” Far from being confusing, these labels offer details to consumers in language they are already using. The American regulatory regime recognizes that the name of a food can be established by common usage —in other words, if we’re all calling it soy milk, it should be labelled soy milk.

    In Canada, too, we are colloquially referring to non-dairy milks, cheeses, and so forth in everyday language, the media, and even supermarket advertising. Labels should reflect our language. And indeed, given that the purpose of the regulations is purportedly to avoid confusion, labels must reflect our language, lest they be misleading. This puts food producers in a tough spot: both labelling a product what consumers call it and using a euphemism could potentially violate the regulations.

    “Milk” and derivative terms are not the intellectual property of the dairy industry, and Canadian regulators should not be effectively enforcing a non-existent trademark for them. The role of our food labelling regulator is to ensure that companies can clearly communicate with consumers through labels—not to further the private commercial interests of one sector over another.

    Ultimately, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s regulations may not even be constitutional. Canadians enjoy a right to free expression, barring a pressing and substantial government objective. In other words, if we want to culture cashew milk instead of cow milk and sell it as cashew cheese, the government has to have a really good reason not to let us.

    Consumers are increasingly switching to dairy-free products out of concerns for the animals, the environment, or our own health — or simply because of taste preference. This is not a fad, but a new normal. Regulations that can only conceive of milk as being the lacteal secretions from animals’ mammary glands are badly out of date, creating unnecessary barriers for entrepreneurs and consumers in the 21st century.

    Until then, enjoy your jars of peanut butter and cans of coconut milk while you can — according to Canadian food labelling regulations, those labels may actually be illegal.

    Anna Pippus is a lawyer, writer and director of the Plant-based Policy Centre.

    The three valentines

    It’s the 14th and we are ready for you with chocolates, cakes, and lots of treats. But to who do we owe the name Valentine?

    From Wikipedia

    In the early martyrologies, three different St. Valentines are mentioned, all sharing Feb. 14 for a feast day. Unfortunately, the historical record is sparse. The first St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome. He along with St. Marius and his family comforted the martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II, the Goth. Eventually, St. Valentine was also arrested, condemned to death for his faith, beaten with clubs, and finally beheaded on Feb. 14, AD 270. He was buried on the Flaminian Way. Later, Pope Julius I (333-356) built a basilica at the site which preserved St. Valentine’s tomb. Archeological digs in the 1500s and 1800s have found evidence of the tomb of St. Valentine. However, in the thirteenth century, his relics were transferred to the Church of Saint Praxedes near the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where they remain today. Also, a small church was built near the Flaminian Gate of Rome which is now known as the Porta del Popolo but was called in the 12th century “the Gate of St. Valentine,” as noted by the early British historian William Somerset (also known as William of Malmesbury, d. 1143), who ranks after St. Bede in authority.

    The second St. Valentine was the Bishop of Interamna (now Terni, located about 60 miles from Rome). Under the orders of Prefect Placidus, he too was arrested, scourged, and decapitated, again suffering persecution during the time of Emperor Claudius II.

    The third St. Valentine suffered martyrdom in Africa with several companions. However, nothing further is known about this saint. In all, these men, each named St. Valentine, showed heroic love for the Lord and His Church.

    The popular customs of showing love and affection on St. Valentine’s Day is almost a coincidence with the feast day of the saint: During the Medieval Age, a common belief in England and France was that birds began to pair on Feb.14, “half-way through the second month of the year.” Chaucer wrote in his “Parliament of Foules” (in Old English): “For this was on Seynt Valentyne’s day, When every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” For this reason, the day was dedicated to “lovers” and prompted the sending of letters, gifts, or other signs of affection.

    Another literary example of St. Valentine’s Day remembrances is found in Dame Elizabeth Brews “Paston Letters” (1477), where she writes to the suitor, John Paston, of her daughter, Margery: “And, cousin mine, upon Monday is St. Valentine’s day and every bird chooseth himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.” In turn, Margery wrote to John: “Unto my right well beloved Valentine John Paston, Squyer, be this bill delivered. Right reverend and worshipful and my right well beloved Valentine, I recommend me unto you, full heartily desiring to hear of your welfare, which I beseech Almighty God long for to preserve until His pleasure and your heart’s desire.” While speaking of the amorous flavor of Valentine’s Day, no mention is made of the saint.