By Janet Davison
Published; CBC News, Oct 14, 2013
Anon Lololi quickly rattles off how he likes to cook callaloo, a leafy green vegetable common in his native Guyana, but not so common in kitchens and grocery stores around his Toronto-area home.
“We love it in rice,” he says. Add coconut milk, and it’s a real “delicacy.” Plus, it is chock full of nutrients, offering “more iron than spinach” and lots of Vitamin E.
But as good as callaloo may be, it’s far from being a household staple in Canadian kitchens.
Lololi would like callaloo to become more common, though. And by growing and selling it, along with produce such as okra at farmers markets in Toronto, he’s tapping into an underserved demand for ethnic vegetables that University of Guelph researchers say could be worth more than $60 million per month in the Greater Toronto Area alone.
“We want to introduce these new crops to Toronto,” says Lololi, executive director of the Afri-Can FoodBasket, a community group whose activities include growing vegetables at the McVean startup farm site in nearby Brampton.