Peter Picked a Peck of Manning Canning Pickled Products

Producer InfoBrian Knapp

by: Graham Duncan

Did you know that at one point, Peter was thinking of changing the name of the business to Sanagan’s Meat, Charcuterie, Prepared Foods, Sauces, Pickles, Rubs, Mustards, Produce, Gelato, Dairy, etc. Locker? Wouldn’t fit on the sign though. But we’re definitely more than meat. We’re happy to share our shelves with local food entrepreneurs who produce fantastic Ontario-made goodies.

One of those people is Christine Manning of Manning Canning. Her story is indicative of the food community we work with. After a successful career in marketing, Christine’s hobby of making preserves became her second act, an undertaking that not only encompasses producing and marketing prizewinning preserves and pickles but the creation of a full-service rental kitchen supporting numerous other independent eat-trepreneurs.

“We believe a rising tide lifts all boats”, says Christine. “There was no rental kitchen when I started out. I thought an affordable space would help others. Everyone thinks a food business is a low barrier start up but a commercial kitchen is expensive.”

“We’ve always competed on taste. We only make products based on seasonal availability, like the green beans. We only make them when we can get them fresh from the fields. We actually process our fresh plum tomatoes, they don’t come in a bucket.” How serious are they about fresh ingredients? Imagine having your marmalade win a gold medal at the World’s Original Marmalade Awards and then you decide, because you can’t guarantee a reliable, affordable supply of quality Seville oranges, that you would stop making your Gold Medal Marmalade. Manning Canning does not compromise.

That’s why Sanagan’s entrusts the production of our Giardiniera and Pickled Red Onions to Christine and Company.

Here’s a full list of our Sanagan’s/Manning Canning product line.

Sanagan’s Giardiniera

Charcuterie boards of the world unite; Sanagan’s Giardiniera, an Italianate mix of pickled peppers and veggies packed in oil and vinegar is here to help. And beyond. Salads, sandwiches, pizza — the zesty possibilities are endless.   

Sanagan’s Pickled Red Onions

You just won’t know how versatile these babies are until you have them in your fridge. Case in point — last night’s doggy bag of perogies. I threw some pickled onions on that bland plate of leftovers and—Hey Now—those perogies were energized!  Ditto, burgers, cheese plates, meat pies—need I go on?

Manning Canning Spicy Pickled Carrots

M.C.’s all-time bestseller. Spicy, crunchy, zippy. Don’t even think of mixing up a Bloody Caesar without them. Perfect in potato or tuna salad. And I bet they’d be awesome along with baked beans.

Manning Canning Spicy Pickled Green Beans

Old-school steak houses often lay out a tray of pickles at the start of a meal as appetite stimulators. Carry on that tradition at home with M.C.’s green beans before you serve one of our beautiful steaks.

Manning Canning Angry Pickled Garlic

Not only can you enjoy the pickled garlic but save the brine for use in a vinaigrette or make your dirty martini an angry martini. Or re-brine something else and reawaken all that garlicky goodness.

Manning Canning Tomato Mustard

Remember those fresh plum tomatoes? They’re here in spades. The apple cider-soaked mustard seeds pop with flavour. Great in dressings or on burgers. Also a fantastic marinade for pork.

Let’s Talk Turkey (and all the other wonderful things Sanagan’s has to offer!)

Producer InfoSanagans

Make Sanagan’s your holiday destination this year! We have everything you’ll need to create a successful feast for your family and friends, so join us at either location and get your harvest feast on!

To place your order, either call us at 416-593-9747, or email us at (Kensington), or (Gerrard)


We source our birds from two different farms; Shady Grove (Guelph, ON), and Elm Creek (Grand Valley, ON). If the former sounds familiar, that’s because it’s where we get our maple syrup from! Both farms adhere to our standards of antibiotic & hormone-free, and free-run meat. The turkeys come in a variety of weight ranges, and as much as we sincerely try to get everyone EXACTLY what they ask for, there is sometimes a variance (on the heavy end). For example, if you want a 16 lb bird, your order goes in the 16-18 lb range, and it’s possible that the birds dress out on the heavy end, so you might have to take a 18lber. But that’s ok, just more turkey sandwiches in your future!

As for Heritage Turkeys, we’ll be getting some in from The Packing House, one of our preferred suppliers who sources game birds, specialty beef, and other great items like these Orlopp Bronze birds from a farm near Meaford. These are beautiful, pasture-raised birds, and I can say from personal experience that they’re some of the tastiest turkeys around! These birds will be coming in between 15 and 20 lbs – we have a limited supply so get your orders in early!

As well as fresh turkeys, we will be getting in whole Smoked Turkeys from Metzger Meats.


Are you one of the few people who don’t like turkey? No worries, we have you covered!

Capons (usually range from about 8 to 10 lbs)


Cornish Hens

City Ham (smoked, bone-in hams) We get them whole, so we can cut them to size.

Baseball hams (small, boneless smoked hams, better for a small number of people)

Breakfast Sausage Stuffing (loose breakfast sausage mix to put in your stuffing)


As well as these “main event” items, Anne and her team in the kitchen will be making up some lovely sides to accompany everyone’s turkey dinners. Here’s what we’ll be offering:

Cranberry Sauce

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Stock

Bread Stuffing

Brine Bags

Brining Kits (includes a brine bag and the brine mix – just add water!)


It wouldn’t be a feast if you didn’t start with the perfect charcuterie board! Come down and see what Scott has made for the occasion. No one else in the city has the selection of house made pâtés, rillettes, and mousses that your friends here at Sanagan’s have! Impress your friends and your taste buds!

The Penokean Hills Story

The Penokean Hills Story

Producer InfoSanagans
We talk about crossbreeds regularly around Sanagan's, but a cross we haven't seen before is a financial planner with an agricultural engineer. Peter, myself, and a few of our managers had the chance to see the results of this combination a couple of weeks ago when we visited Mike (the Engineer) and Chris (the Finance Guy) of Penokean Hills Farms, just outside of Sault Ste. Marie. Though they may be the producer we work with that is farthest away from us, they may be one of the closest to us in terms of shared values. Penokean Hills is establishing the bulk of their sales in the GTA and Southern Ontario, but they are an intensely local company. They have essentially been born out of a need to utilise the resources around them in a combined effort to benefit the community at large. Not only do the principals raise their own animals, they also work with another 20+ farmers in the area to raise animals to their specifications. They share the best of their breeding stock, working to regenerate the herds with the most desirable traits (rib eye size, back fat/marbling, and feed efficiency). They've contracted farmers in the area to grow specific crops for them to be used as finishing feed for the animals (includes wheat, corn and dried peas). When the local abattoir was going out of business they took it over, preserving not just a half dozen jobs, but also the one location in the area farmers had to bring their animals to be processed. Though their own processing makes up the majority of the abattoir's week, they still process pigs, lambs and chickens for local farmers on a weekly basis. Their focus though is their own beef, and it is spectacular. As mentioned, they are using their own breeding stock throughout the area to produce consistent animals with the most desirable traits. Their cattle have a minimum of 50% Angus genetics, and are primarily crossed with other British breeds (Hereford, Galloway, Longhorn), though they have incorporated some other continental European breeds in the mix as well (Charolais, Limousin, Simmental). Calves are raised with their mothers, on milk and pasture (or haylage, as the season dictates) for the first 6-7 months. After that time, they are weaned off of milk and move to all pasture/haylage. Their finishing mix is constantly being monitored and slightly adjusted based on nutritional assessments and the needs of the cattle. Components of the feed (again, including corn, wheat and dried peas) are kept separately and mixed to recipe specifications twice daily, which is then provided to the cattle for them to graze at their leisure. The attention to detail and their desire to have input and control on every aspect of the animal's life-cycle is what impressed me the most. It wasn't enough for them to ensure the animal was raised properly, but also to ensure it was fed properly, and slaughtered properly. It is now on us to ensure the product is butchered properly, and sold with the love, care and attention that it deserves. For the time being, you can find the Penokean Hills product with greater regularity at the Gerrard store, but as the Penokean Hills operation grows (they have a new processing plant in the works, with the hopes of being open by May 2020), you'll only see their expansion in Sanagan's as well.
Sanagan's Cheese Locker

Sanagan's Cheese Locker

Producer InfoSanagans

Doesn’t really have the same ring to it does it? But we’ve been selling cheese now for years. It was the logical extension of our vast deli counter that now, along with charcuterie and salads, can provide you with the perfect picnic, party platter or cold supper. Currently space only allows us to sell cheese at our Kensington location but you can still get your cheese on at our Gerrard branch too. Just get all your charcuterie and meaty requirements with us and then head directly across the street to Pantry Fine Cheese for the fromage.

Cheese has had such an impact on our business, it stole one of employees. Steve Ward, long-time meat hawker in the Kensington shop, is now the lead cheese maker at Monforte Cheese in Stratford. Whey to be, Steve!

In case you’re thinking that you too might drop your current gig and become a cheese maker, Steve will tell you it’s no (cheese) cakewalk. “It’s an exacting and unforgiving process. Your job is trying to make a consistent product with the ever-variable ingredient of milk which is the product of an animal. An animal that experiences different environments, weather, grazing etc. I’m not using automated paddles. I’ve got my hands in there. I’m feeling the curds, the releasing of the whey - It’s artisanal.”

So please consider some of Steve’s efforts and those of our other all-Ontario cheese makers.


Monforte Providence Saler

Firm cheddar-style. Very nice caramel start followed by a balance of fruity-sour-tang. Sort of like a serious caramel apple. And if you happened to throw that on a burger? Watch out!

Thornloe Medium Cheddar

Firm. A touch of gratifying grain in the texture. For a younger, all-purpose cheddar, it’s no pushover in the sharpness department.

Thornloe Mozzarella

Semi-firm. Mild and pliant as expected but with a nice sour lactic undertow. Great in caprese salad or, of course, sliced thin on pizza.


Fifth Town Buffalina

Firm Gouda-style. Salty-sweet with a touch of grit leading to an elegant blooming mouth-feel and nice edge of rustic funk on the rind. Great with lighter red wines.

Monforte Waltzing Matilda

Looking for Camembert style soft creamy luxury? Dance your way over here. But don’t overlook the intrigue lent by the delicate layer of ash under the expressive rind.

Monforte Fontina with Fenugreek.

Hard. The fenugreek adds a musky quality of wild mushroom. But the overall effect is balanced while offering one of the bigger flavours in our selection. The rind brings savoury depth. Pair with other full flavours like olives and pickled peppers in a starter tray. And sherry!


Monforte Little Boy Blue.

Soft. Let this drain off its residual moisture before serving. A lovely salty edge of true-blue funky ripeness playing off a sweet milky core. Pass the port.

Monforte Tomme

Hard. A full, round, sweet, fruity delight right out of the gate with subtle funk from the long-aged craggy rind. Great mouth-feel. Feature on a cheese plate after entrée.

Monforte Chevre.

Classic expression the style. Soft, creamy, full goaty flavour with tangy lactic core.

Smoking, Simplified

Producer InfoSanagans

If late 90's TV sitcoms (Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond) have taught me anything, it's that most men/fathers are essentially cavemen. I wouldn't generally agree with that assessment of myself, with the notable exception of my burning desire to cook meat over fire.

Although I've been using a propane (and very occasionally a charcoal) grill since I was in my early teens, it's only in the last year or so that I've developed a fascination with American Barbecue.

The romantic vision I have in my head involves long, possibly overnight, cooks of full briskets, pork butts and ribs, using an offset stick burner. This would mean constantly monitoring temperatures, adding wood, controlling the fire, etc. etc. As much fun as I think this would be (and I do plan on moving in this direction at some point), with two kids 6 and under, I know that it's a very unrealistic view of how to make it work.

The compromise I arrived at was a pellet grill. Pellet grills have been growing in popularity and the simplicity of it is what really sold me. Essentially, they work electrically to create a consistent environment with temperature and smoke using pure hardwood pellets. It gives me a chance to focus on building flavours that I like and getting rough guidelines for time and temperature, without dominating my time managing the fire.

I went with a slightly larger model than I probably needed and picked it up on the Saturday before Canada Day with 20+ people booked for a BBQ the following day. For my first run through I decided to smoke a pork shoulder and a couple of boneless turkey breasts. I knew that if I ran into issues with my cook I'd be able to take steps to salvage them no matter how the smoker performed.

I needn't have worried. The pellet grill worked like a charm, and with just a simple rub (salt and pepper only for the turkey, a few more spices for the pork butt), smoke and time, we easily fed 20 guests without having to neglect them to prepare the meal. Two days later, I smoked a couple of tri tips low and slow (225 F for approx. 2 hours), rested them for 30 minutes, and finished them off on a hot propane barbecue, in what amounted to essentially a reverse sear. It was a delicious dinner for six that required almost no effort on my part. At this point in my caveman existence, that's about all I can ask for.

Happy As A Pig in Perth

Happy As A Pig in Perth

Producer InfoSanagans
Tanjo Family Farm is owned by TANya and JOhn Gerber. Get it? They supply us with much of the pork you see in our window as chops, tenderloins, sirloins, and shoulders. On a beautiful April morning, we took a tour of Tanjo with John, whose family has been farming in the Perth region, west of Kitchener, since the 1850’s. If I was a pig, I’d be happy to live at Tanjo. I’d have lots of and lots of straw to roll around and hide in. Given my spacious pen, I might take up jogging. Or snoozing. There’d be lots of socializing with my same-aged pig peers. And best of all, I’d have access to the outdoor pen should I feel the need to get some fresh air or have a wallow. Indeed, I’d be an active pig, which also make me a tastier pig…oh, okay, I see where this is going. Tanjo Pig Points • Yorkshire/Landrace/Duroc crosses: Yorkshires and Landraces are good mothers. Durocs are well-muscled and have good loins with less fat cap. • R.W.A.: Raised Without Antibiotics, Added hormones, or Animal Protiens. Ever. • Free-run in unheated barns: This means better marbeling and texture. • Access to outdoors: Exposure to the elements makes Tanjo pigs more disease resistant. • Feed: Non-GMO corn, soy, spelt, vitamins and minerals. • Slaughter: John takes the pigs to slaughter himself in his trailer. It’s a 15 minute drive. The pigs are transported and processed in social groups for lower stress. All these factors improve life for the pigs and their nutritional and culinary value. We’re proud to sell Tanjo pork here at Sanagan’s!
All In The Family Day

All In The Family Day

Producer InfoSanagans

Family Day is important to Sanagan’s because it’s right in our motto: Quality Meats and Poultry from Ontario Family Farms.

The people at King Capon Farms have been part of the Sanagan’s family from the get-go supplying us with their outstanding poultry. If you come in and buy a leg or a breast or a regular whole chicken, it’s probably coming from King Capon, which has been owned by the same family since the 70’s. King Capon chicken is free-run, barn raised, vegetable grain fed and air chilled. Their birds also benefit from on-site processing saving them from stressful caged trips on the back of a truck.

Michelle is the mother hen of the operation. We asked her what she likes to cook for her family. “For a quick dinner” replies Michelle, “I make my mother’s recipe: chicken strips dipped in an egg wash, breaded, pan fried with lemon squeezed over. On a cold night I’ll do a chicken chili. I’ll grind the chicken with a hand mincer — we eat the leftovers because we can’t keep enough of those boneless skinless breast around — beans, onion, red pepper, canned tomato. It’s just something you do, you don’t write it down.”

And for a big ceremonial family meal? “We had capon for Christmas. And they were good.”

So whether your family is nuclear, extended or just you and a friend watching Netflix, enjoy Family Day and eat some King Capon chicken.