Jackie is a Montreal artist who married Ron Troup, a fruit farmer from Jordan and found herself living in beautiful Niagara surrounded by orchards and gardens. In the beginning she continued to work as an artist but it wasn’t long before the culinary culture of the region took hold and Jackie began looking in a different direction.
Many of the farm markets Jackie shopped at offered baked goods from fruit pies to butter tarts but she noticed an obvious absence of anything savoury. To this Montreal city girl, it looked like a great opportunity to become an artist in her own kitchen.
Jackie founded Blossom Bakery (www.blossombakery.ca), a wholesale bakery and her flagship product are savoury, gourmet flatbread pizzas. Everything Jackie does is homemade featuring local produce and artisan cheeses. She has a knack for blending fruit from her farm into her savoury flatbreads. Most likely you’ve seen her flatbreads at O’Neils Gourmet Food Shop or The Fruit Shack in Niagara-on-the-Lake; at Whitty Farm Market and 13th Street Winery in St Catharines or the Cheesy Guy who you’ll find at some of the farmers’ markets in Niagara.
It’s time now for Jackie to make her sexy asparagus flatbreads. She lays fresh spears in a zig-zagging pattern across the melted cheese. Jackie is often inspired by the seasons harvests and she picks the combination of flavours as much on looks as on taste.
Jackie’s just discovered Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese and designed a flatbread to showcase a cheese she just can’t resist. It’s caramelized onions with the semi-soft Gouda-style cheese, a roasted garlic base and drizzle of balsamic maple – yum!
Besides some of the food shops around town, you will find Jackie selling her flatbreads at the Grimsby Farmers’ Market every Thursday afternoon. She can’t wait for the first tomatoes to be harvested because here favourite flatbread is her Heirloom Tomato Rainbow Flatbread. It’s loaded with green, yellow, orange, pinky red, dark red and purple heirloom tomatoes floating in a base of asiago cheese. “It’s simple and so very special”, says Jackie.
Right now the most popular flatbread is her roasted red pepper, mushroom and goat cheese flatbread with balsamic drizzle.
Jackie has a secret to her popular flatbreads that she was willing to share. It’s what she calls her, “secret smear”. It’s a combination of fresh parsley, garlic and extra virgin olive oil pulsed into an ultra flavourful concoction that is smeared over every single flatbread.
Her favourite thing to do is to play in her kitchen, experimenting with the different flavours that come out of the garden, however not all of Jackie’s experiments work out well. “I tried a Three B’s flatbread”, Jackie explains. “Beets, blueberries and blue cheese. It looked great but I couldn’t get anyone to try it. It was an awesome failure.”
Jackie says here flatbreads are popular because “it was a way to put a savoury baked good in the markets that traditionally only offer sweet pies and tarts.”