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Lisbon Bakery – Mordens Chocolate

Lisbon Bakery and Mordens Chocolate are two specialty food outlets, that are within a couple of blocks of where I live. Both have been in business for a long time, in fact this year is the 60th anniversary for Mordens. Of the two, I more frequently visit Lisbon Bakery. It’s open early and a good place to pick up a cheap treat. I also went more frequently when The Strong Badger was open. I don’t head down Sargent as much as I used to since the Badger closed.

If you read or even scroll to the bottom, there is also a tip about buying nuts in Winnipeg.

Lisbon Bakery Sweets

Lisbon Bakery Meringues
These meringues from Lisbon Bakery were tasty but sweeter than I generally like.

Lisbon Bakery specializes, as the name would suggest, in Portuguese breads and baked goods. My first real taste of the these treats was when I visited the Portuguese pavilions at Folklorama. Winnipeg’s summer multi-cultural festival. One of the things I like about Portuguese baked goods is that a lot of them are not overly sweet. I especially like the cream horns, of which I have no photos.

Lemon horn
The pastry for the lemon horn is the same as the pastry for the cream horn.

I do posses a picture of a lemon horn. This is the same pastry as the cream horn, but with a lemon curd filling. Lemon curd is one of my favourite fillings, and so I’m not disappointed when there are these in the display case. The pastry is light and flaky. Despite all the sugar crystals on the pastry the lemon horn is not overly sweet. The tartness of the lemon setting off the sugar.

Biscoitos from Lisbon Bakery
These biscoitos are perfect for dunking in your coffee.

Despite the fact that there are lots of semi-sweet Portuguese treats, the last couple of treats I brought were very sweet. The first was a fruit flavoured meringue. While the meringue itself wasn’t overly sweet, the fruit filling that was swirled into was very sweet.  The other thing I picked up was biscoitos. Which as the name suggests, is a twice baked cookies.

Biscoitos from Lisbon Bakery

Biscoitos are a traditional cookie that are associated with St. Anthony, a Catholic safe that was born in the city of Lisbon. These cookies are often shaped into a fish shape before cooking. I found the one’s from the bakery to be quite hard on the outside. On the other hand this makes them really good for dipping into your coffee. The flavouring for the biscoitos I bought was predominantly orange. Both orange and lemon are commonly used. Again, I found these cookies to be very sweet.

Another item I like is the egg tart. This is one of the things I don’t have a picture of, but they are really enjoyable and a change from most fruit and butter tarts.

Portuguese bun from Lisbon Bakery
These buns are large and tastry.

Lisbon Bakery also says a good mixture of buns and breads. There is the Portuguese Water bread and these large buns shown here. The picture below features the bun topped by Ferris Farms Garlic Sausage, and the Flora and Farmer Lemon Asparagus Relish. One of the things I really like about these buns is that they are well-sized for use as hamburger buns.

Lisbon Bakery Bun
A Lisbon Bakery bun. One side with garlic sausage, the other with Lemon-Asparagus relish.

These are just a few of the items that I’ve tried from Lisbon Bakery. There are several more good ones. This is a long-established Winnipeg business that deserves heavy traffic.

Lisbon Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mordens Chocolates

Mordens Chocolates is another long-time business located on Sargent Avenue. They are best known for their Russian Mints which they sell in the millions each year. However, they sell a full-range of chocolates, along with candies, and a good selection of roast nuts. I bought a little of each on my visit the other day.

Russian Mints
This is the smaller sized box of Russian MInts. The Russian Mint is the signature chocolate from Mordens of Winnipeg.

Russian Mints
The open box of the Russian Mints.

I have to admit that I don’t get into Mordens all that often. In part, that’s because there hours don’t mesh all that well with my schedule. The other reason is that if I went in more regularly I’d have to increase the amount of walking I do by a factor of ten to burn off all the calories. What I do really like to visit Mordens for is gifts. Their chocolates, nuts, etc. make handy, and elegant looking gifts.

Mordens gift box
A small box of chocolate jellies.

In addition to the Russian Mints,  I bought a small box of chocolate covered jellies. I really like the crisp shattering of the chocolate that you get when you bite into one of these. The other chocolate item I bought is a chocolate train engine. Last week we held a family reunion. Our previous full family get together was ten years ago when we came together for my dad’s funeral.

The reason for this reunion was my mom’s 90th birthday, so I thought about my dad several times during the weekend. My dad was a big train buff.  He was especially a fan of model railroads. The Red River Ex post I’ve just linked to talks a little about that. So, sing the engine, I decided to buy it. Unfortunately it slipped out of my hand as I went to put it away at home. So, in the photo, it looks more like the Wreck of the Old 97.

Mordens Chocolate Train
A train from Mordens that ended in a bit of a wreck.

Mordens Almonds

Much and all as I really like the Mordens Chocolates, my favourite Mordens item is their roasted nuts. Not least of which is the value you get from them. One of things that inspired to write this post is that I went to Safeway the other day and saw the price of their almonds. It seemed to me they were ridiculously expensive.

A bowl of almonds
A bowlful of almonds for me to nibble on as I read.

At the time I didn’t actually mark it down. However when I went into Mordens and picked up a container of almonds I noticed they were $8.00 for 454g. I knew the container was smaller than the bag I had seen in Safeway but I was certain the price I had seen in Safeway was somewhere between $23.97 and $26.97. After dropping off my purchases at home I decided to run down to Safeway to see if I was imagining things.

Safeway almonds
These are Safeway Almonds. $22.99 for 750g

Almond Price Comparison Chart
   
     
  Mordens Safeway
     
Size 454g 750g
     
Price $8.00 $22.99
     
Price/100g $1.76 $3.06

I know it’s hard to see, but those are Compliments Brand Whole Nature Almonds for $22.99 So, yes, I was wrong the almonds are cheaper than I originally thought, they are only $22.99 for 750g. Of course that’s 750 grams of almonds that haven’t been roasted and seasoned to perfection. I’ve got a little chart above that breaks the cost down into a price per 100g. When it comes to the sale of nuts it looks like Safeway is ripping off their customers.

So, do yourself a favour and get down to Mordens. You’ll find great chocolate, and great nuts. You’ll also find great prices on those nuts.

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By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.