How to pick the best truLOCAL items for summer.

Let the staff at truLOCAL guide you through the best products for summer.

Summer’s here and it’s time to get excited about what barbecue-worthy items you’ll get in your next truLOCAL box! We love to offer our customers a variety of local products so there’s always so many great things to try - and we add new products all the time. So how do you know what you should try next? We asked for some summer-specific recommendations from the people who know the products best: the truLOCAL staff!  

Many of us at truLOCAL consider ourselves to be foodies (we even have a chat room solely for sharing pictures of our culinary creations) so we think that we are pretty qualified to compile a list of our favourite truLOCAL items from across Canada. Below is a list of what the truLOCAL staff think are the must-haves when building your best truLOCAL box for summer.

D’Angelo, Québec (formerly Ontario)

Regional Manager, Québec

We’ll start with D’Angelo’s favourite product because it was mentioned by so many of our staff who just love them: our Rosemary Garlic Lamb Burgers. D’Angelo, a Regional Manager that recently moved to Montreal, greatly misses his lamb burgers more than any other product, especially now that summer’s here.

D’Angelo says that the rosemary garlic lamb burgers are so flavourful and delicious that they are easily his top pick for summer and that it isn’t truly summer unless he has one. We might have to ship him a few, as a bonus for all of his great work in Québec!

Gabriel, British Columbia

Gabriel put a lot of thought into his list and recommended seven different BC must-have items. When I pressed him to narrow his recommendations down a bit, he was hard-pressed to pick a single winner so his top picks for summer are Ribeye steaks and Lingcod fillets.

He loves ribeyes because they’re the perfect intersection of tender steak, big beefy flavour, and terrific marbling. He likes his rare but says that “Ribeyes are good no matter how you cook them.”

Despite always being a "salmon guy" for most of his life, Gabriel recently discovered the truLOCAL wild-caught lingcod fillets and now he loves them. He cooks them with nothing but a dash or two of salt, a bit of butter on top added at the halfway cooking mark, and then a sprinkle of lemon at the end. He describes it as “Bliss. Absolute seafood bliss.”

Irma, Ontario

Irma has been with truLOCAL since the very beginning and has lived in a few different regions so she knows the summer must-haves better than anyone. Her top summer items are the truLOCAL short ribs (also known as Miami ribs or Korean Short ribs depending on the region). 

Irma’s a foodie that is willing to try almost anything but has never really liked fattier meats like traditional ribs. Our truLOCAL Korean short ribs are cut against the bone, rather than alongside the bone like most ribs, so they don’t have the same amount of fat. They’ve changed Irma’s mind about ribs and now she is a rib superfan. “WOW. I will literally lick the bones clean. They are SO incredibly juicy, tender, and filled with flavour - and they are a lot quicker to cook than traditional ribs.”

Karine, Québec

Karine’s relatively new to the truLOCAL team but she already knows what she likes. She’s a major foodie and our mouths water when she describes food. Need some proof? Okay, here is just a sample of her describing her must-have summer item:

“I love the wild-caught sockeye salmon, lightly grilled, topped with maple syrup and chopped strawberries. The side salad would definitely have some basil in it to balance out (Caprese?). I would also add shaved almonds for the texture. Salmon is good all year long but is too often paired with lemon and dill - not my favourite. Stepping out of the box with a sweet topping can add a little freshness to your day! Salmon is deliciously crispy and juicy at once when grilled properly and I could honestly eat it 3 meals a day.”

Mitch, British Columbia

Mitch loves eating fish and includes it in every box he gets from truLOCAL no matter what time of year. He loves “wild-caught rockfish, halibut, or any other white fish, really.” He prefers to catch his own fish but is “not always sitting dock-side with a beer in hand and a fishing line in the water. Pan-frying wild-caught fish from truLOCAL is as fresh as it gets next to catching it yourself.” Mitch keeps it simple with a bit of tartar sauce and lemon because it’s a meal that reminds him of the summers he spent growing up on Georgian Bay. Mitch also loves to switch it up every once and a while with a salmon burger or blue shrimp burger

Besides fishing, Mitch also loves outdoor activities like eating barbecue with friends and family. He chooses the truLOCAL elk burgers and considers them an absolute must-have for summer. He says “not only are they a leaner alternative to the traditional beef, but they are higher in protein too, which makes me feel a bit less sorry for my ‘beach bod’ when I scarf down 3-4 of those bad boys! Always worth it!” 

Nicole, Ontario

Nicole’s similar to Mitch in that she loves to be outdoors as much as possible and her favourite summer activity is eating outside. She eats outdoors for every meal that she can and that includes breakfast! She uses a cast iron flat top or a cast iron fry pan on the BBQ and cooks up truLOCAL bacon, eggs, and truLOCAL breakfast sausage. She even toasts the bread directly on the grill! 

Nicole is very excited about skirt steak! “This cut is perfect for grilling!” she says. “It’s nice and thin and has a great marbling throughout the grain. Because it has such a loose grain, it takes a marinade really well!” Nicole’s favourite marinade is chimichurri, a combination of vinegar herbs and spices but she says that it would be great with any sauce. 

Trish, Ontario

Trish’s a foodie at heart but is the first to point out that she does not cook very often. She loves flavour and simplicity so she always adds Rosemary Garlic Lamb Burgers and Organic Cheddar Smoky Sausages to her box when the warmer weather hits. It might surprise you, but she does not even cook these on a barbecue (and they are still fantastic). 

“The rosemary garlic lamb burgers cook up so perfectly on the stovetop, and they’re insanely juicy and flavourful. We serve them on brioche buns with tzatziki and herbed goat cheese – we have them at least twice a month!” 

Trish loves the organic cheddar smoky sausages from 3Gen because they are “SO good and SO versatile” and we tend to agree. Trish usually serves them on a bun with ketchup and apple-smoked BBQ mustard but sometimes she eats them plain and let’s their flavour shine. Trish adds “They’re also perfect to cut up into 1” slices and sautée with Brussels sprouts. Since they’re pre-cooked, they’re perfect to bring to a cottage or campsite, and they’re super easy (and impressive) to whip up for friends when we hang in the backyard.”

Courtney, British Columbia

Courtney prefers seafood over red meat so it’s no surprise that she always adds fish to her box during the summer months. One of her favourites is truLOCAL’s wild-caught albacore tuna.

Courtney says that a quick 60 second sear on both sides is all that you need for a high-end restaurant-like salad topper. She serves hers on a bed of greens with avocado, baby oranges, cucumbers, and red onion with a citrus vinaigrette on top. She describes the tuna as “buttery and delicious - only needing a touch of salt and pepper for added flavour.” Paired with a glass of crisp white wine while sitting on the patio might just be the best way to enjoy this light salad’s perfect mix of indulgence and healthy eating.

Steve, Ontario

Steve can only think of grilling when it comes to the summer months and will definitely add the rosemary garlic lamb burgers and short ribs to his box. But if he had to pick just one item to recommend for the summer, he would have to go for a steak. “Before working here, I didn’t really know much about steaks or which steak I preferred but after trying all of them at truLOCAL, I now know that I prefer less fatty cuts and will go for a filet mignon, or striploin every time.” He continues that “there is a steak for everyone at truLOCAL from ribeyes, striploins, skirt steaks, and filet mignons.” he adds “Okay, a vegetarian might not be able to find a steak they truly love…” 

There you have it - a list of the must-have items directly from those who know them best. We hope that this list makes it easy for you to pick your best possible summer box from truLOCAL. From fish, to beef, to pork, truLOCAL has a lot of great items that are produced locally and without antibiotics for you to try. Now get outside and enjoy our recommendations and the sunny weather - you won’t be disappointed.

Posted on February 9th, 2024