FROM THE ARCHIVE:A staple on kitchen counters and in lunch bags across Canada, apples are a part of everyday life. They’re so common that we don’t give them much thought—but perhaps that’s what makes them so special.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: What is it about an oyster that incites such passion? At any gathering where oysters are served raw and glistening on a bed of crushed ice, a crowd forms quickly, and onlookers lean in to watch the shucker unhinge each bivalve and slice loose the flesh while preserving the prized liquor.

Michel Roux is a legendary French chef, but in his new cookbook, The Essence of French Cooking, he shifts the spotlight to his ingredients.

As the air turns crisp, signs of the harvest appear everywhere. While those on the prairies may be accustomed to seeing golden fields ripe with wheat, many Canadians never think about the harvest of another staple grain: rice.

A summer salad of watermelon, feta, and mint. A silver mint-julep cup, chilled and filled with bourbon, sugar, crushed ice, and gently muddled mint leaves. A simple scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mint plays a key role in many hot-weather pleasures.

The first clue is often a subtle aroma, a heady mix of cooked meat and charcoal wafting on an otherwise fresh breeze. The scent triggers a primal hunger, and suddenly you notice a haze of smoke rising nearby.

In Japan, where public baths are everywhere, communal bathing is a pleasurable everyday ritual. Visitors who stay at hot springs resorts can experience a mental and physical cleanse while immersing themselves (literally) in Japanese culture.