Follow Me Foodie to Food Day Canada!

Follow Me Foodie to Food Day Canada!

Today is Food Day Canada and it’s a celebration of our farmers, growers, suppliers, purveyors, chefs, home cooks and local ingredients. The local food movement is taking over and while we should be eating local as often as possible, today is the day to go full force. Food Day Canada invites all Canadians to either visit restaurants participating in Food Day Canada, or to host a party or casual dinner using only Canadian ingredients. The idea is to show support for food prepared, raised, grown and produced in Canada and to encourage local eating.

Today I will be attending the 2nd Annual Epic Summer BBQ, but I’m really curious what “eating local” means in every Canadian Province and Territory. Quite often I will go into a restaurant in Vancouver and see beef from Alberta and ducks from Quebec. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when I think of “local” I like to think within 100 miles. Although I support eating local I also believe in sourcing the best ingredients and sometimes that requires a further stretch, after all cooking is a global craft and an art form.

Anyway I decided to feature something unique and indeed “local” to each province and territory in Canada. I didn’t want to forget about my non-Canadian readers and I hope these ingredients give you incentive to visit! I’m biased, but salmon is worth visiting in British Columbia alone. Of course these ingredients, products and menu items don’t represent the entire Province, but they are associated with each one respectfully.

 British Columbia

BC Salmon – It was hard to narrow down, but salmon is one of my favourite BC products. I’m so spoiled by the quality of it that I rarely order it outside of home. This was the Hawkshaw Salmon from C Restaurant which is one of the most memorable salmons I’ve had.

Alberta

AAA Alberta Beef – There is no other province that could take the steak.

Saskatchewan

Wild Rice – It could possibly be the wildest thing happening in Saskatchewan. Wild rice is actually not a rice but a type of grass and Saskatchewan is the largest producer of it. One of my favourite wild rice dishes is the Fried Wild Rice with Sea Conpoy, Crab & Chicken at Red Star Seafood.

Manitoba

Pickerel – It’s their local and primary fish. It’s a freshwater white flesh dish with a very mild and delicate flavour. This was “Manitoba’s Freshwater Trio” featuring pickerel three ways at Gold Medal Plates in Kelowna.

Ontario

Butter Tarts – This took me the longest to think of. Ontario is so diverse I just couldn’t think of anything uniquely Ontario. Sure there is cheddar cheese and blueberries, but I couldn’t give Ontario blueberry status. I know they get a lot of our BC Blueberries and apparently BC ones taste better too. I always buy local BC blueberries so I wouldn’t know what Ontario ones taste like, but sorry guys I had to give you the Butter Tart. I knew it was a Canadian dessert and for some reason I always associated it with Quebec, but that’s the sugar pie they’re known for. The Butter Tart traces back to Ontario, so credit where credit is due for this sweet Canadian treat.

For Vancouverites, this is “The World’s Best Butter Tart” at La Brasserie food truck. I think they order them from Tartine Breads & Pies.

Quebec

Maple Syrup – Quebec has so many specialities and fantastic ingredients, but I couldn’t not include maple syrup in my Food Day Canada post. This maple syrup in particular, St-Robert Bellarmin Single Press Maple Syrup 2011, is my favourite one to date. I tried this one at West.

Newfoundland

Photo from Nami-Nami.blogspot.ca

Cloudberries or “Bakeapple berries” – I’ve never been to Newfoundland and the only time I’ve tried these was when a “Newfie” brought them to Kelowna for Gold Medal Plates. It was one of the secret ingredients for the black box challenge. It tasted like sour unripened raspberry sauce or compote… and they can keep them.

New Brunswick

Photo from PortlandPoutine.com

Poutines Râpées – It’s an Acadian delicacy popular in New Brunswick. It’s a dumpling made from grated and mashed potatoes and stuffed with pork. Being on the West Coast, I’ve never even heard of it. It doesn’t look like the most appetizing dish, but I’m still curious to try it. I have so much of the East Coast to explore.

Nova Scotia

Lobster – It’s the first thing I think of and this I am jealous of. Nova Scotia has the best water for raising lobster and it’s lobster season all year. This lobster is from Empire Chinese Cuisine. Personally I prefer Chinese styles of preparing lobster and crab compared to serving it with just melted butter.

Prince Edward Island

Poelee of Mussels with Ginger and Lime from Café Régalade

Prince Edward Island Mussels – Although I enjoy West Coast Salt Spring Island mussels, I can’t deny the unbeatable sweetness of PEI mussels. It has to do with the waters they are raised in and they produce consistently good quality mussels.

Yukon

Photo from advrider.com

“Sour Toe” Cocktail – :(. I’m open minded about food, but I cannot get over this one. Yes. That is a real HUMAN TOE in whiskey. Dawson is a city in the Yukon and the pub there sells this “famous” cocktail. The human toes are donated and the toe is just supposed to touch your lips as you sip on the drink. GAH! I heard about this drink a few weeks ago and I thought it was a joke.

Northwest Territories

Muskox – It’s not exclusive to Northwest Territories, but I would say it’s more representable of their food culture. This dish was a Coffee Crusted Muskox, Sunchokes, Fiddleheads and Elderberry Jus I had at Fraîche and that pretty much has “Canada in the Spring” all over it.

Nunavut

Photo from northtonunavut.blogspot.ca

Nunavut – I won’t lie. I had to make sure I even spelt it right. I don’t even know what goes on up there, but this image gives me an idea. There is a large Aboriginal population so the cuisine caters to that palate. On that plate I’ve tried everything but the Beluga Whale which looks quite blubbery. I might never make it to Nunavut, but I would go if the opportunity arose.

Which Province or Territories’ cuisine are you most envious of?

12 Comments

  • Erin says:

    Just got back from Newfoundland… and I believe the berry is a bakeapple (not baked apples). I also loved Cod tongues, cod au gratin and scrunchions.

  • Mel says:

    Yep. I grew up in Newfoundland, and I only ever remember it being referred to as “bakeapples”.

  • Mel says:

    er, *them*, not *it*.

  • Mijune says:

    @Erin – thanks for the correction, my mistake! I edited. And yes! I was debating those cod tongues and scrunchions! They have some Portuguese influence too right?

    @mel – yup, you ladies are right. I made a typo. thanks!

  • John Pak says:

    Donated toe? Yak! How can that be? Dead meat.

  • Mijune says:

    @John Pak – ahhahahah! Yup! they were short toes one year and had to call out for extra donations.

  • nutkin says:

    the sour toe? how is that even legal?? barf.

    your mention of alberta beef has prompted me to ask your advice on something . . . i just started eating meat again a couple weeks ago after 20+ years as a vegan/vegetarian. so far i’ve eaten some poultry and pork (the porchetta from meat & bread- holy jesus!). now that i’m getting over the mental block of seeing meat as food again, i’m ready to delve into beef territory. i wanna do it right! where would you suggest i go in greater vancouver for a really top-notch steak?

  • KimHo says:

    For Manitoba, I would have chosen wheat, given it is a more “mainstream” one. I guess wild rice would be in the case somebody is more “into” fringe food selection. For Ontario, indeed that would have been a difficult one, considering it is not a agricultural as other provinces. And, on things they do, other provinces can do as well (if not better). For example, fruit growing (vs. BC), wine (again, vs. BC) and some other production which clashes with Quebec. Having said that, for Quebec, I would have thrown in cheese as an honourable mention. For PEI, I challenge your selection with that one other thing PEI is known for: potatoes!

  • Kyle Sue says:

    Hey Mij,

    Muktuk tastes like cold beef tendon but with a fishy-ness to it. Most of the time it’s fine but sometimes you get botulism.

    Cloudberries are also big up north in the territories. They grow wild all over the tundra close to the ground and you can just bend down and pick them. They’re known as bakeapples in Nfld, but known as aqpik up north.

  • Mimihui-Pak says:

    Wild Rice – It could possibly be the wildest thing happening in Saskatchewan. Wild rice is actually not a rice but a type of grass and Saskatchewan is the largest producer of it. One of my favorite wild rice dishes is the Fried Wild Rice with Sea Conpoy, Crab & Chicken at Red Star Seafood. I love Wild Rice too thanks….Follow Me Foodie..xx

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