Canada is a vast nation. East to West, the rocky landscape stretches over 5,500km. As a result, few visitors have the time or money to see each corner of the Great White North. Each coast offers amazing experiences which are distinct and exclusive. Whether it’s the tremendous mountain ranges, diverse wildlife, the phenomenal lakes or the remarkable taste of maple syrup: choosing a specific destination in Canada can be a challenging job.
For foodies, true Canadian cuisine is more than just maple syrup. Warm, hearty and locally sourced, it is an eclectic, international mix of cultures. From Vancouver’s fresh salmon – a popular hit with tourists – to the indulgent poutine from Quebec, Canadian gastronomy is as varied as it is mouth-watering.
EAST COAST – FRENCH CULTURE, LOBSTERS & LIGHTHOUSES
The East Coast of Canada offers delicious cuisine seasoned with English, Irish, French and Canadian cultural blending. Travellers visiting the East Coast can try a medley of fresh seafood and savoury Canadian dishes, as well as traditional English, Irish and French meals.
Indulge in the unique cuisine of Quebec, where Irish and French legacies lead to a predominance of earthy, rich dishes including meat pies, pâtés, cheeses and notably the famous poutine. Originating from the Quebec providence, poutine is a traditional Canadian dish with French fries, cheese curds and gravy. Another Canadian staple is the toutière, a double-crusted meat pie with pork, veal or beef that is traditionally served at Christmas but can be enjoyed all year long.
Stop into a restaurant or pub to enjoy traditional British and Irish dishes including fish and chips, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage. And on Sundays enjoy a truly Canadian meal, like Jiggs dinner, which consists of salt beef boiled with carrots, cabbage, potatoes, turnips or turnip greens.
If fish is what you fancy, satisfy your cravings with the wide variety of seafood available on the east coast, including oysters, lobsters and scallops. Explore the many oyster bays in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island or spoil yourself with succulent scallops from Digby, Nova Scotia. If you want to treat yourself to something a little more extravagant, you can break out the lobster bib and experience a Nova Scotian lobster feast with a side of the delicious local wines and beers. Adventurous eaters can try dulse, an edible seaweed harvested in the North Atlantic Ocean, that is often prepared as a crisp.
Quebec and the East Coast provinces also offer a bountiful number of wild blueberries, or “lowbush blueberries”, which can be picked and enjoyed by anyone. Sweet-toothed travellers should grab a pint of Cows Creamery ice cream, a local favourite based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
WEST COAST – A TASTE OF VANCOUVER
The gastronomic adventure continues apace on the West Coast, where intrepid travellers can visit the most popular restaurants and markets on the western shoreline. If you’re visiting, try regional dishes like Calgary-style ginger beef as well as an array of seafood.
Adored by respected food critics Sam Sifton and Marc Weingarten of the New York Times, the Golden Village in Richmond, British Columbia serves delicious, authentic Asian food including Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghainese, Northern Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Malaysian. For delicious Asian cuisine stop by Richmond’s Asian Night Market that features authentic Thai food, hand-pulled ramen, barbeque skewers and spicy sautéed seafood.
British Colombia’s Vancouver Island is home to a variety of seafood including salmon and oysters. If you are traveling the West Coast in the fall, check out Port Alberni’s annual September Salmon Festival or Tofino’s annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival in November.
Catch some fresh Pacific seafood in the markets of Granville Island in the middle of Vancouver city. The jewel in Granville Island’s crown is the Public Market, a fascinating assortment of colourful stalls showcasing unique homemade products and the very finest gastronomic delights, including fresh seafood, warm baked goods and plump fruit with rich aromas drifting from the lavish displays.
Vancouver plays host to a number of guilty pleasure foodie tours which include fourteen tastings with your gastronomically knowledgeable guide. Lastly, for a more spontaneous and definitely very different tour, the guided tour of the diverse food trucks of Vancouver is yours to enjoy.
To find out more about any of the deals above visit www.canadianaffair.com or call one of the team of Canada travel experts on 020 7616 9933.