There are many ways to seek insights into a country’s identity. It could be through art, music or even fashion, but the tastiest way to understand a culture is through their food. As a nation of diversity, Canada’s flavours are often as much about fusion as they are locally sourced or lovingly made.
If you are short on time, it can often be daunting to do more than drop into Tim Hortons or order a portion of poutine at the airport. If you are looking for true culinary insight into Canada, the best way is often through a food tour which is easily booked through Canadian Affair and can be added on to any holiday. Food tours happen across the country and are a brilliant introduction to the methods and flavours central to Canada’s foodie scene.
Granville Island Market tour – Vancouver
If you have a flight to Vancouver or a stopover, this is a market not to miss. Though Granville Island is no longer the industrial hub it once was, this historic area of Vancouver is a great place for curious foodies or anyone looking for a wander. The large covered food market is accompanied by outdoor stalls and the presence of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design along with the Arts Club Theatre Company lends a creative feel to the area. Granville Island is ranked fifth on Trip Advisor as one of the best things to see in the city, and if you’re a food lover this can easily become the number one destination.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, opt for a food tour to guide you through the most iconic foods that reflect Vancouver as a city and Canada on the whole. One stop on the Vancouver Foodie Tour is the incredible charcuterie, Oyama Sausage Company.
Oyama Sausage Company brings charcuterie to Canada in the best way. Concentrating on quality ingredients and traditional methods, Oyama lovingly offers an incredible range of products to challenge even the most sophisticated palate. They feel this reflects not only their brand but the city of Vancouver and Canada as a whole. We spoke to Chris Halsey- Brandt from the company:
“Vancouver is truly a city of immigrants from all over the world. As a result, Vancouver’s food scene reflects the diversity of its population with excellent cuisine available from so many different cultures. At Oyama Sausage we have strived to integrate aspects of the international food scene into our traditional European-style products. So, for example, we make coppa that is infused with sake from a local sake maker. We also make char siu (Chinese BBQ) pork sausages and Japanese chicken sausages, to name a few.
Walking food tour – Calgary
As Canada’s third largest city, Calgary has a lot to offer and if you have a flight to Calgary you should consider exploring its gastro scene. Since its oil-boom heydey, Calgary has been developing its character and culture so it can now hold its own against Canada’s more cosmopolitan centres, and one of these emerging new industries is food.
The walking food tour of Calgary is a great way to not only get to grips with the food culture but also to see the city. Each of Calgary’s neighbourhoods has a strong identity and different things to offer. Kensington Village is the undisputed coffee centre of the city, and coupled with the area’s literary scene ensures a laid back yet hip vibe. Meanwhile, Bridgeland was the original district were the Italian and Ukrainian immigrants settled and thus is fit to bursting with authentic cafes and great cannoli.
Calgary Food Tours offer a variety of tours throughout the city depending on your preference, whether that is Sunday brunch and a leisurely wander around farmers’ markets or a daring dive into Inglewood’s artisan establishments. We have spoken to Sidewalk Citizen, one of the stops on the tour, about what makes their products special.
Sidewalk Citizen is a bakery with an indescribably cool aura and two locations within the city so they can be seen on a couple of different tours. Using seasonal and quality products, you can always enjoy different flavours and interesting combinations. Going beyond artisan, Sidewalk Citizen crafts its bread with the utmost care and ensures the quality in every loaf. There is no better way to get you excited for a food tour, which is packed with the incredible cakes, healthy salads and the organic elements that make this such a stand-out establishment. The bakery holds classes as well as ‘curated conversation about art and substance’.
Salmon Bake – Whistler
If you are looking for a little adventure with your dinner, this salmon bake could be right up your street. An incredible off-roading 4×4 experience is what anyone needs to whet their appetite, especially 1800m up Blackcomb Mountain.
Once you get there, you will feel nice and peckish for one of the culinary traditions of the area. Like all the big predators in British Columbia, the people of this area have long relied on the summer salmon runs to sustain them. Enjoy this local staple in the tastiest way at The Crystal Hut.