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Shop Like a Canadian!

Celebrating Canadian food and food producers

Each year in August Food Day Canada pays tribute to Canadian food and food producers, with chefs and home cooks across the nation choosing to cook with Canadian ingredients. Your thoughts may turn to Alberta Beef and PEI spuds, or some fine Atlantic salmon, but there’s much, much more.  Here’s a list of foods you might not know are grown or made on Canadian soil.

Sake – Osake Fraser Valley Junmai – Renaissance… from farm to glass. And with luck you’ll be able to buy some of their rice. Another first for Canada.

Quinoa – both golden and black – from Katan Kitchens/Quinta Quinoa (Ontario), Canadian Quinoa (Saskatchewan) and Fieldstone Organics (BC). Flavour is boosted simply because they’re so fresh.

Prosciutto – Niagara-based Pingue Prosciutto was THE pioneer in artisan charcuterie. Tagliere Salumeria in Caledon Ontario is a runner up for its cured meats and in Quebec, Les Cochons Tout Ronds was honoured in 2007 with the Culatello D’Oro award, granted by the Consortium of Culatello di Zibello in Italy for the first time in North America. This prize emphasizes the quality of their raw ham…and it is spectacular.

Salt – Windsor and Sifto are the originals (yes, there ARE salt mines in Canada) but Vancouver Island Sea Salt, Salt West Solar Sea Salt from Sooke and Newfoundland Sea Salt are great new entries from a nation with the longest coastline on earth.

Yeast Fleishmann’s yeast has been made in Montreal for decades.

Cherry Juice – from Dwarf Sour Cherries (a.k.a. Prairie Cherries™) developed over 70 years at the University of Saskatchewan’s fruit breeding programme and also concentrated cherry juice from Cherry Lane in Niagara… great in cocktails.

Tea – From Westholme Canadian Tea – Vancouver Island – our first official tea plantation in the Cowichan Valley.

Edamame – Yes, there are Canadian grown edamame beans. MacKellar Farms near Alvinston, Ontario is the first to grow and commercialize this really delicious crop and Jason Persall’s Pristine Gourmet who are renowned for their old pressed oils!

Farm-Raised Shrimp – A new crop being developed near Aylmer, Ontario by Planet Shrimp. So far it’s mainly for foodservice but there’ll come a day when they’ll be more widely available.

Balsamic Vinegar Venturi Schulze Vineyard, Vancouver Island, make the only authentic balsamic in Canada. They have just released their 25-year-old vinegar, an extraordinary product they’ve dubbed Legacy.

Haskap Berries – began in Saskatoon, spread to PEI and are now found in gardens/small farms across Canada including Ontario where Boreal Berry Farm & Winery has developed a retail line.

Seaweed! – Dark Harbour dulse, Nova Scotia sea vegetables, PEI Irish moss and west coast seaweed like kelp, wakame, bladderwrack. ;