Vancouver Olympics – New Foods 3

When you come to Vancouver BC – whether for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, or later — the City can be a Foodie’s Delight. British Columbia is home to many wonderful seasonal and artisan-made foods. The region’s artisans and chefs make some amazing products and this series devoted to them and other fine choices that Canada offers.

This series is based on an article which appeared in Vancouver Magazine in 2008, and I have not seen quite the same format online for anything from 2009. With the tough economic times, you may not find that all of the artisans and businesses survive OR they may make a different repetoire or stock different inventory. That said, have fun going on a treasure hunt for the best that BC has to offer!

Some items may also not be available in winter; some may be available online if you hunt; some will be in forms you can take home as souvenirs; others just must be experienced in restaurants. Most, if not all, will be available long after the Olympics has left Vancouver. Enjoy!

11. Foie Gras Parfait
That’s “parfait” as in “perfect”, not as in a tall glass filled with foie gras and topped with cream! But, it is a creamy terrine of chicken and duck liver, which when served with toasted brioche, seems totally decadent. Get yours at: Pied-à-Terre, 3369 Cambie St., 604-873-3131

12. Raincoast Crisps
This is a bona fide Vancouver-bred cult phenomenon. The cranberry-and-hazelnut variety gets top-tier status because of its clear flavors and local provenance of the main ingredients. Widely available.

13. Dark Chocolate Carmelitas
These lacey-decorated chocolate bean-shapes are a delight to bite into the chocolate shell. A rich and buttery liquid vanilla caramel just bursts onto your tongue. Chocolate Arts, 2037 W. Fourth Ave., 604-739-0475

14. European Deli’s Hummus
European Deli is a little catch-all, so don’t let the name fool you as they carry an impressive selection of Persian and Mexican staples, but their hummus (both original, and with sun-dried tomato) is so good you’ll just want to eat with a spoon as soon as possible. But resist, and make a picnic with lots of dippers or lavash bread, below. European Deli, 1220 Davie St., 604-688-3442

15. Lavash Bread
Like all breads, its best when you get it fresh from the oven, while it’s warm, pliable and aromatic. Then, load it with lamb shish-kebab and garlic, and eat it as a wrap. Or, slice it and use it with the hummus from European Deli, above. Or let it dry out a bit, then use it as a crisp support for ripe banana and crunchy peanut butter. Yaas Bakery, 1860 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver, 604-990-9006

16. Nk’mip Pinot Noir
Yes, there are wineries in this moderate clime in Canada! This best-in-show winner in the 2007 wine awards local competition is a fragrant, supple, state-of-the-art, berry-flavored B.C. Pinot. Learn about the subsequent vintages, and maybe collect a few bottles.

17. Arepas
Columbia is regaining its balance and tourism is beginning to flourish as the drug cartel gets less and less mainstream influential. Even without going to the country, you can experience a little of the dynamic cuisine, which is earning a stellar reputation among food critics and tourists, alike. Try the Colombian-style, organic, hominy-corn arepas with guacamole and Spanish chorizo at Baru Latino, 2535 Alma St., 604-222-9171

18. kashk-eh-bodem jahn
In keeping with fine hospitality, all the appetizers are excellent here, but the kashk-eh-bodem jahn — eggplant with onion, garlic, mint, and walnuts — is so fresh, creamy and flavorful that you’ll want to learn how to make it! Kashcool, 222 Pemberton Ave., North Vancouver, 604-904-3904

19. Chocolate-Walnut Rugelach
Solly’s helps you hearken back to the little Polish schtetls where Jewish Mamas made these delightful morsels before the Sabbath. Solly’s has its rugelach adherents,and Siegel’s offers another version version (greasier, flakier, crunchier). Whichever you choose, buy one per person, because you won’t want to share! Solly’s,1883 Cornwall Ave., 604-737-8151

20. The Doug Special
Vera’s won’t let you order it as takeout, and just as well. Vancouver has a fetish with its own fast-food style chains and most don’t deserve the loyalty. This is a classic offering at Vera’s: it is served open-faced with double patties, double cheddar cheese, double fried onion and then it’s topped with two towering scoops of meaty chili. I’m not interested, but maybe you are! Various locations

More again tomorrow. Yes, there’s lots on the list!

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