Vancouver Olympics – New Foods 10

This is an expanded update of a list of 100 treats to find in Vancouver which is becoming a Foodie Mecca with lots of great local and international foods to sample! Enjoy them during your 2010 Olympic Games visit, or later. Many home-style dishes are featured on this part of the list.

81. Fuel’s Fried Chicken
Fuel’s, an innovative, well-regarded restaurant has bowed to the economics of the times, and I believe that a Northwest cuisine cafe, owned by the same people, but at more moderate prices, is still in the same location. They also have other restaurants in town. So, this treat may still be available in one of these existing establishments.

The buttermilk fried Polderside Redbro chicken (with biscuits and gravy) was available only at lunch on Fridays. Consider it home cooking like you never had at home! Fuel was at 1944 W. Fourth Ave., 604-288-2705 (may be to new restaurant, maybe not)

82. Cru’s Macaroni and Cheese
I’m not seeing this item on the current menu, so if you want it, call first to see. There look to be many other interesting choices.

Many adults ask ‘What could be more satisfying than rich, creamy mac and cheese?’ Well, Cru’s version contains a secret ingredient from owner Mark Taylor’s bachelor days; he won’t reveal it. And no, it’s not Kraft Dinner powder. Cru, 1459 W. Broadway, 604-677-4111

83. Blis Maple Syrup
Give your Sunday pancakes a definite kick with the Oprah-endorsed Blis bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup. This version is exalted, sweet and surprising. Mikuni has a wide variety of other specialties to try which you are unlikely to find elsewhere. For example, Blis Elixir Sherry Vinegar (reduced to a point where it’s got the viscosity of oil), and Blis sake-cured steelhead caviar Mikuni Wild Harvest 866-862-9866.

84. Thierry Busset’s Tiramisu
I’ve never had tiramisu that I thought was well done. Usually tiramisu is either a soupy mess with lumpy mascarpone, or it’s a dry slab garnished with an anemic dusting of cocoa powder (the type I’ve had).

In the beautifully appointed, Tuscan-themed CinCin restaurant, try something exquisite. Thierry Busset’s chocolate barricaded version of this Italian classic dessert, at CinCin, exposes all others as pathetic poseurs and gives you a chance to enjoy the real thing. CinCin, 1154 Robson St., 604-688-7338

85. Natural Pastures Mozzarella di Bufala
In 2008, it won the Gold Medal, but if the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had got its way completely, the water buffalo at Cowichan Valley Fairburn Farm would all be dead — as casualties of over-zealous cross-species concerns about future mad-cow disease. No need.

Luckily, the water buffalo are producing gorgeous rich milk for Natural Pastures to make their tender, tasty mozzarella di bufala that rivals any import from Italy. Choices, Granville Island, and some Safeway stores. Natural Pastures Mozzarella di Bufala, Fairburn

86. Milséan Dark Chocolate
Milséan means “sweet things” in Gaelic. Fraser Valley butter and Demerara sugar have been made into the diabolically intense toffee in the Milséan candies of Aldergrove’s Robinson family confectioners. The white-chocolate original is also a favorite but real-connoisseurs prefer the dark chocolate with almond. Edible BC, 565–1689 Johnston St., Granville Island, 604-662-3606 Milséan’s Tea Shoppe and Chocolate Candies

87. Tofu Doughnuts
It’s not an oxymoron that a tofu doughnut could be delicious. Many cultures fry their tofu because it makes a whole different texture and makes for wider choices. Most people go to Vancouver’s Congee Noodle House for the signature seafood rice gruel loaded with chunks of prawn, scallop, cod and shitake mushroom. But, in-the-know folks head straight for the deep-fried sweet tofu doughnuts. The service will likely be brisk, but the servers are often brusk and that just needs to be put aside, as the place is well-regarded. It’s a place to get good food and head-off somewhere else. Congee Noodle House, 141 E. Broadway, 604-879-8221

88. Oysters With Horseradish Snow
Gastropod has closed, but owner Angus An has retained the space and re-opened as an authentic Thai restaurant, Maenam. Ask if this item is still available as this is an exercise in unusual, delicate parity, but if it is not, there will still be great things to try. Gastropod restaurant was across the street from Fuel, another adventurous, excellent restaurant which also closed; the neighborhood just enjoyed them, but needed more moderately-priced fare, so both re-opened with new cafes in the same place, with that in mind. Angus does hope to re-open Gastropod in another neighborhood, when the time is right.

In the Oysters With Horseradish Snow, the salty brine is perfectly balanced by sweet Sauternes jelly which has a whisper of heat. Maenam, 1938 W. Fourth Ave., 604-730-5579

89. Biltong
This is a South African version of beef jerky, and therefore it is portable and able to be there when you need a bit of quick-energy or calories to keep you warm at Olympic events. It has a unique flavor which is achieved through the use of rock salt, coriander, black pepper and vinegar.

For Afrikaaners and other South African ex-pats, travel there to find products that South Africans go crazy over, beyond the biltong (spiced beef jerky), like sweets (including Peppermint Crisp chocolate bars and guava and mango rolls) and Marmite. (Sorry, no Vegemite.) Check out the BabaTree African baskets there, too. African Breese, 1054 Marine Dr., North Vancouver, 604-987-1140

90. Hazelnuts
Ah, Agassiz — that’s where the nuts come from, along with many other treasured farm products available in Vancouver’s best places. British Columbia grows more than a million pounds of hazelnuts each year, principally around Chilliwack and up the valley. Canadian Hazelnuts, 6682 Lougheed Hwy., 604-796-2136 Agassiz, BC Farm Tour Map

Enjoy!

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