Vancouver Olympics – New Foods 11

This is a continuation of my comments about a list of gourmet local foods available in Vancouver, BC which was published in 2008 by Vancouver Magazine. When you are in the City for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Paralympic Games or anytime thereafter, it will be fun to use the 100+ foods as the basis for some unique experiences!

91. Ukranian Church Perogies
There is a monthly perogy parade at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral auditorium. The fabulous Polish / Ukrainian / Belorus / Russian turnover is celebrated in dinners served the first Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. These are just like your Baba used to make! 154 E. 10th Ave., 604-876-4747

92. Eleni Olive Oil
Most people think of Italy for fine olive oil, but the Greek Eleni Certified Extra Virgin, imported by Basil and Helen Koutalianos of Pitt Meadows, is unparalleled. It is at once light and fresh, yet deeply flavorful. Enjoy its beautifully green in color, and almost intoxicating aroma. Widely
available in Vancouver. Send it home as you don’t want oily clothes if your baggage is mishandled!

93. Steller’s Jay Brut
This is the first, and still the best, B.C. made bubbly. It’s a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir grapes. There’s plenty of crisp, fresh acidity.

94. Pupusas
This Salvadoran specialty of the usual beans, cheese and meat is stuffed into a thick corn tortilla, and it’s is filling, delicious, and easy on the wallet ($2.50 a piece). This is perfect street food. Rinconcito Salvadoreño, 2062 Commercial Dr., 604-879-2600.

95. Belacan
Vancouver is 65% Asian and so Asian foods and cuisine are highlights. Blanchan, Malaysian shrimp paste, is the secret ingredient that elevates classic Malaysian dishes like laksa noodle soup and rendang curry. It’s essential to most Malaysian curries, fried rice and noodle dishes, and also to sambal chili dips. T&T and South China Seas, 125–1689 Johnston St., Granville Island, 604-681-5402; 1904 Grant St., 604-254-5403

96. Ila Chocolates
These little gems are the result of meticulous craftsmanship and a limited palette. This ensures consistent excellence for Cocoa Nymph’s bijou confections. The standout choice is the Ila, which balances salty caramel and rich chocolate in a magical distillation of air, sea, and earth. Cocoa Nymph3739 W. 10th Ave., 604-222-4477

97. Blue Fig Martini
Delicious, nutritious, scandalous oven-roasted figs are steeped in vodka to draw out all their syrupy flavor. The chilled, infused vodka is served martini-style along with a side of Danish blue cheese! It’s close to the Nectar of the gods. Chambar, 562 Beatty St., 604-879-7119

98. Naam Miso Gravy
The Naam is one of Vancouver’s most venerable vegetarian cafes. So, this gravy, slathered on a burger or yam fries, has a peculiar ability to send locals loco. You can serve it at backyard barbecues to elicit knowing nods of appreciation. The Japanese often pair miso and grilled meats. Bottled and widely available.

99. Honey Mussels
Canada’s San Juan Islands are a special place. Quadra Island mussel farmer Dale Williamson will praise and explain why his mussels are the best. They are big, fat, deep brown (not orange like the ones from Prince Edward Island), and these mollusks are sweet as honey. They are a restaurant favorite, but sometimes they are available to the public at the Lobster Man, 1807 Mast Tower Rd., Granville Island, 604-687-4531

100. Gelato
There’s no need to go to Italy to get great gelato ice cream; it’s available in Seattle and in Vancouver. Gelato is all about four things: freshness (made daily), texture (soft enough to be served with a spatula), purity of ingredients and depth of flavor. Vancouver’s Brazza gets it right! The chocolate-mango is a head-spinning combination. Brazza, 1846 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver, 604-904-2333

101. Matsutake Mushrooms
These fungi are most prized by the Japanese. They have a light, piney taste and are most fragrant. The highly prized B.C. matsutake (or pine) mushroom harvests are mostly exported to Japan. Locally, in season, you can sample them when they appear at Tojo’s, or order them through Mikuni Wild Harvest, 866-862-9866, which forages from British Columbia to Oregon.

Enjoy!

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