Vancouver Olympics – New Foods 12

People in Vancouver, BC for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are having a frustrating time trying to eat their meals, when they are competing with tens of thousands for the tables in a small area of downtown.

I encourage visitors and locals alike to get further afield. There are fine dining establishments beyond the tiny downtown core, whether they are still downtown or slightly into suburbia, and there’s always the option of making a picnic.

With public transportation, it really is possible to get to these wider destinations without worrying about all the street changes, closures and parking issues created by the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

As one choice, hop a bus along Main Street. Between 7th and 33rd, you will find lots of options.

For some unique food related local activities, consider these:

  • For picnics, gifts to local hosts or friends back home, if you want to assemble a gift basket with items that haven’t traversed oceans or continents, it’s easy. Go to Edible B.C. ,on Granville Island at the Market. This store is like one giant locovore gift basket itself!

    The whole store is devoted to edibles made by B.C. artisans – survey candies, cheese, chocolates, roasted coffees, cookies, crackers, desserts, dips, dried fruit, granola, honey, mushrooms, nuts, oils, pickles, preserved fruits, salts, sauces, seafood, teas, vinegars and tableware. Not all products are 100 per cent local, but their inventory choices are mostly so.

    Instead of a basket, for easier travel, you could assemble items on a maple cutting board (by Whistler Board and Block) and then enclose them in cellophane. The cutting boards are made from fallen maple trees and are sold as singles at Edible B.C.

  • Here are more suggestions for minimal food mile gift basket items available in other Metro Vancouver shops.
  • ___ Vista D’oro Farm’s Yummies
    Vista D’oro Farms in Langley produces beautiful jams, chutneys, relishes, preserves and sauces from its own fruits and veggies. Some possibilities for your picnic basket are: Spiced Cranberry with Ice Wine; Green Tomato with Garam Masala; Heirloom Tomato with Chili; Pear Vanilla, Pear and Pinot Noir; Pear Cocoa Nib. $5 to $8.

    These items are available at Whole Foods, Capers, Everything Wine (North Vancouver and White Rock); Artisan Wine Shop (Surrey); Well Seasoned (Langley), Edible B.C., Les Amis du Fromage (West Vancouver and Vancouver), each of which is a good place to frequent; choose the one closest to your hotel.

    ___ Chilliwack River Honey
    Of the variety of unpasteurized Chilliwack River honeys, the most popular is fireweed, which is light, subtle and smokey. It is $2.95 for stocking-stuffer size samplers to $7 for 250 grams. It’s available at Alive Health Centres, Capers, Whole Foods, Choices, Edible B.C., Yaas Bazaar (North Vancouver). Or, visit the farm store at 43476 Adams Rd., Chilliwack. PLEASE NOTE: NEVER GIVE UNPASTEURIZED HONEY TO ANY CHILD UNDER 3 YEARS OLD OR ANYONE WITH A COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM. They cannot capably process the dangerous bacterium which may be found in unpasteurized honey!

    Maison Cotes fabulous sea salts
    Sea salts are whole, not just the sodium chloride of “table salt”, which causes high blood pressure. Natural sea salt has about 90 elements, instead of just 2, and supplies many needed “trace elements” in our diet.

    At Maison Cotes, there are sea salt blends galore packaged in Vancouver at Maison Cotes – basil lavender, chipotle, star anise, fine herbs, lavender, rose petal, hibiscus, rosemary garlic, smoked paprika, tarragon strawberry, vanilla, smoked alderwood. The salts are approx. $7.95 to $12.95. The production facility is at 2 – 9059 Shaughnessy St.; get them also at Edible B.C., and Well Seasoned (Langley).

    Elephant Island Stellaport
    Elephant Island in Naramata make a perfect port from cherries grown at their farm. Stellaport is made using a solera system, adding a little of previous vintages to each new bottling.

    Elephant Island also vints apricot, cassis, crabapple, pear, framboise and apple dessert wines. Dessert wines are $18 to $20 at the winery in Naramata; Stellaport is $30 Canadian. The wines are also available at numerous shops throughout B.C.,. You can see Elephant Island Wines, British Columbia for more retailers.

    I’ll give you more choices tomorrow.

    Enjoy!

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