You may already know that British Columbia boasts a dazzling variety of local produce, meat and seafood offerings but you may not know from exactly which reasons are derived the very best examples of this comestible bounty. Here’s your chance to find out so that you can be even savvier in your artisanal food selections.
BC is divided into eight principal regions: Bulkley/Nechako, Peace, Cariboo, Thompson/Okanagan, Kootenay, Mainland/Southwest, Vancover Island/Coast and North Coast. In Bulkley/Nechako and the North Coast, seafood is the dominant comestible commodity. Excellent fresh produce is abundant. Porcher Seafoods and Dolly’s Fish Market in Port Rupert both supply fresh caught products of virtually any fish or other seafood that can be caught in the region. In the Bulkley valley, the local gardening concept has caught on with many residents, who plant forest gardens that yield delightful hazlenuts and carrots among other offerings.
Moving east to Peace, you’ll find the magnificent Peace River, BC’s main grain-growing area. In terms of produce, strawberries thrive here. Abundant clover fields also supply delectable varieties of honey, which can be purchased from Wardes Honey or the Peace River Honey Co.
In central BC lies Cariboo, where you can find some of the country’s best mushrooms. Forest to Fork in Kamloops is a company that handpicks all of its mushrooms from local forests. Delicious offerings include Wild Mushroom pate, Wild Morel Mushroom bisques, Wild Mushroom Marinade Vinaigrette, etc.
The rich soils and diverse microclimates of the Vancover Island/Coast region make it no wonder that such a thriving and diverse city as Vancouver calls this area home. At nearby BC Hot House Foods Inc., you can take your pick of the freshest Campari or Roma tomatoes or sample incredibly juicy Sweetooth Peppers. If you have more of a sweet tooth, try the wonderful apple cider or Black Currant and Red Currant Jams from Taves Family Farm – Applebarn in Abbotsford. Canadian Kelp Resources Ltd. in Bamfield, which has been providing Canadians with nutritious sea vegetables for over a quarter century. From Kombu to Macro Kelp, this company sources the vast majority of its products from the nearby Barkley Sound.
Mainland/Southwest: At Origin Organic Farms in Delta, tomatoes and cucumbers are the star with delicious options such as Organic Sardinia Cocktail Tomatoes, Organic Beefsteak Tomatoes, and Organic Mini Cucumbers. In neighboring Langley, Glenwood Farms offers a variety of fresh vegetables or, perhaps even more delicious, homemade chutneys (Eggplant) and jellies (Apple, Hot Pepper and Blackberry).
Thompson/Okanagan: Sweet corn aficionados flock each late summer/early fall to Sparkles Corn Barn in Rosedale. There you’ll get to purchase corn handpicked six hours ago or less. Your fruit cravings can be satisfied at Tamarac Fresh Cut Foods Ltd. in Winfield, which specializes in fresh cut apples and pears.
Kootenay: In BC’s far southeast, you’ll find Triple F Farms in Oliver where the ripest certified organic cherries, apricots, peaches and plums are on hand. If you’d like a bit of dairy to go with your fresh fruit, check out the Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co. where specialty cheeses similar in character to Italian fontina and French Beaufort d’Alpage are artfully created.
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