Food & Wine Adventures in BC: 10 Delectable Insider Secrets
Photos and story by: Tourism BC
Insiders know that many of British Columbia’s most tantalizing food and wine experiences are found in the Fraser, Cowichan and Okanagan valleys. So wine, dine and taste your way through these food-centric areas. Discover boutique wineries, savour Aboriginal cuisine, feast on freshly foraged delights, tour traditional, family-run farms, explore lively farmers’ markets, visit master food artisans and more. En route, you’ll uncover many tempting treats, including ten of BC’s most delectable secrets.
1) BC Farmers Markets Whistler: Uncovered
Dozens of communities host farmers’ markets across BC from spring through fall—this is your chance to sample organic, farm-fresh produce, home-baked goods and artisanal foods. Worth the day trip: Whistler's Farmers Market opens Sunday, June 17. Meander along the cobblestone walkway, checking out the stalls, cooking demos and entertainment.
2) Canadian Hazelnut Agassiz: Oil reserves revealed
Get your hazelnut fix at this farm any way you like ‘em: fresh, roasted, candied, covered in chocolate, certified organic, even as flour and protein powder. Those in the know head to Canadian Hazelnut for the magnificent, cold-pressed hazelnut oil—a well-kept secret of many professional chefs.
3) Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisans Kelowna: Code blue
Goat cheese lovers revere
Carmelis which crafts over 20 varieties of cheese from goat's milk produced on the farm. Insiders worship the Goatgonzola, a remarkable blue cheese that is crumbly, rich, earthy, sweet and nutty all at once.
4) Circle Farm Tours Fraser Valley: Exposed
Tasty farm experiences
For a rural change of pace, take one of six, self-guided Circle Farm Tours through the bucolic Fraser Valley, each packed with 8 to 12 delectable destinations that range from u-pick berry farms to corn mazes to apiaries and more. Maps are free and are wonderful guides to this valley’s rich agricultural history.
5) Edible BC Vancouver: Surprise field trips
Visitors to Granville Island Public Market are always delighted to come across this shop, which stocks the most outstanding artisanal food products made in BC, such as decadent Thomas Haas Sparkle Cookies, Mission Hill Winery’s heavenly Oculus Cherries and Maison Coté's extraordinary line of spices and condiments. Those truly in the know head to Edible BC for the food-centric field trips, which include gourmet kayaking weekends, as well as yummy market experiences with.
6) Fanny Bay Oysters Comox Valley: Seafood discoveries
This year-round purveyor of fresh Pacific oysters and Manila clams has a big secret: an ultra-modern, 20,000 sq ft processing plant on the waterfront, now open for tours. Learn about oyster and clam growing, plus their all-important harvesting at Fanny Bay. Then enjoy the freshest flavours of the sea with a stop at the onsite seafood shop.
7) The Jammery Kelowna: The mysterious liqueur of jam
Those who know that toast isn’t toast without jam must visit The Jammery, home to dozens of jams, syrups and jellies made from local BC fruit, from traditional strawberry and blueberry jams to more exotic flavours. Can’t decide? Sidle up to the Jam Tasting Bar and take your sweet pick. The top-secret surprise? The Jammery’s line of liqueur jams. Try raspberry kirsch or blueberry amaretto for an indulgent treat.
8) Kelowna Land and Orchard Company: Secret world of cider
Established in 1904, this family-run working farm and apple orchard is worth the visit to see and experience one of the largest and most advanced orchard operations in the country. Thirsty insiders are always sure to stop at Raven Ridge Cidery onsite, where a superb line of apple ciders includes True Sparkling Cider, currently taking champagne lovers by storm.
9) Marley Farms Saanichton: Vinegar confidential
Many head to the tranquil Mount Newton Valley on Vancouver Island to sample the exquisite fruit wines crafted at this family-run working farm. But only a few know that Marley Farms produces bewitchingly complex artisanal fruit vinegars, with such tempting flavours as blueberry, peach and kiwi. The farm is open for tours during the summer months.
10) Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre Duncan: Traditional secret
Learn about the mighty history of the Cowichan people through interpretive tours, traditional performances, as well as a multimedia presentation. Then discover the Riverwalk Café, which offers a rare opportunity to savour true Aboriginal cuisine using such traditional ingredients as fish, venison and buffalo.
To learn more luscious insider secrets about food, wine and touring in BC, visit Hello BC
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