British Columbia could, if it so chose, lay claim to being the birthplace of contemporary local eating – after all, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, who wrote The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, a.k.a. Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally lived in Vancouver during their experiment in hyper-local eating. The province is home to all kinds of wonderful local foods. From salmon and oysters to wild mushrooms and wine. Farmstead cheeses, ultra-fresh produce, and... tender lamb are also rampant at its markets.
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A wonderfully wide range of produce is grown and sold in British Columbia – from apples and greens to traditional Asian vegetables and wild-foraged mushrooms. See what to expect when with this Guide to British Columbia Fruits and Vegetables.
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Wild Pacific Salmon
Salmon has been feeding people living in British Columbia for centuries (that we know of!). All five varieties of Pacific salmon are available in British Columbia, although chinook/king, coho/silver, and sockeye/red are the most popular for eating fresh or smoking. New to these pink-fleshed lovelies? See How to Cook Salmon to get started.
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Dungeness CrabBritish Columbia enjoys a Dungeness crab season that starts later - and ends later - than its neighbors to the south, a fact that leads to such delights as summer beach crab bakes. Learn more About Dungenes Crab here.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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The oyster beds, mussel farms, and clam flats of British Columbia produce excellent shellfish.
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The bulk of the commercial spot prawn fishery is in British Columbia, one of the few places where spot prawns are widely available at the retail level (in California, the bulk of the catch goes directly to restaurants). Spot prawns look like tiny lobsters and have a firm texture and amazingly sweet taste that many liken to the very best lobster. Learn more About Spot Prawns.
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Cepes, morels, chanterelles, and more. The forests and glens of British Columbia are home to lots of wild mushrooms. Learn about Wild Mushroom Varieties before you head to market.
Want to forage your own? See Harvesting Wild Mushrooms from the British Columbia Forest Practices Branch for safety tips and regulations.
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British Columbia Wines
British Columbia is famous for its wonderful white wines, most of which hail from the Okanagan Valley (which is, it must be said, also home to some great produce). Learn more about B.C. Wines.