Manitoba is known for various foodstuffs, the bulk of which is fish and wild rice, and both are harvested in the many pristine lakes, rivers, and streams of the province. Find resources and ideas for eating locally in Manitoba below.
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The Manitoba growing season is relatively short, but many farmers use hoop houses, greenhouses, and other methods of extending harvest time, so you may well find local cucumbers in November and other oddities. In any case, winter storage and root vegetables can keep you in local produce all winter long. Availability will, of course, vary based on your location within the large province as well as the specific conditions each season. Use this Guide to Manitoba Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables to learn what to expect when.
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Manitoba Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are great places to get started eating locally grown and made foods. Find a farmers market in Manitoba near you with this guide to Manitoba farmers markets from the Farmers Market Association of Manitoba. The Visitor Guide to Winnipeg also has this listing of farmers markets in and around Winnipeg, including St. Norbert's Market.
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Manitoba Specialties: Lake Fish
The beautiful lakes of Manitoba are home to many kinds of delicious fish, including whitefish, mullet, pickerel, northern pike, lake trout, carp, walleye, and the famous and decreasingly available Winnipeg gold eye. By far my favorite way to cook tender white lake fish is to pan fry them.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Those same lakes that make fish such a treat in Manitoba can be credited with the truly wild rice that is harvested in the province. Wild rice is not rice at all, of course, but a water grass native to north-eastern North America, and historically cherished by First Nations. The real stuff, which grows wild in lakes, rivers, and streams, has deeper flavor and more variety than the cultivated stuff out of California. Canada produces approximately two million kilograms of this rice every year, and most of it comes from from the unpolluted lakes of Manitoba and Ontario. Once you have the real wild rice, check out How to Cook Wild Rice for ways to enjoy it. My favorite wild rice treats include the traditional Cream of Wild Rice Soup. Wild rice also makes a delicious breakfast porridge and can even be popped to great effect!