Early Appetites – How First Nations cuisine is redefining the culinary scene of BC
British Columbia is a poster for the ethnically diverse mosaic that is the culture of Canada, something that is most obviously reflected through the wide variety of international restaurants in the province. And while the list reads like a culinary of the United Nations, a background movement announces the return to traditional food. Now, gastronomy enthusiasts are experiencing the beautiful simplicity and rich heritage of First Nations cuisine …
Two elements differentiate the indigenous gastronomic experience from any other: the first is the ingredients themselves. By living on the land they inhabited for centuries, the First Nations Peoples developed great respect and a great understanding of the resources that were within reach. From the harvest of plants to the game of hunting and fishing, the traditions of the pre-European peoples were transmitted orally from one generation to another, a heritage of life and sustainable gastronomy dictated seasonally that existed long before recent trends in that direction.
Therefore, First Nations food is the closest thing to a gastronomic postcard of the province. The second unique element is the ancient culture of hospitality. The fabric of First Nations life has always been held together by a strong sense of family and community. This heat has resulted in intimate dining experiences that nourish the soul as much as the body. The term welcome is a euphemism.
Today, a proliferation of First Nations establishments is bringing the flavors of this beautiful culture to the general public. And depending on where you are in British Columbia, a different experience awaits you. From the incredible smoked or fresh salmon that prevails in coastal cuisine to smoked seal meat in the north, an incredible variety of indigenous dishes awaits exploration.
Oolichan oil, crispy seaweed on steamed rice, grilled smoked buffalo alder, elk with sweet potato pie, bannock … this variety of longhouse luxuries is not just one of the province's first menus. It is one of the best too. And the experience goes beyond the palate. Many establishments invite guests to sing and dance traditionally, as well as to presentations of stimulating drums. Dinner doesn't seem like a big enough word, sometimes! Let's explore this unique and incomparable dining experience, starting inside …
Nk & # 39; Mip – The best tourist destination in Okanagan It is in Okanagan, a few minutes from the main street of Osoyoos. Perched on the edge of Lake Osoyoos, in the heart of the semi-arid wine country of the British Columbia desert, this establishment, courtesy of People of the First Nations People of the Osoyoos Indian Band, embodies the 4-season resort experience of the country's wine. With luxury accommodation, a full-service spa and a lake-front camp, this destination offers everything from the educational experience of the Nk & # 39; Mip Desert Cultural Center to the recreational experience of the spectacular 9-hole Sonora Dunes golf course .
But by far the two most memorable aspects of a visit here are the Passatempo restaurant in Spirit Ridge and the patio in Nk & # 39; Mip Cellars. The bistro style atmosphere in Passatempo offers a particular magic that can only be found in the middle of the orchards and vineyards well above the beautiful Osoyoos lake. The amazing views of the lake and the surrounding mountains are surprising enough … it now includes a menu with entrances such as grilled steak bison with blue cheese cream, red chocolate sauce and mashed potatoes or white salmon sauteed with cheese sauce of goat and almonds, quinoa and tomato sauce and you can imagine how amazing it could be one or two nights here.
And with a capacity of more than 100, weddings, meetings and seminars are taken calmly. Did we mention the banquet service in the suite and the picnic baskets for guests? The first aboriginal winery owned and operated in North America, Nk & # 39; Mip Cellars is located in a natural desert bank overlooking Lake Osoyoos, with vineyards and orchards belonging to the Development Corporation of the Indian Band of Osoyoos . A wine tour here is not just about grapes and their magnificent products; It is also about the rich history and traditions of the Peoples that have called it their home for centuries … a fact that is obvious in the winery's architecture that features local native art and artifacts. And any fan of good wine will be delighted with the Nk & # 39; Mip varietals that include Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling and Icewine. The opening hours are from January 1 to June 30 from 9 to 5, from July 1 to August 31 from 9 to 7 and from September 1 to December 31 from 9 to 5.
For a more practical approach to the intriguing indigenous diet, the Nisga & # 39; a Commercial Group of Tourism Terrace offers a full-day tour of mushrooms, herbs and botany. Thanks to its status as the sole bearer of a Commercial Harvest Permit, the public can experience an unforgettable walk through ancient forests while Nisga guides share which herbs and fungi their Elders used for medicinal and dietary purposes. Some of the wonders of the nature of this revealing hike include pines, chanterelles and lobster mushrooms, as well as many more, and the trip concludes with a lunch offered by the elderly Nisga & # 39; a. Trips depart and end in Nisga & # 39; to Office Solutions in Terrace from mid-August to mid-October.
Located on the crescent-shaped Cormorant Island in the Inland Passage of the British Columbia coast, Alert Bay is famous for more than simply amazing landscapes and abundant wildlife. This is the home of Culture Shock Interactive Gallery. Just 180 miles by water from the metropolis of Vancouver, Roy Cranmer, an experienced Namgis fisherman who offers visitors the experience of a traditional open fire grill in front of the beach, is the only way to experience Alert Bay. ! Be sure to book one day in advance.
In the city of Duncan, on the island of Vancouver, the Quw Cultural & Conference Center & # 39; utsun & # 39; is owned and operated by Cowichan Band, located on 6 acres of beautiful scenery along the picturesque Cowichan River . The ancient traditions of the Cowichan peoples are here, including live demonstrations and performances by Khowutzun Tzinquaw dancers from July to August. The Center also includes the Riverwalk Café, a summer season restaurant that offers the best native cuisine in the area. Traditional ingredients such as salmon, deer, buffalo and halibut are on a menu that celebrates the abundant resources of the glorious Cowichan Valley. And the patio on the banks of the Cowichan River offers some of the most idyllic restaurants on Vancouver Island.
Further up the island, the Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge on Quadra Island offers incredible isolation on 1,100 acres just 10 minutes by ferry from the Campbell River. With the Kwagiulth architecture of the Pacific coast, as well as traditional and contemporary native art, this destination includes a dining room that shows Aboriginal offers in an informal and elegant atmosphere with the chef's Catch and Cook option, an interactive way to enjoy of the fresh generosity of the surroundings. Ocean.
The aboriginal cultures of BC have a beautiful and ancient heritage. Try it today!