[AD] Bread, Beer and Berries in the Prairies: Savouring the Canadian Prairies through its diverse cuisine and peoples. The Prairies are vast, but have some of the best restaurants and activities to enjoy in Canada.
Eating and Drinking in The Canadian Prairies
*Paid Collaborative Post*
The heat shimmered over the vast wheat fields, birds swooped lazily over fluffy cotton-like cattails and the sky was a piercing vivid blue. Old wooden barns punctuated the landscape and now and then, there was a burst of colour from summer flowers and crops of mustard, gently swaying in the hot breeze. It was a fascinating landscape and one I had never encountered before. This was my first trip to the Canadian Prairies in Saskatchewan. The Canadian Prairies span the three provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Today’s post Bread, Beer and Berries in the Prairies is based on my travel notes over the last few years, as I enjoyed the food and drink scene in this starkly beautiful part of Canada.
The Canadian Prairies are intriguing, with a diverse population that have emigrated from all over the world. There are diasporas that originate from Ukraine and Russia, as well as Sri Lanka and India. Each community is an essential part of the rich culture and food scene that is evident in the region. I have had the good fortune to visit the Canadian Prairies on several occasions and each time I am amazed at the choice of food and drink that’s on offer in some of the best and most innovative restaurants I have visited in Canada. When a country or region surprises and fascinates in equal measure, than you know it has become an integral part of your travel experience and is the basis of profound, meaningful memories, such as the Prairies has been with me.
The Canadian Prairies are the breadbasket of Canada, and rural life and farming is still the heart of this rich and vibrant part of Canada. Indeed you will find bread, beer and berries in the region, in bucket loads! Wheat and barley are grown in abundance, which is the basis for some great local ales and artisan bread. The warm Chinook winds are one of the first memories I have, as I sat sipping a lemonade in the shade of a tree whilst waiting to watch the Musical Ride by The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the Fort Battleford historical site just outside of Saskatoon. The warm wind was soothing and made me dozy, as I sat with the biggest sky I’d ever encountered all around me, moody with large fluffy clouds that made for a blue and white theatre of moving shapes and shadows on the dry grass.
As well as wheat and barley, the Canadian Prairies are the biggest growers and exporters of mustard and lentils; and, a surprising and little-known fact is that Saskatchewan exports more lentils to India than are grown in the Indian sub-continent, as well exporting over 90% of the world’s mustard seeds to the home of French mustard in Dijon! So important are pulses and mustard to the local economy, that there are annual Lentil and Mustard Festivals held in the Prairie Provinces, with the most famous being The Great Saskatchewan Mustard Festival which is held annually in Regina, Saskatchewan. Other pluses that are grown in the region are chickpeas, beans and split peas, so your Dhal or Pease Pudding probably comes from Canada!
As well as pulses, the region is famous for it’s craft breweries and bakeries…..I’ve visited many breweries and bakeries in the area, and the choice on offer is staggering. Winnipeg is a centre of global cuisine, as my guide here describes in detail: Winnipeg: a foodie’s city guide and here: Winnipeg’s vibrant winter food scene. And when in Saskatchewan, don’t forget to try the eponymous Saskatoon Berries, either dried in a salad, covered in chocolate or fresh in a Saskatoon berry pie, which is lush! And, Saskatoon is fast catching up on Manitoba’s capital, with a fabulous array of eateries and brewers to visit, as my guide here shares: Savour a City Break in Saskatoon
If you want to visit the very heart of Canada, where you can experience fabulous food, great craft beers and even visit local farms, then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Canadian Prairies. And, as well as the food, the region numerous interesting museums and galleries. Saskatoon boasts a brand new art gallery, the Remai Modern, which can be enjoyed alongside the cities amazingly eclectic and delicious great food & drink scene. There is the thought provoking Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the fascinating and the entertaining Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary, where you can see the Rolling Stones mobile recording studio van up close and personal.
The Canadian Prairies are more than just a big flat area in the mid-west of Canada. They offer a chance to visit First Nations sites, Ancient Forts, Family-Run restaurants featuring local produce, Farmer’s Markets and Independent Distilleries. There is so much to see and do in the region, including Medicine Walks, Tipi Raising and Foraging, where you can enjoy the big open skies and walk off all the amazing food you will have enjoyed throughout your visit. Please DO contact me if you need any more information, or visit the tourism sites below, and WATCH OUT for a new Canadian Prairies story coming this July! Karen.
*Collaborative Paid Work with Destination Canada #ForGlowingHearts. ALL views are my own*
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