FOLLOW YOUR TASTEBUDS: SEVEN DELICIOUS FOOD TRAILS
IS THERE anything more satisfying than eating your way around a country?
In Canada, gourmands are spoilt for choice thanks to an abundance of locally grown ingredients, Indigenous culinary influences and flavours introduced by immigrants from France, China, Lebanon, Italy and many more.
From coast to coast, Canada’s diverse cultures and heritage are displayed while guests eat local, seasonal and sustainably harvested ingredients.
There’s a reason the lobster in Nova Scotia is world-famous – the region is home to some of the most fertile lobster fishing grounds on the planet.
Here, lobsters are the lifeblood of many fishing communities and there’s no better way to sample the crustaceans than on the Nova Scotia Lobster Trail.
You’ll soon realise there are more ways to serve a lobster than you thought possible – full-fledged lobster dinners (bib and all), lobster rolls, lobster bisque and even lobster beer.
Sample bite: The Shore Club has served traditional lobster feasts – cooked in ocean water and served right out of the pot – for more than 75 years. Tuck into your lobster supper, then hit the dance floor.
Dig deeper: Alain Bosse, also known as The Kilted Chef, has earned a reputation as Atlantic Canada’s culinary ambassador. He’s familiar with nearly every operator on the Lobster Trail and can speak to the uniqueness of their dishes.
Cheesemakers Circuit Les Têtes Fromagères
Cheese-lovers will want to make time to visit Quebec’s Eastern Townships, where artisan cheesemakers produce a huge variety of cheese.
Follow the Cheesemakers Circuit Les Têtes Fromagères to indulge in cheese tastings that introduce you to new flavours as you learn about the people and stories behind each product.
Sample bite: Fromagerie La Station in Compton is a family-owned business whose organic farming practices can be tasted in every bite of cheese.
The farm is also home to 24 hectares of maple trees, whose sweet syrup is sold at the cheese shop.
Poutine has been a Canadian staple since the late 1950s, when it first emerged in Quebec. Typically featuring French fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy, poutine can now be savoured across the country.
The Poutine Trail in Manitoba points diners to several variations served throughout the province, including a perogy poutine, a chili chorizo poutine and a smoked meat poutine.
Sample bite: Poutine for breakfast? Last year, Old No. 12 Café and Lounge in Sainte-Anne served a morning poutine featuring grilled baked potato chunks topped with fried onions, bacon bits, cheese curds and gravy.
Check the Poutine Trail website for the latest additions.
Kelowna Wine Trail
Located in British Columbia’s lush Okanagan Valley wine region, Kelowna’s Wine Trails are populated by more than 40 wineries.
Find a designated driver, then hit the tasting rooms – many of which boast spectacular lake and mountain views – or pop into a winery bistro or restaurant to sample local, seasonal cuisine paired with a savoury vintage.
Sample bite: Summerhill Pyramid Winery, part of the Lakeshore Wine Route, pours award-winning organic and biodynamic wines in a spacious tasting room surrounded by lake and vineyard views.
The wines are finished in the winery’s pyramid, which visitors can tour through a reserved booking.
Niagara Wine Route
The Niagara Peninsula in Ontario is the site of countless vineyards and wineries treating oenophiles to intimate tasting experiences.
Along the Niagara Wine Route, you’ll find larger wineries that have brought the region’s cool-climate wines to an international audience, as well as smaller artisan wineries that offer insights into their boutique approach to winemaking.
Sample bite: Inniskillin Winery, a pioneer of winemaking in the Niagara region, helped to put Niagara on the global map in 1991 when its Icewine won a major award.
Drop in for a tasting flight or book the INNteractive Icewine Tasting to learn about the winery’s flagship product while sampling three different Icewines.
Explore on two wheels: Rebecca DeBoer, owner of Zoom Leisure Bikes, is an expert at wine touring in the Niagara region – her company leads guided bike excursions to the vineyards and offers rentals for self-guided explorations.
Nanaimo Bar Trail
A Nanaimo bar is a no-bake dessert consisting of a wafer, nut and coconut crumb base, custard icing and a layer of chocolate ganache on top.
Satisfy your sweet tooth by following the Nanaimo Bar Trail in Nanaimo, BC. The classic bar is available at several cafes around Nanaimo, as well as plenty of specialty, organic/vegan, ice cream and cocktail versions (there’s even a Nanaimo bar spring roll!).
Sample bite: The Hearthstone Bakery serves classic and peanut butter crunch Nanaimo bars, as well as a featured flavour that changes monthly (past features have included a raspberry white chocolate Nanaimo bar and a candy cane Nanaimo bar).
Dig deeper: Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, interim executive director at Tourism Nanaimo, is a valuable resource on the history of the Nanaimo bar and the best places to sample it.
Richmond, British Columbia, is home to several eateries that dish up these tasty pillows of goodness, 15 of which are featured on the Dumpling Trail.
Refer to the Dumpling Trail brochure to see what time of day your favourites are typically served.
Sample bite: SuHang Restaurant serves dumplings in soup, pan-fried shrimp and pork dumplings, steamed vegetable dumplings, sesame dumplings topped with minced peanuts and many more.
Dig deeper: Michelle Ng, founder of Vancouver Foodie Tours, offers an ‘Authentic Asian Eats’ tour that showcases her deep knowledge and passion for Richmond’s food scene.
Air Canada offers daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and direct to and from Brisbane four times per week. Direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are also available on Qantas.
Internal flights are available throughout Canada from all major cities, in addition to the VIA Rail train service.