Vancouver has been a part of the slow food movement for quite some time now and it's becoming even more prominent as time goes on. It would be a disservice to British Columbia's farmers to not take advantage of the bounty we have within arms reach. Although it isn't always possible to get out to these farms, there are plenty of markets around Vancouver that make these items accessible to city dwellers.
Granville Island's Public Market — Photo courtesy of Granville Island (Facebook)
The most popular market that's open all year long is the Granville Island Public Market. Inside this large space is a wide array of unique items that are sure to titillate. When in British Columbia, it's highly advisable that you take advantage of all the fresh seafood. Local Dungeness crab, mussels, oysters, clams and seafood are abundant at the market. If you don't have a kitchen to use, grab some candied salmon from the seafood vendors for a healthy snack. Candied salmon is a West Coast specialty and involves taking pieces of salmon and soaking them in a salt-sugar brine before hot smoking them. While being smoked, maple syrup is brushed on and the end result is slightly sweet and delicious. There are other smoked salmon items that aren't perishable (candied salmon is) and make a great gift for friends back home or can be enjoyed later to remind yourself of your Vancouver visit. Inside the Public Market are a number of vendors selling local jams, honey, mushrooms, meats and produce.
Just outside of the Public Market on Granville Island is Edible Canada. This restaurant also has a shop at the back of the where they sell all sorts of gourmet and artisan goods showcasing the best of British Columbia and other parts of Canada. If you're hungry, stop by the restaurant and fill your belly with ingredients that are mostly sourced from BC and other Canadian provinces. There are so many restaurants in Vancouver that a focus on buying local with our 10 Best list of farm to table restaurants will give you some direction.
Lush local tomatoes — Photo courtesy of Vancouver Farmers Market (Facebook)
Vancouver is lucky to have a farmers market that also runs throughout the year. From spring to the beginning of fall, there are multiple farmers markets that occur around the city, and they're the best places to go to get to know who is growing and making what you're eating. The Vancouver Farmers Market sells all sorts of local treats from fresh eggs, in-season produce, artisan cheeses, baked goods, honey, fish, free range and/or organic meat and poultry products to local crafts.
While following local chefs on Twitter, it's not uncommon to see them tweeting about making a trip to Granville Island or the Vancouver Farmers Market to pick up some goods and gain inspiration for what they're going to make, and it's reflected on menus around the city. Whether you're visiting the markets to pick up ingredients for your own personal use, checking out what BC grows and produces, or digging in to a beautiful meal made from local ingredients at a restaurant, you will be delighted by British Columbia's bounty.
Local berries from Applebarn Pumpkin Farm — Photo courtesy of Vancouver Farmers Market (Facebook)