Food Day Canada is timed for the bounty of the land: sweet corn, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, saskatoons, haskaps. And apples are still to come.
Anita Stewart, celebrated cookbook author and founder of the annual event, is often stationed at some foodie shrine in the country. This year, the 150th anniversary of Canada, she’ll start the day at home in Elora, Ontario. Then she’ll drive to Jamie Kennedy’s farm in Hillier, Prince Edward County where Donald Ziraldo will be pouring ice wine.
“Both of these fellows are icons in our industry and because I wanted to stay in Ontario, this was one way I could do it,” says Stewart.
“Food culture has come a long way in Canada,” she continues, “but the ingredients have been here forever. More farms are recognizing the opportunity of local food and differentiating their produce with added value of newer cultivars. Twenty years ago, chefs didn’t have access to these ingredients. Food sovereignty is about being able to eat the food from your own country. We’re getting there, for both winter and summer.”
As Stewart explains, Food Day Canada is a vehicle to raise awareness of local ingredients, either by shopping in local food communities or by traveling to find and taste them. It's also about keeping the cash flow happening for Canadian farmers.
Interestingly, the Food Day Canada website talks about some of the unsung research heroes – “men and women who spend their lifetimes innovating and perfecting a particular crop or family of crops.”
Part of Canada’s success has been its 20 research stations operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Here’s a shout-out to all those researchers who have tirelessly contributed to our food basket from the following research stations:
British Columbia (Agassiz, Summerland); Alberta (Lacombe, Lethbridge); Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Swift Current); Manitoba (Brandon, Morden); Ontario (London, Ottawa, Guelph, Harrow); Quebec (Sherbrooke, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu); New Brunswick (Fredericton); Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown); Nova Scotia (Kentville) and Newfoundland (St. John’s).
For further inspiration, go to this link for 150 ingredients: http://fooddaycanada.ca/featured-article/shop-like-a-canadian/