DINE and Destinations - - DRINK -

Raised on Red River ce­real, Sara Wax­man (DINE and Des­ti­na­tions

mag­a­zine) tells me, “The thing about grow­ing up in Win­nipeg was that we had no let­tuce in win­ter. Ev­ery­one learned to bake, and ev­ery­body baked.” Stretch­ing from prairies to tun­dra, with long day­light hours dur­ing sum­mer, Man­i­toba has some of the best grow­ing con­di­tions in Canada for a va­ri­ety of grains. Known as the Buck­wheat Cap­i­tal of Canada, Man­i­toba pro­duces the ma­jor­ity of that crop, as well as more than half of Canada's dry beans from navy to yel­low and green. The cul­ti­va­tion of buck­wheat, al­falfa, sweet clover, canola and sun­flower also en­ables ideal con­di­tions for wide­spread honey pro­duc­tion. Canola oil for hu­man con­sump­tion was first pro­duced at the Univer­sity of Win­nipeg. To­day some of the high­est yields of the world's canola out­put come from Man­i­toba. A quar­ter of Canada's wild rice crop (an aquatic grass seed also re­ferred to as Canada rice) is grown in marsh­lands around Lake Win­nipeg, Flin Flon and The Pas.

Tra­di­tional foods of the First Na­tions in­clude large and small game from bi­son to rab­bit; lake fish like pick­erel and white­fish; Saska­toon berries, straw­ber­ries and rasp­ber­ries in sum­mer; and in win­ter, squash, pota­toes and onions. Eastern Euro­pean and Jewish im­mi­gra­tion con­trib­ute piero­gies and cab­bage rolls, as well as smoked Gold­eye and Sch­moo Cake. Christa

Bruneau-guen­ther (Feast Café Bistro), mem­ber of Peguis First Na­tion, shares that in Win­nipeg to­day there is a move­ment to em­brace na­tive in­gre­di­ents by blend­ing tra­di­tions and cul­tures. “Ev­ery cul­ture has evolved in their food, and so on my menu I have a pizza of ban­nock crust with in­dige­nous in­gre­di­ents on top.” The din­ing scene in Win­nipeg is be­com­ing quite eclec­tic.

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