DINE and Destinations - - DRINK -

“We have some of the best grow­ing soil in the world” —CHEF DALE MCKAY

The culi­nary tra­di­tions of the Cree First Na­tion in­clude pem­mi­can and ban­nock, and the abun­dance of Saska­toon berries, wild blue­ber­ries and chokecher­ries. To­day, Saskatchewan is known as “the bread bas­ket of the world,” Chef Dale Mckay (Ay­den Kitchen

& Bar) tells me. “We have some of the best grow­ing soil in the world.” Al­most all of Canada's chick­peas, lentils, du­rum wheat, flaxseed and mus­tard come from Saskatchewan, from which the ma­jor­ity of the world's lentils and mus­tard seeds are sourced. More than half of Canada's dried peas, oats and canola are from here, as is Canada's sec­ond largest beef cat­tle herd. Bi­son, elk and wild boar punc­tu­ate res­tau­rant menus. Saskatchewan is the lead­ing pro­ducer of wild rice in North Amer­ica. Early set­tlers were Eastern Euro­pean, and so tra­di­tional dishes in­clude vari­a­tions of piero­gies, cab­bage rolls and borscht. Saskatchewan chanterelles are among the best in the world, and there is a pro­lif­er­a­tion of pine mush­rooms, morels and blue melt­ing caps. Lo­cal fish in­clude pick­erel, perch, and Diefen­baker trout. As­para­gus, cab­bage, car­rots and heir­loom toma­toes are sta­ples, and while win­ter is harsh, in sum­mer, the agri­cul­tural sec­tors har­vest in over­drive.

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