Nanaimo food reflects the culinary culture of British Columbia in general and the Vancouver Island in particular. The harbor city of the region has many delicacies to offer when it comes to the local cuisine. The long coastline that forms the prominent geographical feature of the region with its vast expansive waterfront on which the city of Nanaimo is located, serves as the home of the Salmon. This fish is generally eaten poached, baked or grilled by the local population. The hum, Chinook and Halibut are the other abundant water crops of the city with the Sable fish and the sea asparagus being the most popular dishes associated with Nanaimo food.
The city can also be termed as a cornucopia where its fruit supply is concerned and adoption of the gleaning program has helped the farmers share their abundant produce with all the members of the community. The artisan cheeses of British Columbia are also available at the regions only artisan Deli as are the meat products like smoked bacon and sausages.
History of Nanaimo Cuisine
The long coastline and abundant natural resources prompted the Aborigines of the area to make Nanaimo their home and the Salish culture of the coast along with their food became the norm in the area. The European settlers arrived later and introduced their own method of cooking along with the immigrants from other parts of the world who arrived in the last half of the 19th century and the 20th century.
The city now has a multi cuisine culture with Thai, Indian and Mediterranean food becoming as popular as those cooked according to the traditional recipes of the region.
Popular Nanaimo Foods
- Nanaimo Bar Recipe- A sinfully rich dessert consisting of three layers made of cream, chocolate and butter was the winning recipe at the contest organized by the city Mayor in 1986.
- Cedar Plank Salmon- Fresh salmon caught from the sea grilled on a cedar plank just before serving.
- Panko Spot prawns- The local spot prawns of British Columbia fried after being coated with Japanese Panko crumbs.
- Sea Asparagus and Mushroom Salad- A nutritious salad prepared by combining roasted mushrooms with the local sea asparagus and goat cheese. It is a specialty Nanaimo food, served by the waterfront restaurants of the city.
Places Famous for Nanaimo Food
- Mahle House- Believed to be Nanaimo’s best restaurant, it is particularly famous for its adventurous dishes that get to be served on Wednesdays. The wines of the restaurant have won many awards too.
- Granary Restaurant- This place is popular for its old world English cuisine and Canadian dishes.
The Nanaimo bar is a popular dessert eaten all across North America. This particular Nanaimo food is not baked and is considered to be “Canada’s favorite confection”.