All about Canadian Cuisine > Flavors of Manitoba
Manitoba presents widely-divergent landscapes, from the vast grain fields of the south to the rugged rocky north with its myriad lakes. Traditional First Nations foods, such as bison, game, fish and wild fruits and grains, are still often featured on Manitoba menus. The arrival of the fur traders brought bannock, a flat bread cooked over an open fire, to which dried fruit or berries are sometimes added. The ancient tradition of smoking fish and meats is still widespread - try some delicious smoked Lake Winnipeg goldeye.
Over the centuries Manitoba has welcomed immigrants from all over the world, each group bringing its own unique culinary traditions. Winnipeg is a wonderfully multicultural city, where you can find Japanese sushi and Italian gelato with equal ease. Its long-established Chinatown is a vibrant neighbourhood of restaurants and markets. Winnipeg is also home to a large Jewish community whose bakeries and delicatessens have for years provided the city with such delights as "Winnipeg-style" rye bread, challah, bagels, gigantic deli sandwiches, smoked salmon, and creamy cheesecakes.
Winnipeg's French-speaking quarter, Saint-Boniface, once a separate city, is home to the largest Francophone community in Canada outside of Quebec. In February, you can sample hearty French-Canadian dishes, such as pea soup, tourtière and sugar pie, at the "Festival du Voyageur," or you may prefer a romantic dinner at one of the area's French restaurants, where the finest Manitoba ingredients - perhaps pickerel, wild rice or blueberries, not to mention fine local beef or pork - meet classic French culinary technique.
You will also find many ethnic delicacies in the rural regions of the province: perogies (potato and cheese-filled dumplings served with onions and sour cream), borscht, or bread fragrant from outdoor clay ovens at the Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin; hearty soups, sausage and noodle dishes in the province's Mennonite towns; the delectable Icelandic dessert called Vinarterta, consisting of seven thin cake layers sandwiched together with a cardamom-scented prune filling, and so on. No matter where you travel in this diverse province, you are sure to find a satisfying meal celebrating the wide array of Manitoba products.
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