When it comes to celebrating, there are so many good reasons to highlight local food on your table. When you choose local, you’re supporting local food producers and family farms in our province. Secondly, when food travels a shorter distance to get to you, it just tastes better! Not only is BC incredibly bountiful - even in the winter months, you can find a huge variety of local produce, dairy, poultry and meat, not to mention greenhouse grown veggies. BC’s smart approach to storage veggies means that you can always enjoy locally grown potatoes, carrots and squash for holiday meals, along with cranberries, raspberries and blueberries frozen at the height of their summer sweetness. So keep it cozy this season and fill up your table with local flavours!
How do you source BC-grown food? We often get questions about this, so we wrote an entire guide for you: here’s how to find local eggs, dairy, meat, veggies and fruit at your closest grocery store. Winter farmers’ markets are also open - use this handy tool from our friends at the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets to find the closest ones to you, and enjoy an outdoor outing to boot. When you decorate, don’t forget to add local greenery and seasonal poinsettias! These gorgeous plants come into bloom in December - here’s more about how to find them locally (and keep them blooming long after the holidays!).
Once the table is set, start with a warm appetizer to whet your appetite. Try Cheese and Thyme Gougeres, or Potato Bacon Roses (you’ll want to make a double batch of these, because they’ll disappear fast!). Creamy Pepper Soup and West Coast Carrot Soup make delicious soup starters.
Remember that a main dish doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious - so bring out the flavour in locally sourced ingredients with Stuffed Turkey Breast with Apple Curry Gravy, Honey Glazed Salmon, or Grilled Pork Chops and Apple Slaw - these dishes are all simple to make, but full of complex flavours. If you’re willing to work a little harder, Orange Balsamic Roast Beef is a spectacular crowd-pleaser, and will brighten any table. For sides, Roasted Kabocha Squash pairs well with everything thanks to its mellow spices, and Roasted Carrots with a Spicy Cream Sauce has a gentle heat to help wake up your tastebuds.
Finish with nutmeg-topped Homemade Eggnog Ice Cream, or BC Blueberry Strudel. And Deep Dish Apple and Cranberry Pie balances out tart cranberries with the deep sweetness of BC apples for your new favourite holiday dessert. For gluten free options, try Organic BC Cider Poached Apples with Toasted Walnuts, or Apple Pumpkin Pie Mousse.
Don’t forget the drinks! Here are some of our favourites from local distillers right here in BC: