Have you ever wondered which part of Canada has the best cheese? Or the best organic foods?
In the early 1960s, Canadian government researchers set out to map the productivity of the nation’s lands in a comprehensive geographic study that led to what we know as the Canada Land Inventory. Over the course of 20 years, farmland was mapped and evaluated based on its potential to grow certain types of agriculture. As the information made its way to the public, farmers and tourism bureaus in these regions were discovering that some of Canada’s greatest gifts were quite tasty, and various small towns began branding themselves according to their best-known foodstuffs.
This week’s map looks at the nation’s communities and their trademark homegrown ingredients.
First – and perhaps most interestingly – there are not one, but two ‘potato capitals of Canada’ in the Maritimes. O’Leary, Prince Edward Island is the home of Potato Museum and the Potato Hall of Fame, while New Brunswick’s Florenceville-Bristol is the French Fry Capital of the World and plays host to Potato World Museum. Perhaps these two communities should consider engaging in some kind of gladiatorial winner-takes-all grudge match to determine who is the potatoest of them all.
Unsurprisingly, seafood looms large in the region with lobster (Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC) and scallop (Digby, NS) with bragging rights fully claimed.
Delicious fruit is in relative abundance in western Canada, with the warm climes of southern British Columbia bringing us various things that we cut up and put in Sangria.
While no towns within Saskatchewan appear as points on the map, it’s because the province as a whole has staked a claim on the best grains, adopting the title “Canada’s Breadbasket.”
Related: Foods invented by Canadians
Ontario is an all-around farming star, with towns representing chicken, dairy products, white beans and rhubarb. You’ll probably run across a few highway-side pie and vegetable sales on a leisurely Sunday drive.
So with this tasty landscape in mind, we suggest you go and make yourself a snack.