Sharing a meal is a simple yet powerful way to find common ground and begin to get to know someone new. Food is one of our most basic needs, and as such it can bring us together to celebrate our mutual necessities for life – but it can also be an opportunity to share some of what makes our cultures unique.
Here in Winnipeg every summer we celebrate our multiculturalism through the expression of dress, performances, and yes – food. Folklorama is the world’s largest multicultural festival, and each year upwards of 400,000 people attend more than 40 ‘pavilions’ representing distinct cultural groups in our city.
Around the world culinary tourism continues to grow, and Canada’s Indigenous people are in a perfect position to engage tourists this way. Some of my most memorable experiences working with our clients have been based around food. Wild blueberries with flaked whitefish inside a teepee in Waskaganish; being invited to a lunch of freshly caught walleye; and stuffing myself with the best bannock I’ve ever had, courtesy of Anna in Ouje-Bougamou!
Some care has to be given to serving wild game, but fish, berries, wild rice, and a wide variety of other dishes can be offered to tourists in your community. And don’t stop there – a big part of culinary tourism is the inclusion of cooking classes. Offer a class on bannock making, preparing and cooking fish, or gathering wild berries, mushrooms, and other forest edibles.
Culinary tourism can form part of the foundation of your community’s tourism plan, and is an easy ‘add on’ to other activities already being offered.
To talk more about incorporating culinary tourism in your community, contact Jason at 1-877-444-5550, or by email at