We’re coming to end of our stay in Victoria and getting ready to rickshaw my DH back up the island. This leg of our stay included a mirthful dinner at our friends, P & S. The table was heavy with delectable foods including a wonderful homemade pork pie with Sloping Hills pork, a great selection of local sausages, a local venison risotto, salmon and great company. It was like I had never left home. It’s such a pleasure to dine other 100 milers, like P & G, who appreciate the importance of supporting the local agriculture. Beyond that, these folks respect great food and are wonderful cooks. P even makes his own proscuitto! I think we’re going to be visiting Victoria more often ;)
Also during this last visit, I got a chance to roam about Victoria while DH was cloistered in his video game cocoon. I got to wander for hours poking about down Victoria’s meandering streets and made a few local food discoveries. Just a 20 minute walk from where we were staying is Aubergine, a small grocery store that stocks produce from Saanich and a wide range of local dairy and meats. Even this early in spring, they already had a good selection of fresh vegetables. They’re located on Cadboro Bay Rd and Estevan. In another wandering spree in the Oak Bay neighbourhood, I discovered the Village Butcher, a full-service butcher shop, specializing in free-range, ethically raised products and local meats. They’re located at 2250 Oak Bay Ave, across the street from Ottavio deli and bakery. Speaking of Ottavio , they offer a great range of local cheeses and other local products.
EAT magazine’s recent issue is all about eating green and there’s plenty of info about eating locally. The magazine & its archives are available online once you register. There’s articles about how to make your kitchen more environmentally friendly, a 100 mile menu, the Green Table project and the usual toothsome articles about local good eats and drinks.
I also found a delightful knitting circle, a quiver of new kayaking and climbing friends, a great secret spot for fiddlehead picking and an awesome used bookstore. What a full week! Who would have thought that playing Florence Nightmaregale to my Frankenhusband would be so enterprising?
ETA- Mike, if I told you my secret fiddlehead picking spot, it wouldn't be a secret, eh? Actually, I have no idea how the streets in Victoria work. It's as if someone took a perfectly gridded city, threw in a gigantic civic planning fork into the center and twirled the streets like spaghetti. So all I can really tell you is that the fiddlehead spot is two corkscrew turns off Cadboro Bay Rd, a sharp left to a 5 way stop (yep, you heard me). Take the 3rd prong down to the end of a dead end street, follow a small overgrown footpath down a slope, around the corner to a small wooded area overrun with ferns. Make sure they're from Ostrich ferns and not in an area that would be sprayed with chemicals. Some ferns are poisonous, so be careful you know your ferns. There was a fiddlehead food scare in the 90s.
Or you could just head down to your local farm mart, farmers market or even grocery store and pick some up there. Look for firm green, tightly coiled fiddleheads. They can be blanched and frozen if you manage to get yourself a huge haul.
Have a great day!