Bucket List for Foodies

1. Canada

Canada hasn’t quite established itself as a top gastronomy destination, but the local food scene is on fire and has made waves with famous international foodies. The late Anthony Bourdain often championed Canadian food in his shows about global feasting.

Poutine at La Belle Province restaurant in Montreal, Canada. (dbimages/Alamy)

Travel from east to west, north to south, and you’ll find chefs dishing out some of the best meals and all sorts of farmers bringing about all the homegrown feels. The dedication and passion of these chefs and farmers are second only to locals intent on eating and drinking their way through the country.

You need only visit Bellwoods Brewery in Toronto to get a taste of how serious the locals are about their craft beer. There’s wine too! In Prince Edward County, the residents spend their summers sipping crisp glasses of local wine and eating freshly made pizzas alfresco. And this is just a speck on the tip of the iceberg, speaking of which, ice wine is also a thing in Canada.

Thanks to its sheer size, Canada is rich in a diversity of landscapes where a massive selection of artisanal and straightforward ingredients are grown and cultivated. You can sample cuisine that celebrates all things Canada in a list that could go on and on.

  • Maple syrup
  • Peameal bacon sandwiches
  • Poutine
  • Lobster rolls in Nova Scotia
  • Wine in the Niagara region
  • Bison in Alberta
  • Elk in Yukon
  • Bagels in Montreal
  • Farm-to-table food in Victoria

However, one of the best ways to celebrate all things Canada with your palate is by sampling the nation’s diverse culture – something that’s genuinely reflected in the food. The country’s friendly immigration policy has allowed plenty of creativity to flourish. In the main cities, you can enjoy pretty much everything from around the world. While every province, city and neighbourhood will have a hidden gem or hole-in-the-wall to delight your tastebuds, Toronto’s insatiable appetite has paved the way for a highly accessible and affordable culinary adventure in North America.

2. Sri Lanka

You may be familiar with Sri Lankan staples like steaming-hot rice, coconut milk and roasted spices, but did you know that Sri Lanka is a gastronomical melting pot?

Plenty of cuisines have been shaped by history, culture and exploration, but when you consider Sri Lanka’s geographical location, the different influences on the country’s culinary evolution will pique your curiosity. Foreign traders brought different ingredients, and neighbouring countries like Malaysia were also a source of inspiration for Sri Lanka’s dishes. All of which has evolved into a captivating foodie experience.

The wealth of Sri Lanka’s food scene lies in its cultural diversity and accessibility. Dietary and health requirements are easily accommodated without any compromise on flavour: vegetarian curries are a staple, and famous recipes like hoppers are gluten-free because they use rice flour. You’ll find an exciting restaurant scene in cities like Colombo and Galle, and come to appreciate subtle regional differences in typical dishes thanks to the availability of different spices and fresh local ingredients.

The tropical climate and the geography provide Sri Lanka with an incredible bounty of ingredients that inform its signature dishes. Curried concoctions of coconuts and fish are a must but make it a point to try the following dishes:

  • Mud crab curry
  • Polos aka jackfruit curry
  • Lamprais – a Dutch Burgher dish indicative of the country’s colonised past
  • Fabulous street food like kottu – a famous shredded roti and curry dish

Perhaps the best thing about Sri Lanka is that adventure and eating go hand-in-hand here. Picture yourself surfing and then chowing down on a freshly-made curry featuring the catch of the day or sipping your way through the tea trails or strolling through the markets looking for your next feast.

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