People in Ontario, Canada eat all kinds of food from around the world. You can find any type of food from any type of cuisine in Ontario. Locally produced foods include maple syrup, many types of produce, cheeses, back bacon and other domestic and game meat. Ontario also produces award-winning wines and is home to commercial and micro-breweries. Ontario residents who want to eat locally can have a fully balanced diet with broad choices.
Canada's flag emblem is the maple leaf and maple syrup is a favorite souvenir and food from Canada. Ontario residents celebrate maple syrup and related products with annual festivals across the province. Maple syrup festivals take place in March to April, with visits to local maple farms, hay rides, children's activities and lots of pancakes with maple syrup. Maple syrup, maple sugar and maple butter can be stored in the refrigerator. Maple syrup can be boiled and poured onto snow to make a treat called maple taffy.
Canadian bacon -- or back bacon -- is fully cooked and smoked peameal bacon. Peameal bacon is a southwestern Ontario specialty. It is cut from the center or rib end of the pork loin, cured in a salt and sugar brine, then rolled in cornmeal. What Americans call Canadian bacon is usually called back bacon in Canada. Ontario has many lakes and river systems, and local residents eat wild and farmed trout and game birds. Local producers also raise cattle, veal, lamb and goat.
Southern Ontario has a climate well suited to growing most vegetables and many types of fruit. People living in Ontario can eat locally grown strawberries, raspberries, apples, pears, plums, peaches and wild blueberries. Vegetables include beans, peas, carrots, beets, corn, cabbages, asparagus and lettuces. Fiddleheads -- the young shoot from a type of fern -- are a spring delicacy. Chanterelle mushrooms grow naturally and Japanese shiitake and oyster mushrooms are now cultivated in Ontario. Wild rice -- which is actually a grass -- was a traditional food for Ontario's First Nations peoples and is now sold commercially.
Wine and Cheese
Ontario is home to vineyards that produce quality white and red wines. Local Ontario wines include Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Ontario's ice wines win gold medals in European wine competitions. Ontario residents also enjoy beer from local micro-breweries. Ontario produces renowned Canadian cheddar for local consumption and export. Ontario also produces ricotta, Brie, Camembert, feta and goat cheese. To complete the meal, Ontario is the base for two major pasta manufacturers.
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