After reading Audrey’s post in BanffandBeyond on the local delights, we kept our eyes open to some of the epicurean delights available. One of the foods I really wished to taste were fiddleheads but I didn’t find them, perhaps I wasn’t looking as hard! Or maybe, the brain retains too little when learning new information at 1 am on a weeknight?!
Despite that, we got to taste a few other local foods.
- Cow’s ice creams: Located on Banff Avenue, this little store was well visited and often crowded. On the evening we stopped by, the credit card machine was out-of-order and they were accepting only cash, which we had none on hand. But the ice cream looked tempting, so we drove back to the hotel, got some cash and returned to stand in line and try out their various flavors. I got the Cownadian maple (maple ice base) while the kids chose Messie Bessie (chocolate based) and Cookie Moonster (vanilla based). Mr. JJ was driving the car around, trying to find a parking spot and asked for a vanilla ice cream. The maple ice cream did not disappoint, it was just right, not too sweet and just light enough to satisfy as a dessert. The others were just as happy with their ice creams. I would definitely recommend a stop here, while in Banff.
- Beavertails: Made of whole wheat, the dough is stretched into an almost oblong flat shape, like the eponymous tail, then fried in a shallow fryer. There are several options on how to dress it up, we chose cinnamon and sugar, not being certain how greasy it would taste. As we walked out of the store with one hot beavertail in our hand, we hesitantly took bites of it, only to find it soft and slightly chewy, not too sweet. In fact, we thought it exceeded our expectations. Between the hot beavertail and the cold ice creams, we had enough dessert for one evening.
- Nanaimo Bars: Originating in Nanaimo, BC, these bars are quintessential Canadian. A three-layered, no bake bar made of coconut and wafer base with custard flavored icing in between and a top layer of chocolate ganache. We tried this at the Fairmont Chateau lake Louise, and were happy to have ordered just one. Decadent and just a bit too sweet for our taste! But oh what a delight! There are any recipes online for making these, here’s one.
- Poutine: French fries and fresh cheese curds smothered under a brown gravy, usually made of either beef or turkey, apparently originated in the Quebec province. While most restaurants carry this, only a handful carry the vegetarian version. Nourish Bistro in Banff, which is fully vegetarian and vegan had this on their menu. So on our last day, en route to Calgary, we stopped and ordered a carry out, waiting nearly 20-25 mins to get it. We tried it later that night while at our Calgary hotel and it was an instant hit with the kids. I think it tastes better when eaten warm or hot. but I enjoyed the taste of it too.
Unfortunately, we didn’t stop to click photos all of our culinary delights. But here are a couple of related ones.