Editor's note: CL food critic Jon Palmer Claridge is in Vancouver doing "research." This is part one of an ongoing series sharing his culinary adventures.
Great food towns have great indoor public markets. They're the kinds of places that make my heart race. One such peak experience is the Public Market on Vancouver's Granville Island.
Entering is a rush of adrenaline with beautiful, seductive food 360 degrees. I'm like a crazed 6 year old, breaking loose from the safety of a parental hand to make an insane dash inside Toys "R" Us. However, it's hard to focus. Imagine being an excited dog whose owner knocks over a ginormous box of treats, then runs from the room to answer the phone.
Here, you fight the urge to eat uncontrollably. Of course, there are beautiful, ripe cheeses and artisanal breads, but also overflowing boxes of the most amazing apples, berries and currants that we just don't see in Tampa Bay. How about 15 kinds of gourmet olives? Or 11 different broths from the aptly named Stock Market?
What had me really salivating were the outstanding pâtés. The market has more than a dozen luscious pâtés, ranging from venison with cranberry to duck and apricots. Then, there's the cured meats that remind you Canada is not Florida or Italy. Care for some smoked elk or Canadian wild boar prosciutto? Everywhere you turn, foods tempting to the eye and palate abound.
Just across the street is Edible Canada, which conducts foodie tours of the market and monthly specialty dinners. If you're headed to Vancouver, this is not to be missed.