I wanted to write a thing about special foods of the areas I visited but I had forgotten until this moment.....now I hope I can remember what I discovered!
I was reminded of this idea while just now reading the October/ November edition of Sumptuous (a magazine all about South Australian food and wine) where there is a thing about black rice which reminded me of wild rice.....
I was staying in Agassiz, an hour or so east of Vancouver, with Kathy-from-my-garden-group's parents. Agassiz is in the Fraser Valley, a food growing area for Vancouver and beyond. Rosemary and Garth took me to a house that simply had a sign outside saying .....Coffee Roasting and Pottery..... sounded interesting! Inside was a woman sitting at a potting wheel, who barely spoke at first, while we followed the signs about the coffee roasting going on behind the glass screen. She heard my accent and, as we were leaving, asked me what I was doing there, in a little town like Agassiz. We got talking and she was so wonderfully interesting I would like to have stayed longer, and written a whole thing about her.....but we were heading for the airport as it was my last day. I have her email address somewhere in my as yet not-completely-unpacked suitcase.....I must write to her.
Anyway, the gist of the whole wild rice thing is that she has a friend who is from an Indian tribe further north in Canada, where wild rice grows.....wild....it is native to Canada.....I didn't know that! Anyway, only the Indians from that area are allowed to go out and collect the wild rice, and she had some for sale in her coffee, pottery and now wild rice house/shop! Rosemary bought some of the wild rice, which is not rice at all actually, and I must ask her how she got on cooking it, but as I couldn't bring it into Australia I had to leave it for next time! It is so lovely to come across such stories quite by chance, rather than by taking some touristy trap....I mean .... trip! She also talked about her chooks and her vegetables garden and how there is an annual bike ride that takes in her place and other local growers and crafts-people during summer. She has a daughter in Japan.... and so the links went on and on.....until we just had to go. As I have written before..... the earth connects so many of us.