A love for food has long helped unite different cultures from around the world, as people from markedly different ways of life can come together to appreciate and enjoy one another’s cooking and mealtime traditions. It is difficult to find a more multicultural metropolitan area than Vancouver, and when you add in the fact that the freshest seafood ingredients are available right next door in the Pacific Ocean, you have the recipe for phenomenal multicultural cuisine.
You don’t have to be a foodie blogger or genteel gourmet to appreciate the difference between authentic and imitation regional foods, and when you venture into Vancouver’s Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown or Punjabi Market, you can rest assured that you are in for a genuine treat. Chinatown is known for adding traditional Oriental flavors to local salmon, oyster and sea urchin. If you are in the mood for sushi, Japan town has nigiri and sashimi combinations that are consistently voted the best in Canada.
The relative proximity of Vancouver’s different ethnic neighborhoods has produced an impossibly creative and appetizing level of fusion cuisine that is difficult to match anywhere on the planet. Nearly any combination of cultures and countries is possible in Vancouver, and the culinary results are captivating. Want to try Indian-Italian? Have a slice or two of butter chicken pizza. In the mood for Japanese-Mexican fusion? A fish taco with wakame and ginger is like having a sushi roll in a tortilla. Another intriguing combination is local icon Japadog, which offers Japanese-style hot dogs with ingredients like wagyu beef, seaweed, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and fried onions.
All of these amazing multicultural delights are of course imbued with the rich culinary traditions of Canada itself. Smoked meats, local fruits and berries, and of course plenty of seafood figure prominently in Vancouver food, and local hallmarks like poutine and maple syrup can be found in all types of dishes. One notable mention is candied salmon, which is smoked salmon filets cured with sugar and salt, then brushed with maple syrup. Vancouver chefs even experiment with one-of-a-kind fusion dishes like Pad Thai Poutine.
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