Salt Spring, Pender, Galiano, Mayne and Saturna are the best known of the Southern Gulf Islands. Their residents value a rich food and drink heritage, and experiment busily with new foods and approaches to improve diversity and flavour, and support special diets and local sustainability. They celebrate slow foods--and slow islands; and many embrace a 100-mile--or even a 100 yard--diet.
Organic Food is prominent in island life--at farmers' markets, farm gate honesty stands, community gardens, potlucks, wine festivals, and the biggest Gulf Island party--the Saturna Lamb Roast. Some growers preserve heritage varieties, others introduce new crops and unfamiliar foods to the Gulf Islands--and the province. Island producers are famous for lamb and cheese, and celebrity chefs open small intimate restaurants, creating with local products for discerning residents and visitors. Recognized experts teach organic gardening and creative cuisine.
Hidden in the woods are micro-coffee roasters, organic chocolatiers, wood-fired bakeries, salmon smokers, and rogue cheese and tofu makers. Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring all boast vineyards, developing new wines to complement local foods. the islands food industry is rich in character, passion and variety. Hostelries range from the 5-star Poets Cove Resort on Pender, to the more modest but equally delicious fare found at La Berengerie on Galiano,
Veteran writers and long-time island residents Andrea and David Spalding have explored the highways and byways of the islands, interviewing farmers and chefs, gardeners and artists. They have gathered and created recipes that reflect the variety and abundance of island food year round, that can be enjoyed by locals, visitors and tourists, and carry the islanders' passion for food to distant places. Traditional and experimental recipes from the islands' chefs include Brie and Squash Pizza, Lavender and Lemon Roasted Saturna Lamb and the blackberry pie that won the blue ribbon at the Fall Fair. They capture the flavours of the Gulf Islands for islanders and visitors, and provide a perfect way to escape for those who have yet to enjoy the islands--without even setting foot on BC ferries.