Sourcing local fruit is something of a passion of ours. Not only do we love the ability to support Canadian farmers — we also appreciate having access to fresh and local fruit. Determining what is local and what isn’t can be tricky. For example, fruits like blueberries and grapes are usually imported, whereas fruits like apples and strawberries are typically locally grown in Canada. All things considered, there is no harm in consuming or preferring imported fruit. However, if you’re interested in learning more about fruit from your region, consider trying out some of the recipes below.
Winters in Canada can be challenging, especially for fruit trees (RIP citrus trees). However, there are a few cold resistant fruits that can survive the deep freeze. Pears are an excellent all-seasons fruit with a snappy flavour ideal for pies, galettes and even chicken stews. Pears typically thrive in the humidity of the Maritimes. So the next time you’re in a PEI market, pick up some fresh pears for your next bake.
At the grocery store it’s common to find figs imported from countries like Mexico and Morocco, but did you know you can grow them locally too? That’s right, the succulent flavours of fresh fig can be grown in Quebec. Despite the cold climate, brown figs have an advantage of being pest resistant and hardy. Try adding local Quebec figs to your next cheese board or goat cheese sandwich.
Blueberries are one of our favourite fruits, and they’re also an East Coast staple. Primarily grown in Nova Scotia, these delicious berries are packed with antioxidants and make a delicious addition to any summer cake. We recommend grabbing blueberries while they’re in season — typically between August and September.
Plums can grow pretty much anywhere, but did you know Newfoundland and Labrador grow some of the best? This is another fruit tree that can withstand the unpredictable Maritime weather. Damson plums are tart and sweet, and make great fillings for sandwiches, cobblers and the occasional savoury dish. If you’re not used to cooking with plums, not to worry — this recipe for a fresh plum and radicchio salad with surely peak your palette.
When summer comes around, all we can think about is peach season. The sweet aroma of peaches is something we look forward to when developing our favourite peach recipes. Did you know, Ontario peaches are some of the best? That’s right! Across Ontario farmers revel in peach season as it’s one of the few local fruits that thrive in Ontario’s summer humidity. If you’re looking to cook with peaches, you can easily bake, fry and grill them.
Cherries truly are the main character when it comes to cocktail making. Cherries add a subtle hint of sweetness while looking elegant with that ruby red outer layer. If you’re looking to grow some of your own or source the best, look no further than the Prairies! Somehow they’re able to survive those harsh prairie winters. Luckily they are supported by the abundance of pollinators in provinces like Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
More often than not, grocery store strawberries are either imported from the United States or Mexico, but Canadian strawberries are absolutely worth picking up if you can find them! Grown across Canada, strawberries are the hallmark of Canadian produce from May through October. They can be grown almost anywhere and are perfect for dessert dishes, cocktails or just casual snacking.