Captain George Vancouver, epic explorer of Pacific America, although oft reviled was not eaten by his men. When Jupiter arrived in the explorer’s eponymous city, the ship’s crew resolved to metaphorically devour the great cartographers legacy, and mapped out a plan to discover a vast swath of Pacific Rim cuisine.
Having survived on quantities of seafood, ships stores, and scantily stocked markets across wild British Columbia and Alaska for the past five months, a dining-out intensive seemed fitting. Fully five restaurant meals were gavaged into 30 hours ashore.
The city of Vancouver, fairly founded between mountains and sea, is a well-planned and executed modern metropolis that attracts bright young Canadians and immigrants from the Pacific Rim and beyond. Countless eateries reflect the imported cuisines and locavore imperatives.
Few restaurants are as serious about sustainable, seasonal, and locally sourced materials as Forage.
Vancouverites take their provisioning seriously at Granville Public Market where an abundance of the best locally produced foods are on offer. Jupiter’s crew will do likewise on a future visit. In this instance we admired the quantity and quality of fresh farmed foods and artisanal products, and prowled the Asian food stalls for lunch. Such generous abundance is not easily found in the hinterlands.
We were fortunate to occupy a late table at Vij’s Restaurant, famous for lamb lollipops in a fenugreek cream sauce and ambrosial curries. This Punjabi fare employs local ingredients and painstakingly hand-ground spices. We sampled it all.
Recommended Culinary Reading
The Custom of the Sea
A Shocking True Tale of Shipwreck, Murder and the Last Taboo
by Neil Hanson
A toothsome treatise on the circumstantial necessity of cannibalism at sea.