The mighty province of Saskatchewan, famously known for its boxy shape, flat lands, and its notorious habit for being spelt wrong by nearly everyone (including myself), is surprisingly full of a wide variety of food. While some of it is unique to Saskatchewan, much of the food has been accumulated and passed on from different cultures who’ve settled in the area. In turn, these recipes have become part of what makes the Prairies so incredibly badass.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to introduce some Saskatchewan food to my fellow friend Andy, hailing from PEI / Halifax. While his decision to visit Saskatchewan was primarily based around checking out Saskatchewans booming economy, he wasn’t opposed to the idea of trying some local food. Its pretty rare that I ever get the chance to show anybody from the East Coast what Saskatchewan is all about, so I didn’t want to screw this up. In light of this weight on my shoulders, I recruited my family to help bring out the big guns.
The Ukrainian Feast, care of Peg’s Kitchen
One of the most dominant cultures to settle the Saskatchewan area were the Ukrainians. These people who came over to the prairies were good at three things, Farming, Cooking, and Makin’ Babies. Which is why there is still such a huge population of Ukrainian descendants, and even whole towns who still speak the Old Language. Their tenacity to farm, cook, and breed are one of the main reasons Saskatchewan has informally claimed the Cabbage Roll, the Perogie, and the Home-made sausage as their own.
Rather than going to the nearest grocery store and picking up a bunch of boring frozen factory made Ukrainian Food, the Fraser Family pulled all the stops and talked to Peg’s Kitchen. For those who don’t know, Peg is the Queen of Ukrainian food in Southern Saskatchewan. Stop by her kitchen in Regina for some of the best home-made everything! We went with the classic Ukrainian Lunch. Cabbage Rolls, Pierogis, Sausages, Buns, and to wash it all down, a dozen bottles of Pilsner. I think it goes without saying that the meal was amazing, but it wasn’t over until we brought out the secret weapon. Saskatoon Berry Pie, topped with Cool Whip, and a spoonful of organic Saskatoon berry topping. Yes, you heard right. Double Dose of Saskatoon Berries! Despite how full everyone was feeling, everyone crushed some pie. For those who don’t know, this delightful berry is unique to the region, and is like nothing I know of. I describe it as amazing, just be sure to give it a shot next time you’re in the prairies!
Grandmas Hamburger soup
If you’ve managed to digest everything from a Ukrainian meal, congratulations, you’re almost a certified Saskatchewanite. But your test isn’t over. There is much to eat. For instance, Grandma’s homemade Hamburger Soup. While the recipe varies throughout the province, Hamburger Soup has become a staple meal in our family, and many others as the go-to-heart-warming, comforting winter food. Dip a fresh bun/roll, biscuit, or crush some crackers in there and your looking in the eye of one of the heartiest soups this side the Great Lakes. Big love & mentions need to go out to my Grandma for being so awesome and cooking for the whole gang!
The Deep Dish Pizza
The next meal is a bit of an anomaly, and I wish I knew more about why this meal is so popular in Saskatchewan. The deep dish pizza. They’re everywhere out west, especially in Regina. Verns, Houston Pizza, Western Pizza, and Trifons, they all compete to have the thickest most meatiest pizza in town. Deep dish has an all new meaning in Saskatchewan! If your pizza is less than 7 peperoni slices thick, it’s not even in the same race. Gooey, cheesy, thick, greasy, this is a clogged artery waiting to happen. Words can’t even describe how insane this thing is, and I mean that in a good way. We made a stop at the Argyle Houston Pizza and were greeted by the friendliest owner who even bought our group shots. +30 points for him & his business in my books. [Hint: Great Western Pilsner goes down great with this type of pie]
Hungry for more? Well perfect, because I plan on a part 2 of this post next time I’m back in the prairies (summer-ish). We haven’t even gotta into Deer Sausage/Jerky, Bannick, or even stopped by Nicky’s Cafe! This was a good start for now. If you’re from Saskatchewan & have something you think I should try, please leave a comment! I love food, and am more than happy to go out of the way to eat something new.