We’ve lived and done business in the Cowichan Valley now for almost 20 years and during that time the Valley and the region have developed quite the reputation not only for its wines and cider, but also for the great food scene.  Many specialty products are available at the local Farmers Markets, some in local and other grocery stores or online, and many can be bought right at the farm.

Here are a couple of great products to check out:

Cowichan Pasta Company

Raviolis and other pasta made from 100% Island ingredients, starting with locally grown wheat milled at True Grain in Cowichan Bay.  How about Stinging Nettle Rotini, Dungeness Crab Squash Ravioli, Smoked Corn & Chanterelle Ravioli?  Different and interesting flavors made from locally grown and fished ingredients.  You can find the Cowichan Pasta Company at Victoria’s Moss Street Market on Saturday and the Cedar Farmers Market on Sunday, or buy their pasta at Country Grocer stores, Cowichan Bay Seafood and Cowichan Valley Meat Market, as well at the Markets on Yates & Goldstream.  Chef/owner Matt Horn was recently recognized as part of Western Living magazine’s “40 Foodies under 40″ , an annual listing of young chefs/creators of new and unique food products and businesses.

Vancouver Island Salt Company

Established just a few years ago by Andrew Shephard, the Vancouver Island Salt Company offers hand-crafted artisan salts.  The Cowichan Pasta company uses Vancouver Islands salts in their pasta, as do numerous other chefs in the region and beyond.   Infused sea salts with such flavors as roasted garlic, mustard, banana pepper, blue cheese and orange & lime are just a few of the salts that are produced.  You can purchase them online through their website or buy them at all Thrifty Foods and Country Grocer stores around BC, some specialty food stores across Canada and locally at Hilary’s Cheese, Omas Bakery and the Community Farm Store.  The Vancouver Island Salt Company was invited as one of only 20 food artisans from across Canada to attend the Ace Artisan Incubator in Toronto last week.

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