Tastes of home


By Elizabeth Bridge, CBC Digital Archives

Knowing my roots in Winnipeg are deep, my boss recently called my attention to an ad in the Jewish Tribune (page 12, bottom right). It was for Nostalgia Foods, an outfit that will source, process and package virtually any taste from the 'Peg and ship it to homesick exiles across North America.

Cinnamon buns from Winnipeg's Tall Grass Prairie Bakery: worth a special trip.
(Photo: Tall Grass Prairie Bakery)

There are a few delicious things I'll make a special trip for when I visit family in Winnipeg, whole-wheat cinnamon buns from Tall Grass Prairie Bakery chief among them. And I was thrilled when Old Dutch potato chips became readily available in Toronto supermarkets. But there would have to be legions of Winnipeggers with insatiable cravings to make this venture worthwhile. Who else would pay almost $80 for overnight delivery of a Jeanne's cake? (For the uninitiated, Jeanne's Bakery is famous within city borders for its rectangular cake with tooth-achingly sweet icing and a shortbread base. I'll just say it isn't for me.)

Any ex-Winnipegger, gone four months or 40 years, will recognize the restaurants on Nostalgia Foods' roster. While some of the foods are indeed unique to the city — smoked goldeye, City Bread, Morden's chocolates — others are standard Italian, Ukrainian or delicatessen fare that one can expect to find in any Canadian city. And while I love the Goog Special (a blueberry/hot fudge/ice cream concoction) from the Bridge Drive-In, it would never occur to me to have one shipped to me. It's just one of those things that makes a trip back to Peg City that much more sweet.

What are some of the special tastes of your hometown? And how far would you go to recapture them?