We used to walk right past Edible Canada when we were on Granville Island, thinking it was a tourist stop that wouldn’t hold anything interesting for us. But this store selling Canadian foodstuffs is attached to a restaurant that surprised us with an inventive menu for Dine Out Vancouver.
Seal was on the list, from Nova Scotia, I believe. The restaurant only offered seal during Dine Out Vancouver, and it caused a ruckus among those who think eating seals is inhumane. There is, however, a tradition of seal hunting in Canada, and Edible Canada chose to put it on the menu to showcase what it considers local, sustainable food.
I’m all for trying new things, so we ordered two seal dishes. The first was the seal tenderloin amuse bouche on what tasted like a white bean puree. The fillets had the texture of fat and tasted similar to liver. It was certainly a new flavor, and I don’t know what to make of it yet; I didn’t love it, but I didn’t not like it either. I did think the bison tartare appetizer was tastier, possibly because it was very similar to flavors I’m used to; it had a lightness and taste like tuna tartare.
The seal pappardelle entree was our second seal dish. The seal was ground and served in a ragu with the noodles. The flavor was very different from the raw tenderloin appetizer. In this dish, the seal had the texture of ground beef, with a very lean, gamey flavor. I did like this dish; maybe it was better on my palate because it was served in a familiar bolognese style.
As for dessert, I got the chocolate pot du creme, which tasted almost exactly like the ganache I make at home, just topped with a blueberry compote.
Overall, I was impressed with the classy meal at Edible Canada, as well as the willingness of the restaurant to serve dishes that would challenge diners’ opinions and palates.