Let’s face it, who really cares whether Japan or Canada offers the best snow, whether the States has the best tree-skiing or whether Australia and New Zealand provide drinkers with the best aprés-ski. The most important factors when it comes to where I shall spend my precious weeks in the snow this season are the local delicacies on offer to stimulate my palate, to supply me with the energy required to keep me skiing between mid-morning snack and my generously portioned lunch. Here’s what I have found in my travels.
A local favourite amongst the Canucks is poutine: a wonderful dish of crispy fries topped by cheese curds and a chicken (or sometimes veal) based sauce. Prince Edward Island potatoes are the preferred variety for the fries and cheese curds from the brand Frommage Beaucronne are ideal and their freshness vital - but the most important component of poutine is the sauce. It is basically a velouté sauce: thickened chicken stock, seasoned with pepper and with a taste of onions, with a few additions and modifications. It’s also a pretty cheap lunch option and as such is favoured by struggling seasonnaires and students on ski instructor courses alike!
As well as boasting some of the best powder known to man, Japanese cuisine is also some of the most delicious in the world! For a great snow snack opt for Ramen Noodle Soup; The ramen relates to the style of noodle used (essential for a carb hit to keep you going), while the stock is made from chicken bone, pork bone, niboshi (dried sardines) or kombu and vegetables, such as ginger, garlic, or/and mushrooms… a pretty healthy snack really. Add some meat in there too and you’ve got a winner!
The classic Kiwi meat pie isn’t usually considered gourmet food, but it’s an icon for many of us. Eaten hot from a paper bag, with its flaky golden pastry and savoury filling, a pie is unpretentious comfort food. You’d also do well to visit one of the famous burger bars in Queenstown… Fergburger is always a favourite for locals and tourists alike - think burgers the size of your own head!
Having “borrowed” food from all over the world, we can only really say that the hamburger and fries is a true American tradition. It is wonderful in the eating but will likely weigh you down in the powder in the afternoon… and most people don’t need any help in getting stuck every now and again! So why not go for a large plate of nahcos shared between friends for a delicious but messy energy fix?!
From one food loving skier to another; I think I would choose Canada. A lumberjack breakfast of Canadian Bacon, Pancakes with Maple syrup, and eggs would give me the energy to ski hard all morning, and poutine for lunch would give me the much needed carb hit to take me through to last lifts! Sure it’s not as refined as the cuisine that Europe’s famous for… but DAMN is it good!
So what’s your favorite Snow Snack?