ashton-remax_NEWTonight, the Predators will be in Vancouver to start a three-game Canadian road trip.

The Vancouver Canucks have been an active member of the NHL since the 1970 expansion draft, when they joined the league along with the Buffalo Sabres. They play at Roger’s Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. The city’s first professional hockey team was the Vancouver Millionaires, founded in 1911, and winners of the 1915 Stanley Cup Finals.

The team’s first General Manager should have a hint of familiarity: Bud Poile, father of Predator’s GM David Poile.

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A Canucks team and fan tradition began during the 1982 playoffs. In game two of the conference finals, interim head coach Roger Neilson became so frustrated with the officiating that he placed a white towel on the end of a hockey stick and held it up, waving it like a white flag of surrender. When the team returned home for its next game, many fans in the crowd waved white towels in support. The Canucks organization now gives away white towels to all fans in attendance at home playoff games.

Finding a “signature dish” for Vancouver has been a mostly fruitless endeavor. Multiple local chefs interviewed here were mostly in agreement that what makes Vancouver unique is the blending of local, fresh ingredients and multiple cultures to use ingredients in new ways.

If you’re in need of a quick bite, check out the JapaDog food trucks – with multiple trucks throughout Vancouver they’re a very popular stop for Japanese style hot dogs (and many other varieties). The first truck was started by a Japanese immigrant couple in 2005, and after a slow and steady rise, they’ve grown immensely in the past several years. Japanese hot dogs are characterized by toppings consisting of ingredients such as soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, miren, and wasabi mayo.

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Another popular stop  is Phnom Pehn, which is consistently rated the #1 Southeast Asian restaurant in the city. They feature Vietnamese and Cambodian meals on their menu, and are popular for everything from beef noodles to buttery garlic frog legs to Asian style wings.

While one wouldn’t typically think of Mexican food in Canada (how strange), La Taqueria uses traditional Mexican recipes, locally sourced ingredients, and makes everything fresh on-site. In keeping with the local flavors, they also feature a variety of seafood tacos on their menu as well.

British Columbia as a whole is in love with sushi – and one variety has been named the “B.C. Roll,” available pretty much anywhere that sushi is sold. It is unique due to the use of barbecued salmon and salmon skin, cucumber, and mayo. It was invented in 1974 by a Japanese chef in Vancouver who was unable to obtain salt-water eels for his sushi as he had used growing up.

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If you need a sweet treat, check out Nanaimo Bars, a type of dessert bar that originated in the city of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. Much like the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky, there’s a Nanaimo Bar trail in British Columbia. It is a no-bake dessert bar, consisting of three layers: the first, a graham cracker crust mixed with cocoa, coconut, and almonds; the second, a vanilla custard flavored butter frosting; and the third, a melted and then hardened chocolate coating.

Today, we’re going to make smoked maple salmon candy. While similar to salmon jerky or smoked salmon pieces, this snacktime treat is a sweet and peppery twist on the original. The difficulty level is low, and the amount of hands-on time is low, but the overall time it takes to prepare can be a little lengthy. This uses the plentiful salmon available in the area along with simple, local flavors, and harkens back to the time of needing sustainable protein snacks while out exploring and being adventurous in the wild.

Two of the best places to find this tasty treat are at the Granville Island Public Market and the Fish Counter on Main Street.

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Note: Due to technical errors on my end at time of publication, photos will be added later tonight.

What you’ll need:

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  • 2 pounds of salmon filets
  • 2-3 cups salt
  • 2-3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 bottle pure maple syrup
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Wood chips of your choice
  • Glass of bourbon (for yourself)

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What you’ll need to do:

  • Slice the salmon into strips, 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide
  • Mix together the salt and brown sugar. Put down a layer on a baking sheet and place the fish skin side up into the mixture. Use the rest of the salt/sugar to “bury” the fish so it is almost entirely covered. This is to start drawing the moisture out of the salmon.
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  • Leave in the fridge for 3 hours. When you remove it, the salt/sugar will seem pretty wet – this is good because it means moisture has been drawn out of the salmon.
  • Rinse the salmon in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Return to the fridge for another 2 hours, skin side down on paper towels. This will continue the drying process and create a pellicle (a hardened surface/film) on the salmon, which will help it absorb smoke.
  • Baste the salmon with pure maple syrup.
  • Place in the smoker for 3-4 hours at 200 degrees F, using the wood smoke of your choice. I used hickory wood.
  • Continue to baste the salmon with syrup every 30 minutes while in the smoker. This serves several purposes: it adds flavor, it creates a nice looking finish on the salmon, and it helps remove the white residue that sometimes forms while fish is smoking.
  • Once removed from the smoker, brush with maple syrup one last time and sprinkle on some freshly ground pepper. Let cool and it is ready to eat!
  • Will keep in the fridge for (up to) one week. Do not leave out at room temperature.

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Enjoy!

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