The NCT Map
The “New” NCT Guide
- 65 pages full of Niagara’s home-grown cuisine
- listing of farmers’ markets and on-farm markets
- harvest calendar for timely market shopping
- recipes that fit snugly into anyone’s kitchen
- Niagara wines that pair best with local food
- find Niagara’s best food box programs
- highlights on the regions passionate local food chefs
- a great resource for Niagara’s best local produce
- connects you with the people who grow our food
- The Guide is available at Niagara Culinary Trail destination
“Food, more than any one contributor, brings people together. We all need it. We all enjoy good food.”
- Food writer and author, Lynn Ogryzlo
Why a map?
Niagara’s agricultural system may not be one of the most complex in the world, but it is one of the most delicious. The wide range of vegetables and fruits that are grown in the soils throughout the region are influenced by what the locals call “a maritime climate”. Cold winters, warm summers, mild springs and late autumn’s force the produce to ripen and sweeten over a longer period of time. When this happens the natural acidities maintain a perfect balance creating bright, sweet full-flavoured produce. This is why people travel from miles around to eat the peaches, why the regions tomatoes are memorable and why we celebrate our intensely sweet strawberries.
A culinary journey.
Seasonal cuisine is a personal and intimate journey that takes you throughout the region. Each and every one of us must discover on our own. Like a fine wine, no one can tell you which of the produce is best for you, which one will become your favourite and which one you will derive the most pleasure from. But it is guaranteed the journey to be one of self-discovery and culinary pleasures.
Working farms offer tours and produce from their own lands complete with comfortable lodging at a neighbouring bed and breakfast. They are attracted by the bliss that is Niagara. A vast agricultural region that is blessed with the stunning drama of Niagara Falls, the historic victory of a wartime past and small towns lying in the hilly arms of agricultural beauty. Under the summer’s sun you can picnic cliff-side along the dramatic parkway, walk the depths of the gorge or hike the miles of trails that weave in amongst the forests, kissing nature parks dressed with waterfalls and orchards that boarder them. They all seem to have a good time, eating well and drinking well while they can.
Remnants of a culinary culture.
Of course the cultural roots of Niagara lie in the early settlers and immigrant populations. The French have settled in and around Welland, the Italians in and around Niagara Falls and Thorold and the Germans in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. The entire region is studded with grand mansions, forts, bridges, battlegrounds, and the remains of old orchards, vineyards and abandoned canning factories and flour mills. Most small towns are still laid out along the original portage routes of the early settlers and in between you can still find a rich, fertile agricultural landscape. There simply is not a city or fair-sized town anywhere in Niagara that does not offer at least one road-side stand, so keep your eye out for them wherever you go.
The lasting pleasures.
Gourmet farm products help make a farm and a market more diverse and dynamic and they also give tourists who increasingly are visiting farms when they travel, something they can carry home, a caramel coated apple, a jar of jam or dried fruit. They can enjoy them later, a souvenir of a place they enjoyed being for a morning or give them to friends as gifts from places they’ve been. These are gestures that help return Niagara to a place of regional distinctions instead of a place of dreary sameness. And they help a farmer stay in business.