Picnic. There are few words that can pack summer, fun, food and sunshine into two syllables like the word picnic. Once the warm weather hits, there is almost nothing more pleasurable than packing up a cooler or basket, putting down a blanket or pulling up to a picnic table and dining al fresco.
Picnics are made even more delicious when they include locally made goodies like fresh baked breads, spicy beef jerky and refreshing drinks. Here are some Manitoba made goods that absolutely need to be part of your picnic plans this summer.
All of these products are available at various shops in the city (take a look at their websites to find out where), while some have their own store fronts or can be ordered online.
Who knew that small batch jerky was a thing? Turns out it is and you can get it right here in Winnipeg from Mr. Biltong, himself. These handcrafted snacks are created in the South African tradition where meat is slowly air-dried at low temperatures--the result is less salty and tastes more like meat than their conventionally processed counterparts. Try original, spicy cayenne or red-hot habanero flavours and be ready because Mr. Biltong calls this stuff ‘dangerously addictive’.
It’s basically a rule that no picnic shall happen without something sweet to round out the meal. Enter Bliss Gourmet Baked Goods--this Italian style bakery offers up delectable bite sized treats like their butter walnut cluster--a butter cookie dipped in walnuts and drizzled with chocolate; pasticcini--buttercream filled cookies dipped in salty chocolate; or pecan treasure--a butter cookie with a chocolatey pecan centre. Trust us when we say, they’re even better than they sound. Yum.
Bread is another must when picnicking and you can’t go wrong at Eadha Bread, where fresh, handmade sourdough goods are the stars here. The bread is all derived from wild yeast and is fermented for 18-24 hours ensuring maximum flavour. The result is a chewy moist interior surrounded by a crispy caramely crust. On any given day you can pick up basic versions of their whole wheat and sourdough loaves, but keep an eye out for daily specials like rye sourdough, ciabatta buns, cinnamon raisin buns, vegan pastries and an assortment of sweet and savory pies, twists and cakes.
Obviously, you need something to wash down all this food and what could be better than a bright and bubbly malted soda? Farmery Estate Brewery, located near Neepawa, whips up perfect summertime bevvies made with hops and barley grown in Manitoba on their family-run farm. While they are known for their craft beers, Farmery also offers up a line of malted alcohol-free sodas made from their natural barley malt. Pick from root beer, prairie berry cream and pink lemonade to name a few. How many ways can you say refreshing?
This might be one you need during a pre- or post- picnic hike. Gorp is a locally made energy bar featuring brown rice protein, hemp, nuts and other delicious ingredients. Choose from flavours like peanut butter & raspberry, ginger snap & apple or cocoa, hemp & almond. They even come in resealable bags for nibblers and kids who never finish anything in one go. If you want to get super fancy, pick up one of their mixes and prepare your own bars at home--and then of course pretend you did it all yourself.
Here’s another delectable option for that hike, or even something to go with a dip (everything is better dipped). Rawnata makes flax and hemp crackers that are low carb, gluten free and vegan. Their method of using low and slow heat makes them super easy to digest too. These crunchy snacks come in sweet options like chocolate, cinnamon goji or matcha coconut, and savoury ones like Italian, Mexican fiesta and sunflower sesame.
This cute little shop on South Osborne in Winnipeg is a sort of haven for all things local and delicious. Blackmarket Provisions offers a daily round up of baked goods, ice cream, soups and packaged products like sauces and jams. We particularly love their ‘Good Eats to Go’ options, perfect for picnics like grab bags of granola, containers of crispy pita chips and ‘Grandmas cheese’ to dip, individually packaged parfaits and fresh salads. Some of the products mentioned above can also be found in the shop.