For about the third year in a row, I missed out on Regina's annual multicultural festival, Mosaic. To try and come to terms with the fact that I have failed to go for three years, I decided to throw my own little Mosaic with my girlfriend. While many people only shop at their favorite food stores, there are actually a variety of stores around Regina where you can buy unique, authentic cultural food. After all, just because Mosaic was over doesn't mean the food vanishes!
However, because I am a picky eater, and so is Jess, things didn't go exactly as planned.
Oriental Drink (Location Unknown)
Kenton: I had no idea what this was when I bought it, and I wouldn't ever buy it again. It tasted like disappointment. There wasn't much taste to it and it had some kind of strange pulp in it. I think it was coconut or a very pale fruit. Either way, I didn't care for this drink.
Sac Sac (Korea)
Jessica: It tasted like an orange had a baby with oxygen, and then exploded into a tasteless void full of pulp.
Club Rock Shandy (Ireland)
Kenton: This was just a normal, light orange pop. It was pretty good. I would drink it again. It has a bit of an off smell, but I imagine that's what Ireland smells like.
Jessica: Tastes like Orange Crush but not really.
Ross's Edinburgh Rock (Scotland)
Jessica: Tastes like the candy your grandmother used to put out in a bowl for visitors. Also tastes as old as your grandmother.
Taveners Fruit Drops (England)
Kenton: These candies were pretty good. They came in a cute little metal can. They're a good, quality candy. I would have them again.
Jessica: These are pretty much a British version of a Lifesaver, only 0.5x bigger.
KitKat Green Tea (Japan)
Kenton: I had these before and thought they were awful. I tried them again today and they weren't bad. I don't know if I just got a bad batch last time, or a good batch this time, but I'm still not sold on them. They taste like wafers and green tea.
Meszanka Krakowska (Poland)
Kenton: These are actually very good! By looking at the packaging I assumed they were fruit gummies but instead they are fruit flavored chocolate. I tried the lemon and raspberry one and they were both very tasty.
Kenton: Looks and smells good, but tastes awful. I didn't expect the inside of the candy to be a hard date. I was doing okay until I looked down and saw that it looked like a bird's brain. I wouldn't recommend this treat.
Jessica: Just... no.
Assorted Vegetarian Meat (Japan)
Kenton: This could have either been very good or very bad. I'm a fan of tofu, but the moment I pulled the soggy piece of vegetarian meat out of its small, metal bag I didn't think I could do it. It smelled horrible! I managed to bite into it and it didn't taste terrible, but I had to get past the stench first.
Jessica: Kind of looked and smelled like wet cat food made into beef jerky.
La La Fish Crackers (Philippines)
Kenton: If you could get past the disgusting smell of flakey fish food, the crackers have relatively no taste. It tastes like biting a very airy, tasteless Cheeto. I wouldn't recommend.
Seasoned Anchovies with Sesame (Thailand)
Kenton: At first I thought nothing of them... then the seasoning hit and this little game of trying different food was over.
MiWadi Blackcarrent (Ireland)
Kenton: Tastes like Welches grape juice, but is only a fraction of the price. Because this is grape concentrate, this little bottle makes 20 glasses of juice... and I'll need every one of those after those anchovies!
Our little "Experience Mosaic From Home" didn't go over very good. We tried some new stuff and learned what we did and didn't like. It was fun to try but it won't become a regular Monday night activity.
Have you ever tried different food like this, either at home or abroad? How did it go? Tell me about it in the comments!
This article is in no way sponsored or affiliated by Mosaic - A Festival of Cultures.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Part 12 of my cross Canada series takes us to the smallest province in Canada, Prince Edward Island. However, don't let the name confuse you: PEI is actually 232 islands!
PEI also happens to have smallest population of any province in Canada, with only 146,300 people as of 2014. This means this province has less people than my hometown Regina!
Being so small, however, it was difficult to find images on Instagram. That isn't to say there's nothing there worth seeing! Quiet the quandary, actually. PEI has a few very unique locations that drive their tourism. One of them is the gorgeous themed village of Avonlea, named after the village in the hit novel "Anne of Green Gables" published in 1908. This story, and the subsequent stories, follows Anne, a red-haired "fiery" orphan who grows up on PEI. The story is an international bestseller, and is strangely very popular in Japan (or so I've been told)!
Nestled between the impressive Mount Royal and the majestic St. Lawrence River is Montreal, a city known for its festivals, abstract art, history and mosaic of countless cultures. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, with a population floating around four million people. While the city is a dynamic mix of Canada's two primary cultures – French and English – there are areas of the city that are culturally specific, such as Little Italy, Greektown and Chinatown. Known for its artistic and liberal mindedness, Montreal also boasts the largest community of homosexuals in North America in their very own "Gay Village".
Being nearly 375 years old, Montreal was pivotal to the creation of New France and Canada and at a time held control over every waterway from the St. Lawrence down to the Gulf of Mexico. Having such incredible influence over the western part of the New World, Montreal hosted the "Great Peace of Montreal" in 1701, which started sixteen years of peace between the French and over 40 different First Nation tribes in North America.
Since its early days, Montreal has been one of the most influential cities in Canada. Montreal housed "internment camps" during World War I, became an ideal location for Americans looking for alcohol during Prohibition, and was the official residence of the Luxembourg royal family during World War II. Montreal held host to the incredible Expo 67, showcasing some of the most incredible architecture of that decade. The seventies saw serious political reformation in Montreal, with many Americans arriving, fleeing the Vietnam Draft. The late seventies paralyzed the city as a terrorist organization, the Front de libération du Québec, detonated explosives throughout the city and kidnapped and killed political figures. These actions forced the Prime Minster to enact the "War Measures Act" and deploy the military into the city to apprehend the terrorists. The eighties and nineties saw two referendums in the province of Quebec to separate from Canada, with Montreal playing a major role in both decisions. The last referendum in 1995 ended with 51% percent of Quebecers wanting to remain part of Canada and 49% wanting to separate.
After a long, dark, frigid winter, Canadians love the few months of summer we get every year. Once the snow melts and the mud dries, we are out hiking, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, climbing and exploring this wonderful country of ours.
Of all the provinces to explore, Alberta ranks at the top of many adventurers' list. From hoodoos to waterfalls, mountains to valleys, deserts to tundra and everything in-between, Alberta offers any outdoorsman the perfect place to embrace nature.