Eat Alberta First

Last summer, we took you on a culinary journey throughout our beautiful country and brought you the foodie hot spots of Alberta:  This summer, we’ll visit provinces through regional cookbooks that give us a little taste of what you’ll find while exploring Canada. Pick up these books before heading out for a day trip or cross-country trek and visit some of the great local places that will make you smile. We’re starting in Alberta with a fresh off the press book, Eat Alberta First, that not only provides local recipes but highlights the people and products that put amazing food on your plate.

Author Karen Anderson is the proud owner of Alberta Food Tours Inc. and has written other books like Food Artisans of Alberta and A Spicy Touch Having lived in Alberta for many years, Karen is passionate about educating not only Albertans but all Canadians about the unique food scene in her province. Eat Alberta First takes us through the six (yes six!) seasons and how food adapts to each of them, the localized products and the artisans that provide them, and how Albertans make food the center of every celebration and feast (you have to try the rutabaga puff!).

Eat Alberta First also looks at the cultural influences that bring international cuisine to the Alberta foodie. As any prairie town will attest, there is a large Ukrainian influence in the food industry, as well as Chinese – see how true this is at We also get a small taste of Muslim and Hindu dishes that will spice up your life!

Alberta is known for its amazing beef (we tried the cedar plank beef roast – get the recipe at amazing!) but pork is a high commodity as well when it comes to meat. We thought you’d like to try Lip-Smacking, Finger-Licking, Messy, Good Ribs in our Recipe section. Along with the amazing ribs, the author educates us on the pork industry in Alberta: “As a food journalist since 2006, I’ve seen many of Alberta’s pork farmers opt out of raising factory pork and switch to raising heritage breeds on pasture. Breeds like Berkshire, Red Wattle, Mangalitsa, Tamworth, KuneKune, and Duroc are all thriving in Alberta. Each dollar we spend as consumers determines the food system we get. Because many consumers prefer the idea of pasture-raised pork, a market for this product has been created and larger grocers, like Calgary Co-op, for example, are responding by phasing out caged-pork products.”

Heading to Alberta any time soon? You’ll want to grab this book at and make plans to visit local farmer’s markets and mom and pop cafes that will serve you the best food you’ll ever taste.

Need some help finding these people and places? Alberta Food Tours will give you some ideas at Head to our Giveaway section and win a copy of the book – day trippers, I know you’ll want it!

Contents and images from Eat Alberta First, copyright © 2023 by Karen Anderson. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions.