Vancouver’s hybrid food culture brings a global ‘taste of home’ to residents

November 26, 2021

By Vancouver Sun |

As migration to Vancouver has increased with the rising tide of globalization, so has the diversity of foods available here.

A new study finds both long-standing and naturalized citizens have been indulging in new cuisines, creating what researchers say are “hybrid food cultures.”

The phenomenon is the focus of a study published in the journal Appetite . It examined the diets of the two largest population groups in Vancouver, Chinese Canadians and European Canadians, ages 19 to 70, some born outside of Canada and others whose families have deep roots in the country.

“Our major finding was a trend of diversification on both sides of the spectrum,” said Colin Dring, a UBC researcher and co-author of the study. Although the number of residents surveyed was modest, researchers found a majority had indulged in new cultural cuisines.

Of the 16 residents interviewed, 13 reported diversifying their diet because the food was readily available in their environment. Seven said the change was due to recommendations from friends or family.

The opening of shops and restaurants dedicated to ethnic foods in parts of the city where these foods were not previously available and the increasing availability of ethnic foods in ‘mainstream’ stores were recognized as significant influences.

“One of my best friends from elementary school, she’s from Korea. I actually got introduced to Korean food at her house,” said a resident of European descent in her 30s.

The report did not name people the researchers interviewed.

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