photos: Photo by Priyanka Roy.

A lesson learned

Vendor Voices: Vancouver vendor Peter Thompson talks favourite food and the proper way to smoke fish

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My name is Peter. I was born in Lytton, B.C. in the Fraser Canyon and my topic is about food. My favourite is bannock.

Why? Because you can eat it with almost anything, like bacon and eggs for breaky.

Soup and bannock for lunch or just plain ole jam and peanut butter. You can make sandwiches with it, using fish, baloney, or barbecued burgers. You can make garlic butter and have it with your favourite stew. Or have it in between snacks to fill that void before the main course.

Then there is smoked fish. People smoke it in many different ways, depending on how they like the taste. Some use alder or hickory wood to get that smoky flavour, while others like the Indian candy flavour. So they will rub brown sugar on it and let it sit overnight, maybe in the morning spray it with honey to get that sweetness. There are many different ways depending on the individual. I remember as kids, me and my siblings were playing when visitors came.

They asked to use my Dad’s smokehouse to smoke fish.

Curious as we were, we listened and watched them build a fire—asking them questions. They said, “You need a lot of smoke to smoke fish.”

Once the fire was going they had their fish hanging. We thought we would help them so we had old clothes and we started throwing it on the fire—it was smoking lots, all right! But not the smoke that they wanted.

They came running out of the house yelling and screaming, “Hey, what you kids doing?”

We said, “We’re helping you.”

They said, “No, no, no, not that kind!” They started pulling the burning clothes off, “You are going to ruin my fish, you are going to ruin my fish. I need wood smoke.”

A lesson learned but they laughed it off at the supper table.


Peter wrote this piece during the fall edition of Megaphone’s Community Journalism 101 workshop. You can catch him selling from Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the corner of Fourth and Vine under the canopy of Whole Foods.



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