Ukrainian Heritage in the Canadian Prairies, Regina
When I return to Regina to visit family and where my great grandparents decided to settle after fleeing the Ukraine in 1913 I have a sense of no longer being Canadian but Ukrainian.
In fact, as a child I often identified myself as Ukrainian, British, Swedish and Norwegian as if I could summon the ideal stereotypical traits of each nation. Being a relatively young nation, Canadians do not parade their patriotism like our neighbours to the south, although the Vancouver Olympics of 2012 did reinforce Canadian pride.
This can be represented within the food since we are still defining with what it means to cook Canadian food and be Canadian.
It seems as though the Ukrainian Co-op has taped in to this underlying psyche within its Regina citizens. Many Ukrainian, German and Russian (among other nationalities) established themselves within the Canadian Prairies.
Searching for the Co-op, just a 5 minute drive from the centre of town, you quickly find yourself in another time where Ukrainian churches and German butcher shops with populate an area that hasn't been altered since the 60s.
Each family, depending on which nation they identify with may very well claim that the best sausage is not made by the Ukrainian Co-op but the German shop down the street. But you'll realize what makes the Ukrainian Co-op special is their smokers outside the establishment and the garlicky campfire aroma they exude.
This Co-op sells some of the best Keilbasa sausage for cheap - $4-6 CAN for a ring.