More than ever, Canadians are paying close attention to the foods they eat — and not just in terms of nutritional value. They want to know how and where the food is prepared.

An increasing number of Canadians are turning to locally produced foods — and they’re in luck because, when it comes to culinary delights, this country is a land of plenty.

Nowhere is it more evident than in Ontario, the heartland province. Even as she was preparing for a trip to Italy, a country known for its superb cuisine and wine, celebrity chef Lynn Crawford was singing the praises of her home province.

“Ontario is now attracting a lot of culinary tourists from abroad,” she says, adding that the draw is not simply the thousands of world-class restaurants in Toronto. “This province has so much to offer in terms of food and drink, [Ontarians] should take the time to explore the food-related events, attractions, and activities throughout the province. It’s all right here in their own backyard.”

Niagara region

This region’s vineyards, orchards, and rich farmland make it a culinary hotspot. Tourists flock to visit Ontario’s world-famous wineries — there are more than 80 of them — as well as bakeries, cheese shops, fruit stands, and ice cream shops. No doubt, this region, about an hour’s drive south from Toronto, offers much more than just internationally acclaimed Icewine.

Prince Edward County

Located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, this county was once known as the garden capital of Canada because it produced more than 30 percent of the canned food in Canada. Today, the county produces world-class cheese and hosts an annual cheese festival. Also, thanks to a relatively mild climate, there are dozens of vineyards and celebrated wineries across the county.

Haliburton

This area, located in central Ontario, has long been known for its incredible scenery, lakes, rivers, and wildlife. But today, visitors and cottagers are enjoying more than just the great outdoors. They’re enjoying the area’s culinary delights, including locally produced dairy products and craft beer.

Bay of Quinte

This area, on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, has a great agricultural tradition. The rich farmland has given rise to high-quality wine, craft beer, cider, and produce. It’s an ideal destination for those with a fondness for excellent cheese and chocolate.