On this July 1, Canada will celebrate it’s 150th birthday.
For many of you who do not know what our federal holiday is about, it is the day when the provinces and British colonies united under a single Dominion now known as our country called Canada. We have grown as a country with our history with the British and French, and most of all, our native Indian heritage. I remember learning about my country and the pioneers that helped built our lands into the country we are today. As I’m writing this now, I am truly proud to call myself a Canadian.
I wanted to share with you the type of food that makes us Canadians very unique. Some of you reading this may have tried some of our delicacies. If you ever have the chance to try some things on the list, you can proudly say you have eaten something truly Canadian!
Atlantic Salmon – One of our greatest natural resources is fishing, specifically salmon. Off the Atlantic coast of our eastern provinces, hundreds of ships would set off catching thousands of fresh, wild salmon. Due to increase of consumption, we have had to farm salmon inland to keep up with growing demand.
Montreal Smoked Meat – From the province of Quebec, this deli meat has gained popularity ever since it was first created in the bustling city of Montreal. It is made by curing and salting a large beef brisket covered with spices, then smoked and steamed until cooked through. It is best eaten with several carved pieces stuffed into a Kaiser bun, a thin layer of mustard and pickle slices for condiments are a definite must to bring out the tanginess of this large sandwich.
Poutine – Also originated from Quebec, this sloppy dish of carbs is one of few that we are truly proud of and one of my absolute favourites. It consists of french fries topped with cheese curds and loads of gravy. Some eat this as a side dish or as a meal itself. I say let your stomach decide if you want it as a snack or lunch.
Maple Syrup – What’s the first thing you reach for when eating pancakes? Canadians cannot take full credit for creating maple syrup since it was practiced by the indigenous people of North America (Canada and the USA). However, we can proudly say that the majority of maple syrup is produced mainly from Quebec. The sap from maple trees is slowly extracted then boiled down to its purest syrup form. After a strict filtering process, it produces the sweet taste that runs smooth out of the bottle and onto our plates.
Canadian Peameal Bacon is a special type of lean, cured pork loin that is trimmed of fat. It was once rolled in a mix of ground yellow peas before WWII but cornmeal became the better choice. It is a very different taste than the standard strips of bacon sold in grocery stores. Much like our Montreal Smoked Meat, we like to also cook slices of peameal bacon and make a large sandwich out of it. But if you like your standard plated breakfast meal, simply slice a few pieces and pan fry it. If you can’t get your hands on it, perhaps your local breakfast restaurant might carry these on their menu!
Ice Wine – Although this dessert wine first originated with the Romans and then with the Germans, Canada has become the largest commercial producer of ice wine today. Depending on the temperatures, ice wine is produced from grapes that are frozen while still attached to the vines. The sugars from grapes do not freeze thus providing a more concentrated and sweeter wine. The Ontario Niagara region is the most common area where ice wine is produced ideally because of the proper freezing temperatures. I don’t usually drink but I cannot help myself to quench my thirst with a glass of ice wine. It is like no other glass of wine you have ever tasted. Sweet and to the point. I would highly recommend all of you to try a small glass with your favourite dessert. It brings out the sweet tooth out of any person.
I hope you all enjoyed reading some of the different types of Canadian foods we love to share with the world. If you have eaten any of the above, I would love to hear your comments.