Friday, 2 November 2012

Chatting with Canadians- Chapter 3

It's that time again! (What a week full of series and challenges, eh?!) I snuck that "eh?" in there to make this post even more Canadian for you. You're welcome. 

Chatting with Canadians
In case you are new to these parts- "Chatting with Canadians" is a series I developed with Ashley from First Home Dreams. It happens every other Friday and alternates from my blog to hers. It's just a fun series that highlights some unique features of Canada as most of the blogs we read seem to be based in the United States or other countries. You can read about some common myths about Canada in Part One or read a bit about our pop culture in Part Two on Ashley's blog.
The series continues today with talking about some Canadian food. While our food is generally very similar to the food Americans eat, we do have some differences and some things that are specific to our Canadian culture. Let's look at some of those specific items-
BC Salmon- while salmon is available in other areas of the globe, British Columbia (a province of Canada located on the west coast) is a native environment for this fish. Salmon is British Columbia's largest agricultural industry.
bc salmon
Beaver tails (also known as Elephant Ears or Whale Tails)- These are a pastry stretched to look like a beaver tail and deep fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are then brushed with butter and a variety of different toppings (cinnamon and sugar, chocolate, reese's pieces, nutella, fruit, whipped cream, icing sugar, Skor, etc). They are delicious!!
beaver tail 2
beaver tail
Poutine- This dish originates in our French- based province of Quebec. It is french fries covered with a brown gravy and cheese curds. In recent years, specialty poutines have started to pop up that add additional toppings like pulled pork, bacon, chicken, montreal smoked meat, etc.
Peameal Bacon (also known as back bacon or Canadian bacon)- This is basically a pork loin that is trimmed, cured and the rolled in cornmeal. It is a lot leaner than traditional bacon and has a different flavour but is still just as delicious! It's used a lot as a side to eggs or on sandwiches or burgers.
peameal bacon
Maple Syrup - Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees. It was developed here in Canada and the province of Quebec is the largest producer of this product world wide. It produces about 3/4 of the world's supply!
Maple Cookies- These cookies feature a maple cream in the middle flavoured with maple syrup and the cookie parts are shaped like the maple leaf- very Canadian!
maple cookies
Montreal Smoked Meat- This originated in Montreal (duh!) which is a big city in the province of Quebec. It's a deli style meat made by salting and curing beef brisket, then smoking it and then steaming it. It's popular on sandwiches and a large piece of Quebec culture.
montreal smoked meat
Nanaimo Bars- These were created in Canada and are actually named after a city in the province of British Columbia. They are made with a wafer, crumb like crust (usually with coconut) topped with a butter icing and then topped with a layer of melted chocolate. The icing in the middle can be flavoured vanilla, mint, peanut butter, mocha or a variety of other choices.
"Canadian" pizza- This is just standard pizza but it's a combination of toppings that are normally labelled as being the Canadian pizza. They include tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, bacon and mushrooms. It just happens to be one of my favourite topping combos!
There are also some candies, cereals and other junk food that we have in Canada that are not typically found the in US. Some of these include-
Smarties- Smarties here little buttons of chocolate surrounded by a crunchy candy topping in a variety of colours- similar to M & M's. In the US, Smarties are more of a chalky candy disk- which we call Rockets here in Canada.
Cadbury products- Cadbury products are made in Britain and some of the products go to the US (like the Maynards brands) but their chocolate doesn't seem to be available. Aero, Coffee Crisp, Caramilk, Crispy Crunch and other chocolate bars are some of our main chocolate bars here which are probably only sparcely available in the United States (please forgive me if this is incorrect!).
I'm sure there are others items that I am missing but these are the big ones. Have you tried any of these items?


  1. When I read Beaver Tails, I immediately thought Canadians really do eat the tails of Beavers. Glad to hear that's not the case. I'm amazed by all of the foods you have that are so different from that of the US. Although I probably shouldn't be because foods can very from state to state here.

    For some reason I keep thinking I've seen Cadbury chocolate bars here more recently, although it's not the large variety and, I've heard, it doesn't taste the same. Less creamy or something.

    I am definitely enjoying this series!

    1. LOL! I didn't even think people would read it that way! No- we do not eat actual beaver tails. I can't imagine they would be very tasty. haha

      Yeah- It was surprising for me to realize that so many of these are unique to Canada. I guess you don't really realize they are different until you look into it. It's just normal here. For the most part we eat what Americans eat.

      So glad you are enjoying the series!!

  2. I love salmon! I had no idea it was native from BC, so interesting. We usually buy Norwegian salmon here. And the Beaver Tails look awesome!

    1. Yes- salmon is a popular fish to eat in Canada. It's native to other parts of the world too but it's a big export and industry in BC.

      Beaver tails are pretty delicious! I usually have them at fairs when they are called elephant ears but they are pretty much the same thing!

  3. Those things called Beaver Tails look delicious, at first I thought the same thing as Brandi though, lol.

    1. They are delicious!! I'm still laughing about that one though! haha. I didn't even think about it be being taken that way. Oops!

  4. So funny that your candies have different names! I dont know whether the french fries in cheese and gravy look tasty or disgusting lol.

    1. Yeah- I'm not a big poutine fan. I just like regular french fries. They definitely don't look too appealing but people sure do love them!!

  5. Great post and information !

    I thought you may want to warn your readers that if they go to the Maritimes (on the East coast, which includes New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) and order a "poutine" in some restaurants, they may be in for a surprise if they expect fries, sauce and cheese curds.

    I don't know if you've heard of "Acadian poutine" or "poutine râpée" (which is not to be confused with Québec poutine you described). This is a traditional Acadian dish made of grated and drained potatoes, shaped into a ball around a minced pork centre, then boiled. No fries in sight.

    Now I must warn you that it is an acquired taste (which I must admit that I have not acquired). I've seen people eat this with either white sugar, brown sugar, ketchup, salt, maple syrup or molasses, depending on their taste.

    So I thought I'd let you and your readers know in case they find themselves in the Maritime and get a meal they never knew they ordered.

    Oh, and when you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?


    1. I never knew this! Thanks for sharing! That definitely would be a surprise...

      Haha- I don't eat Smarties too often but I have been known to save the red ones for the end.

  6. I've had poutine, although it isn't my favorite. Donairs have to be my all time favorite thing that I tried while I was in Canada. And Donair pizza wasn't half bad either. You definitely won't find that in the US. My dad actually just bought me a box of maple cookies today, so I have some of those to snack on later. :)

    1. Poutine isn't my favourite either. I've actually never had a Donair. I'll have to look into that!

  7. I must try a beaver tail, immediately. Damn, Canadian food looks good!

  8. And now I am hungry! I've never heard of Beaver Tails, but I've definitely had Elephant ears ;) And I'm not sure about the gravy fries...but I guess it's not too different that mashed potatoes with gravy!

    1. Beaver Tails are similar to Elephant Ears- they just seem to smother them with more chocolate, etc. which is definitely not a bad thing! Yeah- gravy and fries don't really do it for me but I know lots of people who love them!

  9. this post just made me so hungry


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