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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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?