Tomorrow marks Canada’s 148th birthday. That’s pretty young as far as countries go, but it doesn’t mean the Great White North is short on food culture.
You’ve heard of poutine and maple syrup, but what about Nanaimo bars, ketchup chips or beaver tails? (Relax, it’s just a dessert!) There are tons of dishes, brands and products beyond the obvious that are just as—if not more so—quintessentially Canadian as those well known staples.
In honour of Canada Day, here is a list of 34 uniquely (for the most part) Canadian foods you should know. Sounds pretty delicious, eh?
1. Maple syrup
2. Beaver tails – fried dough dusted with sugar
3. Nanaimo bars – a no-bake dessert square with custard and chocolate layers
4. La tire – maple taffy, traditionally poured over snow
5. Butter tarts – mini pastry shells filled with a mixture of butter, sugar, eggs and sometimes raisins
6. Sugar pie – similar to butter tarts but full-size and filled with butter, cream, sugar and/or maple syrup
7. Date squares – dessert squares made with dates and an oatmeal crumble topping
8. Saskatoon berries – a nutritious, tasty berry reminiscent of blueberries
9. Cheese curds
10. Poutine (let’s face it – this list wouldn’t be complete without it!)
11. Peameal bacon, a.k.a. “Canadian” bacon
12. Bannock – a traditional aboriginal fried bread
13. Potato chip flavours – ketchup, all-dressed and dill pickle
14. Moose, bear, partridge and other game meats
15. Montreal-style bagels
16. Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches
17. Pemmican – a traditional aboriginal mixture of dried meat, fat and berries – like an early energy bar!
18. Tourtière – meat pie
19. Ice wine – a sweet dessert wine made from frozen grapes
20. Beer (I know, not unique to Canada, but beer is as Canadian as hockey so it deserves a spot on the list!)
21. Canada Dry ginger ale
22. The classic Caesar cocktail
23. Crown Royal – Canadian whisky (remember those purple velvet bags they came in?)
24. Canadian Club – another Canadian whisky
Brands and restaurants:
25. Tim Horton’s
26. Hostess potato chips
27. Habitant canned pea soup
28. E.D. Smith jams and jellies
29. McCain foods (most notably French fries)
30. Laura Secord chocolates and ice cream
31. Glossettes – chocolate-covered raisins and peanuts
32. Cherry Blossoms – an individually-wrapped chocolate-covered maraschino cherry
33. Kraft Dinner – it’s what us Canucks call Kraft brand macaroni and cheese
34. A bunch of different chocolate bars – Coffee Crisp, Eat-More, Aero, Caramilk, Jersey Milk, Mr. Big, Crispy Crunch, Smarties. Hard to believe Americans don’t have these!
Anything missing from this list? What’s your favourite Canadian food?
Note: While this list is based on my own experience as a born and bred Canadian, it has not been checked for accuracy. It’s also not exhaustive, so if I missed anything please leave a comment!