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What kind of foods are considered Canadian?

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Oct 14th, 2012, 05:59 AM
  #1
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What kind of foods are considered Canadian?

I am heading into Western Canada as part of my 60 day road trip from Key West to Alaska for TheConstantRambler.com and was wondering what dishes are truly Canadian and what foods i need to try
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Oct 14th, 2012, 06:53 AM
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The West Coast is rich in seafood, especially salmon. Vancouver's Granville Island market is seafood heaven.
The British Columbia interior and Victoria Island shelter an expanding wine trade. Adventurous and expensive restaurants look to the new as much as to tradition.
Canada is a mosaic of cultures and cuisines so the "real" food is what you make of it. Chinese and Southeast Asian fusion and all sorts of South Asian curries express the nature of the country as clearly as dried buffalo. "Canadian bacon" is only called that in the USA, while poutine is as much fad as food. Eat them anyhow. Trust your taste buds rather than aribtrary categories.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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We absolutely love seafood and will be spending a couple of days in Vancouver on our return trip South. Thanks for the tip on Granville! We were wondering if there were any "local" specialties when we were going North towards Alaska?
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Oct 14th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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Note that you want Granville Island; Granville street is a long thoroughfare.

You have to try Naniamo Bars in situ. Your dentist will love
you for it!

IMO, Vancouver Island has the most restos serving 'local'
food - lamb, seafood, foraged greens, etc.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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Salmon (and other saltwater fish) on both coasts.
Nova Scotia - best lobster ever, scallops
Northern Ontario - freshwater fish like pickerel and trout and my childhood favorite - smelts
Ontario and Quebec - wild blueberries, butter tarts (tart au sucre in Quebec), Maple Syrup
Quebec - poutine, really rich and filling meat pies (tourtiere)
Southern Ontario - in season - best peaches anywhere
Manitoba and northwestern Ontario - wild rice

Look for food locally sourced if possible. The variety is amazing.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 12:47 PM
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Vancouver's known for salmon, sushi, and Hong Kong style Chinese. Going north along the coast towards Alaska, halibut, especially in Prince Rupert.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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In Vancouver for seafood http://www.joefortes.ca/ a must!!
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Oct 14th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Im pretty sure butter tarts are Canadian. And of course maple syrup
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Oct 15th, 2012, 06:13 AM
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We are currently in Banff and went to the brewery here...AMAZING! Our blog TheConstantRambler will be doing a write up for sure. I am looking forward to all the amazing seafood up the coast I am also very intrigued by butter tarts now
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Oct 15th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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There's a difference between "Canadian food" in terms of items that originated somewhere in Canada, and food that's representative of Vancouver cuisine.

Maple syrup, butter tarts, poutine, etc. are staples of eastern Canadian cuisine, but they're certainly not representative of Vancouver's culinary identity. Kind of like somebody asking for "American food", and people telling them "Texas BBQ" or "Philly cheesesteak" - and then you discover they're going to Seattle.

Butter tarts are like pecan pies, without the pecans. They're rare in Vancouver, although you can probably find them at the Granville Island Public Market.

If you like beer, however, check out the Howe Sound Brewery in Squamish (on your way north to Whistler). Lots of delicious beer in Vancouver... check out the Alibi Room or St. Augustine's for a good selection of local craft beer.
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Oct 15th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Also... if you're going to Granville Island, do check out the Edible Canada bistro for an entirely Canadian dining experience: http://www.ediblecanada.com/bistro.php

(They also have a store that you can just pop into).

And check out Chocolate Arts nearby on W 3rd Avenue and Pine Street... right now they have an incredible pumpkin/praline chocolate made with local organic sugar pumpkins and rum (it's incredible!) http://www.chocolatearts.com/
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Oct 15th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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And if you're looking for a memorable evening, reserve a dinner at Bishop's - one of the pioneers of locally-sourced menus:

http://www.bishopsonline.com/
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Oct 17th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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Everybody knows that Canada doesn't really have its own unique food.

When was the last time somebody stopped you to ask:
"Where can I find a good Canadian restaurant?"



French Fries and Gravy doesn't count for much.

And heaven knows why we call anything "Canadian Bacon"...

Maybe you can find a fried Mars bar ??


And then of course there's Boston Pizza! (wait a minute...)

Maybe just have candy at mealtime - the candy counters in Canada are full of all sorts of neat things. Glosette Raisins are definitely happening.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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NorthwestMale,

Canadian food is regional, just like American food is regional, inspired by local ingredients and local immigrant patterns. To write off the whole country as not having its own "unique food" isn't fair. You just have to bring it down to a regional level, and stop looking at the country as a homogenous mass; it's not.

It's more about the local food culture than one particular food item that can't be found anywhere else. For example, in Vancouver, it's entirely normal grab sushi for lunch, several times a week, for under $10 or have perpetual access to fresh Sockeye salmon, and make it a weekly dinner item. I have a feeling this isn't the food culture in NYC, for example. Montreal smoked meat sandwiches, steamed hot dogs and poutine is a part of the Montreal/Quebec diner scene... it's a part of that food culture. To write it off as not being unique as a Montreal food experience completely unfair. Ukrainian food and Alberta beef plays a large role in the diets of Alberta, Saskathewan and Manitoba... you get Americans visiting Canada totally perplexed at what a perogie is, and yet, perogies are a familiar comfort food to most Canadians. Greek donairs with a sweet sauce are huge part of the food culture in Halifax and Edmonton, but are unheard of elsewhere.

Anyhow... my point is, just because these food items can be found elsewhere in the world, doesn't mean they're no less significant of a proper regionally Canadian food culture.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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NorthwestMale, how did it take you four days to join this thread with your tired old rant about Canadian food? You're slipping.

BC_Robyn--good post!
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Oct 19th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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Good point BC_Robyn. Canada does indeed have great regional differences. Lauren ... Newfoundland Labrador is in eastern Canada and has a very unique yet Canadian (since 1949) culture. Food included. Jiggs dinner, fisherman's brewis with scrunchions, toutons, fried cod tongues, flipper pie, partridgeberry pudding, jam jams, bakeapple tarts etc. etc. etc. have been part of our cultural experience for centuries. Come see!
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Oct 20th, 2012, 09:14 PM
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That's just B.S. - trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Maybe, after all this time, hamburgers are a
"regional food"
native to San Bernardino, California and/or to St. Louis!

When Canada's number one casual dining brand is named after an American city, well, you can pretty much determine the rest of the tale.


Trying to take credit for food stuffs brought by mass groups of immigrants, while in any way passing it off as your own regional cuisine is just a joke.

I mean, at least Texas can rightfully claim part of Tex-Mex.


Were there any authentic Canadian food stuffs of substance, you'd be able to go somewhere in the world and find a "Canadian restaurant".

These days, even in Canada, when a travel guidebook says:

"Cuisine: Canadian" many don't have a clue what to expect!

(yeah, maybe "...something with gravy" )
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Oct 20th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Here in Vancouver-Izakaya definitely.
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Oct 21st, 2012, 08:03 AM
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I would call the foods prepared and presented by the native
peoples of Canada to be labelled Canadian cuisine without
any doubt. Bannock, pemmican, cedar-planked salmon, seaweeds,
oolichans, etc. Can't get more 'Canadian' than the dishes
prepared and presented by the original Canucks.

This mild-mannered Canadian would like to know how it's
possible to come out of the water railing against the
perceived mis-labelling of 'Canadian cuisine'...really?
Metaphorically foaming at the mouth over Boston Pizza
and gravy? Really?
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Oct 21st, 2012, 08:50 AM
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Only one mention of Nanaimo bars - and it was misspelt! And you don't need to have it "in situ" - it's everywhere!
DON'T MISS THE NANAIMO BARS!
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