Canadian cuisine is often neglected and pushed off to the side as nothing but a bottle of maple syrup, but it’s real and it’s delicious. It might not be as influential as French, Italian or Mexican cuisine, but Canadian cuisine was strongly influenced by the French and that often resonates in its native foods. Some dishes may seem a little outlandish, but remember to keep an open mind when scrolling through these true Canadian foods. It’s not all about the maple syrup.
Named after a city of Nanaimo in west coast province of British Columbia, Nanaimo bars start with a crumbly cookie base with creamy custard in the middle and follow with a smooth layer of chocolate on top. These bar desserts require no baking and are a hit with natives as well as tourists.
Peameal Bacon (“Canadian Bacon”)
If you’ve ever wondered exactly what makes bacon Canadian, you’re about to find out. Unlike normal bacon that’s made of pork belly, peameal bacon consists of pork loin that’s been crusted with cornmeal. It falls nothing short of the bacon we know and love and does great in sandwiches.
A beavertail is basically a dessert flatbread. The donut dough itself is shaped like a beaver’s tail, hence the name, and is topped with just about anything from Oreos and vanilla icing to chocolate and bananas. Besides the shape, they’re not too different from regular donuts.
Probably one of the best-known Canadian foods is poutine. A traditional poutine consists of french fries and cheese curds with a drizzle of meaty gravy. It’s prevalent throughout the whole country and can be found almost anywhere from local shops to McDonald’s.
Montreal Smoked Meat
Canada’s own version of the New York pastrami, Montreal smoked meat is served in sandwiches in delis. But unlike pastrami, it’s usually more savory and less sweet. Whether it’s dry-cured or brine-cured, the spices all seep into the meat
Seems like Montreal and New York City have more in common than just the smoked meat and pastrami. Montreal also has its own specialty bagel that is specially baked in a wooden oven. Brought over by Jewish immigrants back in the day, this form of the bagel slightly differs from New York bagels with a wider hole in the middle and sweeter taste.
It’s a generalized fact that Canadians love their ketchup, whether it’s on mac and cheese or on chips as shown above. Its tomatoey taste brings sweetness, saltiness and a little bit of sourness in one bite. It may sound unappetizing at first, but it’s a Canadian original that shouldn’t be ignored.
Inspired by the British and cooked by Chinese in the nineteenth century, this tri-layered dish resembles a shepherd’s pie with its layers of ground beef, corn and mashed potatoes. To no surprise, it’s often served with ketchup on the side.
If you could try only one dessert in Canada, make sure you go for the butter tarts no matter how much those Timbits are calling your name. The tart is made with a flaky pastry cup that’s filled with a gooey concoction of butter, eggs, sugar and syrup. It’s sweet and decadent goodness, that’s what it is.