FOOD & DRINK
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Top 5 Ultimate Canadian Foods
If a country’s personality could be determined by the foods available there, Canada would definitely be one of the most diverse places in the world. With so many different people and cultures calling Canada their home, the country could almost be considered the Food UN of the world.
But what does one do if they are seeking a taste of something that is quintessentially Canadian? Something that is purely associated with life north of the 49th parallel? A good place to start would be trying each of the foods on our list of Top 5 Ultimate Canadian Foods.
Well, if you find yourself in Toronto, you’re in luck. Toronto is Canada’s biggest city and home to some of the best restaurants found anywhere. Foodies on the hunt for a taste of the Great White North, will have no problem fulfilling their quest, but where on our list to begin?
1. PoutineMight as well start at the top of the Canadian food mountain and try some poutine. This often discussed rarely duplicated dish is made with: fries, cheese curds, and gravy. There are many variations and additions that can be made to this dish, such as adding Kraft Dinner mac & cheese, bacon, pulled pork, chicken or beef. You can explore all of them at Smokes Poutinerie, Nomnomnom Poutine or Poutini’s House of Poutine.
2. Peameal BaconIf poutine represents the summit of essential Canadian foods, then Canadian bacon, or, peameal bacon as we call it, forms the solid bedrock base of that Canadian food mountain. Canada exported its famous cured pork to England at the turn of the century during that country’s pork shortage. It’s literally a part of Canada’s early history. Downright delicious, peameal bacon can be substituted for anything you would use traditional bacon for; breakfast, on top of burgers or in a BLT sandwich. In fact, a sandwich is a fantastic way to try some peameal bacon, and either The Carousel Bakery at the St. Lawrence Market or Bacon Nation in Kensington Market are the best places to try one.
3. Butter TartsSo, we’ve covered the savoury side of Canadian food, but what about the sweet side? Luckily, Canadians have a pretty good sweet tooth. One favourite sweet treat is the butter tart. Traditionally these feature a flaky pie-like crust and a creamy filling made from butter, eggs and sugar, a lot of it. These super-sweet decadent diet bombs can be found at most coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets. The best ones however, are usually homemade, like the ones found at Maple Key Tart Co., The Butter Baker, or The Sweet Oven.
4. BeaverTailsAnother true Canadian sweet treat you could try that’s not quite as detrimental to your waistline would be BeaverTails. No, we’re not advocating rounding yourself up an actual beaver and having a nosh on his rudder-like tail, we’re talking about thinly hand-stretched dough pastry that’s then deep fried. The end result just looks like a beaver tail but is far tastier. They are usually topped with sugar and cinnamon or a variety of other toppings like hazelnut or cheesecake spread and sprinkled with Oreo cookie crumble or Skor® bits. You can visit a BeaverTail store beside Queens Quay terminal in Harbourfront, just steps from Union Station.
5. Maple AnythingYup, this one’s a bit of a blanket entry in our list, but that’s just the way it is with the official flavour of Canada. Whether its maple syrup on pancakes, a maple glazed doughnut from Tim Hortons, maple flavoured bacon, maple fudge or maple baked beans, you’ll find this flavour pretty much everywhere. It’s practically a condiment here. Where can you get a taste of maple? Pretty much anywhere, but the most obvious place for tourists would be any souvenir shop. They’ll surely have some syrup, candies, or maple bark for sale.
There are loads of lists that feature best restaurants in Toronto, but any journey into foods that are uniquely Canadian should really begin with the basics and some of the “must-try” items we’ve listed here.
It’s a big country, and it’s full of big tastes and flavours, eh?!