POUTINE

One of the many delicious foods to come out of French Canada, poutine is perhaps one of the most popular and definitive Canadian dishes. Several small towns in Quebec have staked their claim to have invented this amazing meal (or side dish),  dating back to the 1950s. A real poutine uses peppery meat-based gravy and “squeaky” curds on fries. They must have that ‘squeek’ when your bite down, or it’s just a fraud!

 

CANADIAN BACON

What’s known as “peameal bacon” is branded as Canadian bacon just about everywhere else. Unlike traditional bacon, which comes from the pig’s belly, Canadian bacon is lean pork loin that’s been brined and rolled in cornmeal. And add this to poutine and you’ve got Canadian magic!

CAESAR

Invented in 1969 by Calgary restaurant manager Walter Chell, this filling drink grew from there.  Its key ingredients are Clamato juice, vodka, Worchester and a salted rim – but again, throw some bacon and a celery stock and BOOM -Canadian magic and the BEST cure for a hangover!  (Clamato-maker Mott’s claims more than 350-million Caesars are sold every year.)

BEAVERTAIL

Basically, we have a flattened donut with a hole – but BeaverTails are an ultimate Canadian dish. This recipe was created by Graham Hooker’s family and in 1978 Graham introduced this treat to the rest of Canada,  opening his first BeaverTails outlet in Ottawa. Top this treat with Nutella, sugar, or again BACON!

“Canadian” Pizza

Now, we know we didn’t invent pizza BUT our take on pizza is 100% the best: a thin-crust pizza with an array of creative pizzas toppings. Flavours include Cronenberg Crash (cilantro pesto, tandoori tofu, mango, peanuts and red pepper) and the Wayne Gretzky (feta, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, Italian salami, speck and chorizo, hot peppers, chili flakes and caramelized onions). Maple syrup is proudly displayed as one of the additional (and complimentary) toppings.

BUTTER TARTS

There is no way you can be Canadian and not have had someone’s grandma offer you a butter tart! This rich, delectable  Canadian dish goes back to the late 19th century. Consisting of a delicate, crumbly crust and a creamy centre made of a butter, sugar and egg mixture, there’s constant debate over whether raisins should be added to the mix, I think a few or okay – but add some pecans…and I bet even BACON!

NANAIMO BARS

This rich triple layered dessert bar is made of crumb mixture, vanilla-flavoured butter icing, and melted chocolate ( this was my moms way of showing us she loved us). Its exact origin has never been confirmed, though a 1952 recipe for a “chocolate square”can be found in a book called The Ladies Auxiliary to the Nanaimo General Hospital. And, this may be the only dessert I can eat with out thinking bacon would make it better!

SPLIT PEA SOUP

I miss my grandma’s split pea soup!  This classic French Canadian food was first created by explorers who used cured meats and dried pea that were intended to last on their long journey, along with vegetables cultivated from their new land. The result is a Canadian dish that has lasted centuries and is still thoroughly enjoyed today ( again…bacon).

TOURTIERE

This flaky meat pie dates back to the 1600’s and the name coming from the vessel it is created in. Tourtiere is typically filled with ground pork, beef, veal or game and sprinkled with herbs and spices, though in some coastal towns ground fish is used. Should I even bother at this point to add how great bacon would go with this?

KETCHUP

 

This is last on the list for me, for a reason – bleck! But, to leave it out would not be very Canadian of me! Of course, there are ketchup chips….. and ketchup on Kraft Dinner (another favourite dish in Canada), and grilled cheese dipped in ketchup is alright I guess, and it is the one staple that you will find in almost every single Canadian’s fridge! So, Happy Canada Day, and here’s to bacon Caesars!