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Original Canadian Foods? Eh!

Aside from some aboriginal food creations and the butter tart and Nanaimo bar I can't think of any other Canadian Food dishes or specialty items. I/m wondering why, considering the resourcefulness of the the population. Any one have any other examples or theories on why this is so?

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    1. Pate Chinois? Tourtiere? Poutine? Creton? Granted they are all from Quebec, so maybe your point stands.

      3 Replies
      1. re: vanillagorilla

        Where I grew up Pate Chinois was also known as Shepherd's Pie, so maybe the name but not the dish are uniquely Canadian.

        btw there's another thread on this subject on the Western Canada board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/475673

        1. re: maplesugar

          It's definitely based on a shepherd's pie, but it is a little different. The corn and creamed corn are not traditional in a real shepherd's pie.

          1. re: vanillagorilla

            Funny, there must be regional variations. I've never had (but I've heard of) creamed corn in Pate Chinois. In our house it was always ground beef topped w corn, then topped w mashed potatoes.

      2. What about ketchup chips? And ketchup powder for my popcorn? I just got back from Whistler and I'm already craving the stuff.

        18 Replies
        1. re: chloevu

          I grew up in Montreal and I love ketchup chips and poutine. oh and beaver's tails

          1. re: savvy savorer

            Aren't Beaver tails just Canadian elephant ears?

            1. re: GreenYoshi

              Which I suppose is just Indian fry bread, which I suppose is just zeppoli...

              1. re: GreenYoshi

                Not necessarily. There is a delicacy (similar to ox tail stew or soup) made from a beaver tail.


              2. re: savvy savorer

                we used to go to Montreal all the time, and there was this sandwich I fell in love with (most likely a tourist trap) but was a deli we would get take out from. the line would be out the door for these piled high meat sandwiches, like a corned beef? amazing sandwiches, can't remember the name of the place though.....
                chipped beef? no.... I can't remember. but everyone said it was a Montreal Landmark?

                1. re: nseattlefoodie

                  That would be the Montreal "Smoked Meat" sandwich.
                  I went to the regular store once, but they were also available at Expos game. Possibly the best stadium food I have ever had. (apologies to the philly cheesesteak at Citizens, the BBQ Bowl at Pac Bell and the Primanti sandwich in Pittsburgh.)

                  1. re: GreenYoshi

                    No I think you are mistaken, SHWARTZ"S is the smoked meat place, sorry, grew up in MTL

                    1. re: savvy savorer

                      yes that's it! Oh my goodness, it was amazing.

                    2. re: GreenYoshi

                      In the US you can order Montreal "Style" smoked meat from Harringtons in VT. Since i don't live as close to Montreal as I used to, it is a welcome alternative when the craving arises.

                      1. re: Candy

                        Growing up when we were in or around Montreal my folks would take me to (I hope I remember this right) either Ben's or Dunn's (two separate spots) to get smoked meat sandwiches. I live in North Carolina now and just discover that The Fresh Market here sometimes carries smoked meat, although I haven't had a chance to try some yet. Now if I can just find some spruce beer.

                        1. re: blackoak

                          I lived an hour south of Montreal from '59 on and off until '81 with frequent trips back. i never had spruce beer. It will be something to seek out next trip back. i am seriously contemplating dragging along my Food Saver to package and seal some St. Viateur bagels. My DH tries hard to emulate them on our grill and comes close, but they just not quite the same.

                    3. re: nseattlefoodie

                      That was Shwartz's and it is one of those institutions that tourists and locals alike love.

                    4. re: savvy savorer

                      Odd, I never heard of beaver's tails (queues de castor) in Montréal. Thought they were more an Ottawa thing.

                      1. re: lagatta

                        They're definitely an Ottawa thing, though it's possible the chain opened some branches in Montreal. Still, it's not the same if you're not freezing on the canal...

                        1. re: piccola

                          They opened a Queue de Castor in Old Montreal. But I don't know if it is still open. You are right, it is much better while skating on the Canal. There was also a branch in Quebec City.

                        2. re: lagatta

                          the chain started in ottawa but is now owned and franchised by a montrealer from my high school who also owns Moozoo

                      2. re: chloevu

                        are ketchup chips different than ketchup flavored chips? I've seen ketchup flavored chips down south. I've never heard of ketchup powder but it sounds awesome.

                      3. I think of peameal bacon, and the ubiquitous 'peameal on a bun' as a Canadian food.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          Pemeal on a bun? Never had it sorry... I dunno if it qualifies as ubiquitous...regional maybe??

                          1. re: maplesugar

                            peameal on a bun is TOTALLY canadian...that's why it's called canadian bacon in the states, eh?

                            1. re: lolabella

                              All I meant was I've gone 30+ years and never seen "peameal on a bun" or bacon on a bun on a menu from east coast to west.

                              1. re: maplesugar

                                st. lawrence market is famous for peameal on a bun, and when emeril was in town he stopped by the market to try these sandwiches...it's the kind of thing you'll see at roadside diners, or some totally canadian snack bar at a country flea market (in ontario, anyway)...you know, the same place that has a stack of homemade butter tarts at the counter!

                              2. re: lolabella

                                I've heard of it, I've even seen an article in Saveur magazine about artisinal peameal bacon. It isn't common out here in Vancouver (I have seen it at a few shops). Is it readily available where you live? We just get the common back bacon here.

                                1. re: fmed

                                  I only heard of peameal bacon in Ontario. Didn't see it in Winnipeg or Quebec, or in my limited wanderings in Vancouver. Is it in the maritimes? I've always thought of it as a regional thing, but I guess some of these other items are regional, and we're calling them Canadian, so I guess it goes.

                                  1. re: moh

                                    For some reason, in Ontario the cured pork loin was rolled in pea flour, but the practice died out when corn meal became cheaper (perhaps 70 years ago). The name peameal stuck, but you won't find it now, as it always rolled in cornmeal..
                                    There is another type of Canadian bacon sold in the U.S.: the pork loin is cured, rolled in corn meal, and smoked. It is firm and dry, much like Irish bacon, or smoked Vermont back bacon. It is served at Peter Luger as an app., and has quite a following.

                                    1. re: moh

                                      I've seen it in Ontario. Have been to the Maritimes many times before and never witnessed it there.

                                  2. re: lolabella

                                    I have had a peameal bacon sandwich at the St. Lawrence market and at the farmers market in St. Jacobs. Very tasty.

                                    1. re: lolabella

                                      Sad to say, there is no peameal bacon available now, as every meat shop in Canada uses corn meal.

                                      1. re: lolabella

                                        Peameal and Canadian bacon aren't the same. Similar but not the same. The big difference being Peameal is rolled in cornmeal and CB isn't.


                                        1. re: Davwud

                                          Canadian bacon is called back bacon in Canada. (It is much less fatty than the other kind of bacon).

                                  3. ;
                                    We're getting our list together;
                                    If you have a challenge on any food item or any other foods to add please let us know

                                    1) BUTTER TART
                                    2) NANAIMO BAR
                                    3) PEAMEAL BACK BACON
                                    4) FROZEN MAPLE SYRUP STICKS
                                    5) POUTINE
                                    6) TOURTIERE
                                    7) CRETON?
                                    8) PATE CHINOIS? (Shepherds Pie?)
                                    9) KETCHUP CHIPS
                                    10) MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT
                                    11) BEAVER TAILS
                                    12) INDIAN FRY BREAD
                                    13) PEMICAN (dried meat and fruit cakes)
                                    14) FISH &BREWIS ((Nwfndlnd)
                                    15) SEAL FLIPPER PIE (Nwfndlnd)

                                    And here are some items that came in from our Western Canadian friends;
                                    1) FRENCH CANADIAN PEA SOUP
                                    2) BANNOCK
                                    3) SALMON CANDY (aboriginal)
                                    4) HARD BREAD (Nwfndlnd)
                                    5) TARTE AU SUCRE (sugar tart?)
                                    6) SYRUP PIE?
                                    7) BLOODY CEASAR (with clamato juice)
                                    8) GINGER BEEF (Calgary Alberta)
                                    9) SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN BALLS
                                    10) WAR WON TON SOUP?
                                    11) SASKATOON BERRY PIE ( Saskatoon Saskatchewan)
                                    12) VENISON CABASSA (I first had it in Saskatoon) along with...................................
                                    13) YOUNG PIGEON/SQUAB NOODLE SOUP

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: fruglescot

                                      I'm not at peace with the inclusion of Ginger Beef, War Wonton, and Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls.

                                      1. re: fmed

                                        I'm just making the list and these items came off the Western Canada-Calgary board. Can't say I blame you though for being a bit restless
                                        because I had never considered them Canadian either.
                                        Check with the man in Calgary.
                                        I found this article on Wikipedia about "Chicken Ball" origins;

                                        Canadian Chinese cuisine or Can/Chinese is a popular style of cooking exclusive to take-out and dine-in eateries found across Canada. It was the first form of commercially-available Chinese food available in Canada. This cooking style was invented by early Cantonese immigrants who adapted traditional Chinese recipes to Western tastes. This usually required altering cooking times, ingredients, and preparation methods so that the dishes were more agreeable to the Canadian palate. This cuisine developed alongside a similar version in the United States.
                                        OB; The key word here seems to be "adapted'. Wouldn't you agree?

                                        1. re: fmed

                                          maybe not wor wonton, but ginger beef is a 100% Canadian invention first prepared in Calgary. Chicken balls are Canadian as well- you won't find them on chinese resto menues in other countries.

                                          So please get comfortable with these two, because they belong on the list.

                                          1. re: John Manzo

                                            I didn't know that about chicken balls - I thought they were general "North American Chinese".

                                            Alberta ginger beef is a product of the many Chinese restaurants opened up by former railway workers - I suspect there might be different dishes with a similar name in other countries.

                                            Alberta ginger beef definitely belongs on the list, but chicken balls are a revelation...

                                            1. re: John Manzo

                                              Not saying they are not Canadian, however I did see chicken balls in Switzerland last week at a stand on the street in Bern.

                                          2. re: fruglescot

                                            Funny, I thought tarte au sucre was a Quebec thing! I first saw it when I moved to quebec. If it made its way out West, I would guess it was via the voyageurs.

                                            And since we talk maple sugar products: Sucre a la creme!!!

                                            1. re: moh

                                              Some contributors on the Western Canada board thread (me included) are from Quebec/Ontario. I think I was the one mentioning the tarte au sucre. I grew up on the Ont/PQ border and going to a sugaring off was a winter ritual. My grandparents had trees tapped on their farm. Incidentally Alberta doesn't appear to have an abundance of maple trees, the only maples I've seen out here are Japanese. I get my maple syrup through family who ship it from Quebec or from the Quebec booth at the Calgary Farmer's Market.

                                            2. re: fruglescot

                                              You may want to distinguish between two types of POUTINE. The more traditional one is some sort of potato dumpling from the Maritimes, the newer is the fries with curds and gravy.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                poutine râpée (Acadian)
                                                should have its own entry in the list

                                              2. re: fruglescot

                                                Screech. (Though not technically a food.)
                                                Ragoût de pattes.
                                                All the sugarbush recipes - eggs in syrup, etc.
                                                And I'm sure there are tons of regional recipes based on local crops - like blueberries, fiddleheads, garlic scapes, etc - that are not recognizably Canadian.

                                                1. re: fruglescot

                                                  My sister dated a Newf for a while and he always had a jar of pickled seal in his fridge. Great stuff.
                                                  My next door neighbour for a while was also a Newf. He made a "Jigs dinner" which was basically stew. Don't know if that would count.


                                                  1. re: fruglescot

                                                    Isn't tarte au sucre and syrup pie the same thing? The one time I had it, it was called sugar pie, but was basically a maple sugar/syrup pie.

                                                    I would add Hawkins Cheezies. Those other brands don't even come close!
                                                    Sucre à la Crème
                                                    Jigg's dinner

                                                  2. How about maple sugar candy? Don't know the history really but I always think of it as Canadian.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: steinpilz

                                                      Maple sugar candy is all over Vermont and Maine, too.

                                                      1. re: Suzy Q

                                                        Not suprising as those states are next to Canada and produce plenty of syrup. I was thinking about maple fudge.....and Dill pickle potato chips!

                                                    2. How about Pineapple Crush (the softdrink)...i think you can only get that in nfld....

                                                      And more from Nfld...salt codfish cakes (with or without scrunchions).....jiggs dinner....figgy duff.... pea soup and doughboys....moose or caribou dishes. blueberry, partridgeberry or bakeapple based desserts. Sauces like drawn butter or molasses coady.

                                                      I'm not from Nova Scotia originally....but isn't Solomon Gundy from there? And Rappie/rapure (?) Pie is a canadian dish???

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                        im nomad,
                                                        According to Wikipedia....SOLOMON G(R)UNDY
                                                        Born on a Monday
                                                        Christened on a Tuesday..........
                                                        The character from a child's nursery rhyme is also a salad claimed by the Americans as their creation. Thanks anyway for all the delicous Newfoundland and Maritime dishes.,

                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                          Don't forget toutons for Newfoundland.
                                                          And what about hodge-podge for Nova Scotia -- fresh new potatoes, new onion, peas, green beans and new carrots cooked with milk, real butter and salt and pepper -- makes me think of home.

                                                        2. I've only found all-dressed chips and bacon chips in Canada. You can occasionally find ketchup chips in the states -- which is nice, because I love me some ketchup chips.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                            Lays sells Ketchup chips in Canada and they're available at (among other places) www.grocerygateway.com

                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                              Add dill pickle chips to that.
                                                              When Mrs. Sippi and I were dating, some of the local hockey players had her bring them back when she'd come up to see me.


                                                            2. We love Red River Cereal, and always buy a big box when we visit Canada from California.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: jjw

                                                                Oh, and Shreddies! Can't get Shreddies in the states, either.

                                                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                    My daughter and son-in-law live in Savannah, Georgia....I can't go for a visit unless I bring Red River Cereal and the giant economy size box of Oreo Cookies (they say 'ours' taste different..much better). They can't come to Toronto without bringing freshly made 'pralines' and a big bag of fresh picked Pecans! Thank you NAFTA!!!

                                                                1. There used to be a restaurant in Montreal called Les Filles du Roi that specialized in Quebecois food. On Sunday mornings they had a brunch buffet that is on the short list of Best Meals I Have Ever Eaten. It was about 50% cholesterol and the other 50% sugar, a cuisine to fuel farmers through a day of labor in a Canadian winter. I remember maple sugar or syrup used lavishly, incredible baked beans with maple and salt pork, also a very savory tourtiere, many more things, and the best dish of all, ham and dumplings poached in maple syrup. As I write this it sounds disgustingly sweet but all I remember is, it was delicious.

                                                                  1. Pablum! (it counts as food!)

                                                                    MacIntosh apples (sure, they've been exported now, but they were originally Canadian)

                                                                    According to Canadian Geographic, apparently Ginger Ale is Canadian...

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: sailrox

                                                                      Thanks for your thoughtful submissions sailrox
                                                                      Yes pablum is a food from the Latin word 'PABULUM' (horse feed or animal fodder)Pablum first went on sale in 1930. Insipid it may be, but so wholesome! It contains wheat germ, alfalfa, oatmeal, cornmeal, wheatmeal, and other treats.

                                                                      This info from ( Thanks jayt90 )

                                                                      1. re: fruglescot

                                                                        I believe Pablum was invented by pediatricians at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, and the sick kids still benefit from the proceeds. Casselman says three doctors, but I only heard about two.

                                                                    2. Would have to include all the Inuit specialties, whale, seal, caribou, walrus, char etc.

                                                                      The difficulty with this question lies with the definition of "original Canadian". One could argue that the people of the First Nations are the original Canadians. Or one could look to the first non-Native settlers (English, French, please forgive me if I've left anyone out) and say they could be included too (I would never exclude the people of the First Nations from this definition).

                                                                      But then what do you do with the countless waves of immigrants that also contribute to the fabric of our culture? Food does funny things when immigrants move to a new country and culture. My parents immigrated to Canada in 1965, and did not have a chance to return to Korea until decades later. When they returned they discovered that the language had changed, and the food had changed. They could still recognize it, but it had moved on without them. So the food my mom cooks is like a time capsule of Korean food from the 1960's. She preserved the culture she used to know. But then she had to adapt the recipes to match ingredients that could be found easily in Canada in the 60's and 70's (before the age of significant international shipping). So one could argue that the cuisine of immigrants in a foreign country are original creations of that country. If you were to sample Korean (or Chinese or Indian or anything) cuisine from the immigrant communities of many different countries, you will see fascinating differences that are unique to each country. And when those immigrants make food from their adopted country or culture, there will often be a unique interpretation. My Korean mom makes great great perogies based on a recipe she got from a Ukrainian co-worker. They look like perogies, they have the same fillings as perogies, but she spices them in a uniquely Korean way. She also makes great spaghetti sauce, then throws in some kimchi. It adds a nice spice. Fusion? This is where it started, in the home of immigrants...

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                        POINTS TO PONDER.
                                                                        Thanks for that thought provoking treatise on 'Original Canadian Foods" moh.
                                                                        I hope that this is not the final word(s) on this subject. I get your point especially about Inuit specialties. Perhaps, some time in the future some of their concoctions will be able to make the "short list' of popular Canadian fare. In the meantime I hope you will give our growing list your countenance.

                                                                        1. re: fruglescot

                                                                          Arctic Char is starting to make its rounds down south! So yes, i think there is a chance that it could make the list of popular Canadian fare in the future. There is a gentleman named Qalingo in Puvirnituq who smokes char and packages it to sell in the co-op there, and many people who visit PUV (short name) come back with a bunch of his smoked char. On a Montreal bagel with Cream cheese, it is heavenly!!!

                                                                          What did you think of my sucre a la creme suggestion? Bascially, maple syrup fudge... A Quebec favorite.

                                                                          And if you have Montreal smoked meat, then you have to add Montreal bagels. There is a thread on the Quebec board about the need to preserve this designation:


                                                                          From Manitoba: Smoked gold-eye, a freshwater fish. Can you tell I like smoked fish?

                                                                          1. re: moh

                                                                            I forgot about gold-eye from Lake Winnipeg! I remember a superb baked carp from the same waters at Pancer's.
                                                                            Arctic char is farmed now; could grayling be far behind?

                                                                      2. Pardon the interruption, but please post any further recipes on the Home Cooking board. Also - a reminder not to post copyrighted recipes, but you are welcome to post links to them or to paraphrase them.



                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                          How about spruce beer? That and vinegar on french fries...mmmmmms...

                                                                          1. re: Richelle

                                                                            Also, I nominate the 'double double' as in 'i'll have a medium double double'...

                                                                            1. re: Richelle

                                                                              Tell us more about Spruce Beer, Richelle.
                                                                              I was thinking about fries with vinegar, however, I believe it arrived with the British. It's a bit dicey, though, just a condiment addition.
                                                                              What about Maple Syrup Fois Gras ?

                                                                              1. re: fruglescot

                                                                                Spruce beer here isn't beer at all but a soda made with the essence of spruce, it does at times gain some alchool level when made at home, but the one you buy like soda wouldn't at all. Personally, I love the real stuff which is sold in glass bottles with the old fashion ceramic stopper, but it can be hard to find and mostly local. Spruce beer makes a great ski-doo(( I think some call it a float)) Here we all call it a ski-doo, I found this on Wikepedia.

                                                                                From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                                                                                Jump to: navigation, search

                                                                                spring growth on a spruce treeSpruce beer is a beverage flavored with the buds, needles, or essence of spruce trees. Spruce has been a traditional flavoring ingredient throughout the upper latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere where it is found, often substituting for ingredients otherwise not available, such as hops. Spruce beer can refer to either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

                                                                                A number of flavors are associated with spruce-flavored beverages, ranging from floral, citrusy, and fruity to cola-like flavors to resinous and piney. This diversity in flavor likely comes from the choice of spruce species, the season in which the needles are harvested, and the manner of preparation.

                                                                              2. re: Richelle

                                                                                Got to love the spruce beer...that and a Jo Lois and you're set for a night of QC fun.

                                                                                1. re: WelcomeBack

                                                                                  Switch the spruce beer for a Pepsi and you've got the Montreal breakfast ;)

                                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                                    Now that made me laugh....politically incorrect.. but I laughed and out loud as well!

                                                                            2. Just a note on shepherd's pie/pate chinois. I grew up in northern Ontario, where there is a significant francophone population, and no one could explain to my why, in French, shepherd's pie is "Chinese", since, really, there's nothing the slightest bit Chinese about it. Then, the English professor/father of a friend of mine from Montreal explained it to me. In the first half of the 20th century, there was a large number of Quebecois working in the lumber industry in Maine. There's a number of towns in Maine that bear foreign names (Lisbon, Leeds, Rome, Vienna, Palermo, Rome, Norway, Denmark), and there is a town named China. Apparently, in China, Me., there was a diner, frequented by the Quebecois labourers, which served a very popular shepherd's pie... hence pate chinois.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                The story I heard about Pâté Chinois is this, the chinese workers that were brought over from ovverseas had barely any food given to them when they worked on the Trans-Canada railway and when they worked through the great plains all there was available was corn, potatoes and whatever wild meat they could get their hands on and so the potato, corn and meat dish was born, namely Pâté Chinois, of course, I think that all countries have their native potato and meat pie, with whatever other product is available.

                                                                              2. Aren't there a number of dishes, similar to those made by the Appalacian hunters and trappers here in the US, that were the basis for a number of "Canadian" meals? I am trying to rember back, more years than I care to admit, to our visits with friends in Quebec and les Laurentides. Obviously, some of the game or produce differed but they shared similar methods of preparation, spicing. I imagine need drove much of what we see in rustic cuisine everywhere.

                                                                                1. great thread, and i miss poutine and beavertails oh so much right now. being in southern california i have substituted beavertails with the occasional churros but they dont have options for toppings like nutella and powdered sugar unfortunately over here. still have not found a substitute for poutine. i remember fondly going to st lawrence market for back bacon on a bun sandwiches, i shall return soon!

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: YYZ2LAX

                                                                                    I'm SW Ontario born, in the States since the mid-70's - when was it that poutine became so popular in Canada in general? I don't remember it at all while I was growing up (chips with gravy being a staple, but not the whole nine yards) - even in Laval, where I used to visit in the summer. Am wondering since it seems to be just about the only Canadian food known to a certain level of the US food-minded.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      I believe KFC put it in the publics mind when they started selling it in their chicken outlets.

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        I think late 80's early 90's is when the trend took off, I can remember my first job was at McD's in High School and we sold poutine. I wonder if Lafleur's put it out earlier though...since McDonald's/other chains seem to jump on well established food trends.

                                                                                        1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                          A quick search about the history of poutine seems to indicate it was started much earlier, in 1957 in the Victoriaville area (about 1hr east of Montreal):

                                                                                          "The earliest date associated with its invention is 1957, which is when restaurantuer Fernand LaChance of Warwick claims that a take-out customer at his restaurant Lutin Qui Rit, requested french fries, cheese in a bag, to which the restaurantuer responded: "ça va faire une maudite poutine" (That's going to make a damn mess"). In his 2005 obituary, CTV.ca quoted Eddy Lanaisse as that original customer: "I wanted fries, but I saw cheese curds on the counter. I asked Fernand to mix them together.". LaChance's restaurant eventually closed, and so there exists no present day monument to this earliest claim. "


                                                                                          (Incidentally "Lutin Qui Rit" is loosely translated as "The Laughing Goblin")

                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                          Poutine was invented in Drummondville or Victoriaville about that time or a bit before. Indeed, poutine was not an item in Montréal back then (and I worked in a Francophone, east-end institution). Remember as a matter of fact tasting it en route to Québec. Did not appeal. I love good frites but not buried in sauce and cheese curds.

                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                            Oh, thank God for saying that, lagatta. I have oft taken stick from my Quebecois friends for being a stupid Ontario anglo because I didn't like poutine. That said, a friend of mine did a "traditional" poutine canape for his birthday party last weekend, and it was finished off in about 20 minutes. Must have been the keg of beer.

                                                                                            1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                              I know many pure-laine QuébécoisEs who can't stand poutine. Frites are so marvellous, and being a middle-aged person they are obviously not something I can indulge in every week, so I don't want to muck up the taste with too much sauce and tasteless cheese.

                                                                                              I like them with an interesting sauce on the side, Belgian style. Curry or hot harissa-flavoured real mayonnaise.

                                                                                              I remember poutine-eating as an initiation - or ordeal - for friends arriving from places like France or Italy.

                                                                                              I guess after a keg of beer, anything to soak it up. Like the greasy breakfasts that seem to appeal the morning after too much to drink...

                                                                                              By the way, a really good homemade tourtière is a lovely thing in wintertime. I make mine with ground deer meat from the Jean-Talong market. The Lac St-Jean tourtière is made with finely-cubed game (deer, partridge, hare...) finely-cubed potato, onions and other seasonings.

                                                                                      2. got another nfld favorite to add....fries, dressing and gravy. our version of poutine, lol.

                                                                                        1. A Nova Scotian dessert is something called Blueberry Grunt which consists of blueberries cooked with with sugar that are topped with a dough. The whole thing is cooked on the stove-top in a lidded pan until the dough cooks. Very good with some whipped cream! This is best if made using the small, low bush blueberries that are much more flavourfull than their gigantic cousins.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: petra_reuter

                                                                                            OMG blueberry grunt is sooooo good. But i thought it was a nfld thing! it's all good. Big dollop of Fussels cream on top......mmm.

                                                                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                              I forgot that! Part of the family is from Guysborough County. Shame on me.

                                                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                Sorry, but New England can claim blueberry grunt too.

                                                                                          2. The PERSIAN DOUGHNUT which has been confirmed to have originated in the Thunder Bay region of Ontario. (Port Arthur Fort William before it was amalgamated and renamed TB)
                                                                                            A canadian original!

                                                                                            1. Do Moose Droppings count? Or is that just bad marketing?

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                                moh, strange that you mention that distinctive item because apparently
                                                                                                they're working on a kind of beverage something along the lines of 'KOPI LUWAK' using the moose excrement, which contains a hard northern berry the animal passes only half digested, along with some other bodily remanents.
                                                                                                When the refinement is complete perhaps we'll add it to our ORIGINAL CANADIAN FOODS list.
                                                                                                Perhaps you would be interested in volunteering for the taste test marketing session.

                                                                                                1. re: fruglescot

                                                                                                  Umm, ewww... I am assuming this is along the lines of the civet-dropping coffee beans? Tell you what, load me up with some of that there screetch and I'll be happy to join in on the taste test...

                                                                                                  I guess I was referring to the more accessible chocolatey treat they sell in all Canadian airport terminals....

                                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                                    LOL. Got yah! I'd never heard of the chocolate droppings.

                                                                                                    1. re: fruglescot

                                                                                                      Whoa... just Googled "Moose Droppings Chocolate".... turns out there are multple different products. Dang those Moose are more creative than I thought... And there is also one New York vendor, although most of the entries are Canadian. So this supports the theory that this is a Canadian product. You know, the concept "flowed downhill" to New York State.

                                                                                              2. I propose a corollary list of "What Original Canadian Food(s) would you really want to eat"? My list is short (one item) and it involves a trek to Schwartz's.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: fmed

                                                                                                  That is short indeed, and rather odd considering you are in Montréal.

                                                                                                2. After reading an article about the organic ice cream man in today's Tor Star I'm adding CHESTNUT AND BIRCH SYRUP ORGANIC ICECREAM to our Original Canadian Food List.
                                                                                                  Available in the Kensington Market or at the creator's shop, open again on April 1st (NO...this is not an early April Fool's prank) at 650 1/2 Queen St. West at Palmerston Ave.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: fruglescot

                                                                                                    What about "Crown Royal"...my Detroit relatives used to come to Toronto in the 50's & 60's and take back a case of Crown Royal...don't know if it wasn't available in the U.S or simply much cheaper in Toronto, We, the Canadian branch of the Family brought back Vernor's Ginger Ale by the case as it was not (then) available in Canada.

                                                                                                    1. re: pearlD

                                                                                                      as an add on to this....is Birch Beer soda...a Canadian thing? It's like a red cream soda thing.

                                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                        "Birch Beer" is not something I know about as particularly Canadian--- 'soda'/pop...You do know that 'pop' is a Canadian expression....if I say 'pop' while in the U.S.A. nobody seems to know I mean 'soda'
                                                                                                        A lot of Americans particularly those from the southern states get a big surprize when they ask for Tea with their meal....(unless they say Ice Tea)...more often than not they are served 'hot' tea....
                                                                                                        Generally 'red' soda is called 'cream soda' in Ontario...in Montreal cream soda is a clear colour...it may vary in other provinces as well.

                                                                                                        1. re: pearlD

                                                                                                          actually pearl..i grew up calling it neither soda or pop.........i've learned to use either or so the mainlanders in Canada can understand me!! lol

                                                                                                          I grew up iin Nfld calling it "drinks"...as in ..."i'm going up to the store to buy a can/bottle of drinks"

                                                                                                          1. re: pearlD

                                                                                                            Michiganders will know what you mean when you say 'pop' On our first trip to NYC, my brothers and I asked for pop and the waitress had no idea what we were asking for, she finally said, Oh, a soda and brought my brother a bottle of cherry soda-pop...what he was trying to order was what we call a 'soda' in Michigan (50's) ice cream floating in cherry pop...ice-cream soda = float = cooler, Confused yet? I learned to call soft drinks with carbonation "soda" when living in NH, but I'm 50/50 now back in Michigan between 'pop' and 'soda'....but if I wanted an ice cream float (cherry pop with ice cream scooped in), I'd still be very specific about what I expected to arrive at the table, tall glass, long spoon, long straw and all. And iced tea down south? Bluchhh...I still can't drink sweet ice tea unless it's strongly raspberry flavored...sweet tea, either hot or cold is just 'sick and wrong' to my tastebuds. Cream soda in Michigan is clear but you can also find red cream soda, too. Yup; we who live near the 45th Parallel share a lot of things besides the Great Lakes...

                                                                                                    2. When I used to hunt and fish in Quebeq the guides made a pie from venison and grouse they had canned. It was incredibly good but I can't recall what they called it.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                        That sounds like a kind of tourtière - similar to the Lac St-Jean type. But perhaps they didn't call it anything at all, just cooked it.

                                                                                                        1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                          Cipaille, maybe? Pronounced "sea pie".

                                                                                                        2. has anyone else mentioned Vachon snack cakes?? Hickory Sticks??

                                                                                                          And i haven't seen this one lately, but where did Jack's (Jax??) Cheesies go? I can't even find them on the net.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                            I didn't realize that Hickory Sticks were a Canadian thing...not that I liked them at all....

                                                                                                          2. I see a lot of sugar shack foods listed here... has anyone mentioned 'les oreilles de crisse'? They're smoked pork jowls served fresh out of the deep fryer topped with maple syrup. My arteries ache just thinking about it, but my dad used to take us out for these in the spring.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: coco_beware

                                                                                                              The only place where I found smoked pork jowl was in a small town on Vancouver Island (Campbell River). While it was from a processor in Port Alberni, I wondered if it might have some French Canadian roots; it could also be popular with commercial fishermen. I used it during the rest of the camping trip as I would bacon (trimming off the rind).


                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                Is this what you're talking about?


                                                                                                                I had a dairy allergy as a kid, and Hertel's sausages were the only ones without dairy. They also make the best hot italian sausages. (Lot of fennel).

                                                                                                              1. re: fmed

                                                                                                                Are 'Fiddleheads' a Canadian thing?

                                                                                                                1. re: pearlD

                                                                                                                  They're not exclusively a Canadian thing. In Maine, where I'm from, they're abundant and popular. That's true of other New England states, I think.

                                                                                                                  1. re: pearlD

                                                                                                                    I don't think so - we find them in Manhattan, in season, pretty regularly.

                                                                                                                  2. re: fmed

                                                                                                                    awww we had one of these (Pop Shoppe) in my home town when i was a kid !! You used to bring back your stubby empties and get them refilled correct?? I've seen it in a couple of shops now, but it's in taller bottles.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fmed

                                                                                                                      Thank you for that blast from the past (I'm a London girl).

                                                                                                                    2. To me, these are foods that you can't easily find outside of Canada. So Ginger Fried Beef should definitely be on there. It may be Chinese in spirit, but you certainly can't find it in China. (Then again, what we call "Chinese Food" is so different from what they have there anyway.

                                                                                                                      Other ones include (basically seconding votes):

                                                                                                                      1. Finnan Haddie - used to have it for dinner on Fridays.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: bishopofknox

                                                                                                                          Finnan haddie originated in Scotland, but it's certainly more common in Canada than in the US--at least judging from grocery stores in NY and Ontario, which are the ones I'm familiar with.

                                                                                                                        2. Regarding the Nanaimo bar, what is "custard powder"? The recipes loook tasty...

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: vtnewbie

                                                                                                                            for example. I use instant vanilla pudding mix myself, haven't noticed any particular difference (instant because it dissolves better than the type which needs to be cooked).

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              I grew up on that stuff (newfoundland, but a good lot of our food was British imports such as this).....we would often have custard and jelly/jello for dessert on sundays.

                                                                                                                            2. I didn't see this listed, but if I missed it, I'm sorry
                                                                                                                              Did you know that peanut butter is Canadian?
                                                                                                                              The original patent was given to Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec in 1884.
                                                                                                                              Surprise eh?
                                                                                                                              Whoever let the cat out of the bag about seal flipper pie should be ashamed. Now all the Yankees will be clamering for it and drive the price sky high. :)

                                                                                                                              1. Does Canada have green-tomato/venison mincemeat? My mom used to make/can it by the quarts when we lived up in the north woods wa-a-y back when, when lots of Michiganders lived on venison and whatever else ran past in the woods.

                                                                                                                                1. Over 4 years on from the original post and not one mention of Hawkins Cheezies? Made in Belleville, Ontario but readily available out West. We now live in Windsor, Ontario and can buy them at Shopper's but they aren't the same as the super-fresh ones from Geen's Pharmacy in Belleville. They are perfection when ingested alongside a rye and ginger (much more Canadian than a Bloody Caesar, by the way.) Corby's rye from north of Belleville was the ultimate...I think they used to make Royal Reserve with the "proudly Canadian" sticker on the bottle that HAD to go on the pick-up truck bumper. I think Royal Reserve is still around but it doesn't seem to kick like it used to.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: sdwway

                                                                                                                                    Hawkins Cheezies were mentioned towards the beginning of the thread.