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Jan 3, 2008 05:25 AM

CANADIAN FOODS?...... Eh. [Moved from Western Canada board]


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?

  1. This site has a pretty good summary, starting with the aboriginal food, then what was popular after immigrants arrived, and today's gourmet trend:

    I know what you mean though, looking for a Canadian restaurant in Toronto is kinda like going to a continental place in the States, you might find Elk steaks, etc, but nothing unique. It does vary from province to province though. French Canadian in Quebec, seafood in Nova and Newfoundland, etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MsDiPesto

      Thanks for the link, it is fairly comprehensive and instructive.
      I would add a couple of things: bannock is making itself known again;
      B.C. natives have always made salmon candy;
      True wild game hunted by Inuit is shipped to Ontario and P.Q., but mostly goes to chefs;
      There may still be versions of pemmican in the west.
      Wasn't beaver tail a delcacy? I'd like to look into that...

      1. re: MsDiPesto

        Newfoundland is a good source for distinctive products and dishes. For example Purity Hardbread, and dishes made with it such as fish and brewis.

      2. there is so little authentic Canadian food because our population is such a melting pot. We may put a Canadian spin on taste because of substitutions. Unless your eating Polar bear and seal, there is much in the way of Canadian foods. But that is what I love. Canadians are so apt to try other cultural foods, it makes us great Foodies!

        So I will happily pass on the Maple Sugar/Syrup Pie and Poutine for a taste of something Greek or Indonesia.

        I myself and United Empire Loyalist with a family cookbook, and all the recipes are British/Scottish. They didn't seem to add anything "Canadian" to it other than different meats.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kritafo

          We're not trying to convert anyone to eating Canadian just making a list and having dialogue. If it's Greek and Indonesian you like "QUE serai serai"!

        2. Tourtiere
          Tarte au sucre
          the caesar (the drink not the salad)
          Ginger Beef (from what I understand was started here in Calgary )

          This is what I could come up with off the top of my head...however my point of reference is mainly from Quebec and the Prairies... anyone else have a list of uniquely Canadian foods?

          2 Replies
          1. re: maplesugar

            Ginger Beef AND the Bloody Caesar are Calgary inventions.

            There is a thread on general topics on fave "Americanized Chinese." Somebody wrote "sweet and sour chicken balls." I knew immediately that this person was Canadian, because chicken balls don't exist in the US... and the vernacular Chinese-ish of the two countries is actually pretty different in other respects, too. I've never seen twice-cooked pork or crab rangoons on a Chinese-Canadian resto menu. And as I say I never knew about "chicken balls" or war won ton soup before emigrating to Canada.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Perhaps it should have been a thread on "North-Americanized Chinese" food if a poster is referring to chicken balls... I didn't know "chicken balls" were a Canadian thing - my kids (unfortunately) love those over breaded chicken nuggets but they're little so I think I can forgive them hehe... Fortunately they also like a wide range of other foods that I never had growing up.

              Incidentally I think the OP could do with a bit more research... Canadians, being mostly immigrants (new and old..let's face it anyone not aboriginal isn't technically indigenous are they?) have adapted their traditional dishes to their environs and with great success. Perhaps there are very few original "Canadian" dishes but there are numerous Canadian adaptations: Maple anything, and Saskatoon berry pie/syrups for instance as well as the other foods mentioned in previous posts.

          2. CANADIAN FOODS

            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

            SALMON CANDY (aboriginal)
            HARD BREAD
            TARTE AU SUCRE (sugar tart?)
            SYRUP PIE
            BLOODY CEASAR (with clamato juice)
            GINGER BEEF (Calgary Alberta)
            WAR WON TON SOUP
            SASKATOON BERRY PIE ( Saskatoon Saskatchewan)
            VENISON CABASSA (I first had it in Saskatoon) along with...................................

            Here are some additional submissions from our Eastern Canadian friends

            1) BUTTER TART
            2) NANAIMO BAR
            3) PEAMEAL BACK BACON
            5) POUTINE
            6) TOURTIERE
            7) CRETON?
            8) PATE CHINOIS? (Shepherds Pie?)
            9) KETCHUP CHIPS
            10) MONTREAL SMOKED MEAT
            11) BEAVER TAILS
            I12) NDIAN FRY BREAD
            13) PEMICAN (dried meat and fruit cakes)
            14) FISH &BREWIS ((Nwfndlnd)
            15) SEAL FLIPPER PIE (Nwfndlnd)

            CANADIAN FOODS
            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. We've moved this thread from the Western Canada board to the General Topics board, where there is already a thread on this subject in process. Please join it here: