Olympics theme dinner!
For the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, I like to have a theme dinner, with food and drink that is native to the host city/country. That said, I'm not too scrupulous about the authenticity of the food -- it's more about an excuse to make something a little different than the quotidian meals, and of course eating and drinking delicious treats while watching the spectacle.
I'm a little stymied about what to serve for Vancouver. Any suggestions for delicious Canadian dishes? Thanks!
Fondue would be fun! We traditionally do cheese fondue on Christmas Even, but I was disappointed with this year's recipe, so it'd be nice to try again.
I had thought about Poutine (first Canadian food that came to mind) -- it's one of my faves, and I can get great local cheese curds. Plus it would go well with beer. Eh? ;)
Thanks for the response!
Vancouver is described by many as being the melting pot of Canada. Folks might be amazed to know how many Chinese people occupy that city. You'll find a significant East Indian influence there, as well as African and other cultural influences. That's what, IMO, makes Vancouver such a perfect location for the Olympics. So for an Olympic theme dinner, I'd suggest an assortment of dishes representing some of the nations competing (how about foods from those smaller countries that are often under represented in the media) as a tribute to their involvement? Maybe a different menu for each day of the games.
Sounds like fun. Here are a few traditional thoughts:
Bloody Caesar's for cocktail, if you can find clamato juice. How about salmon, maybe cedar-planked? Or crab cakes. Or a smoked salmon pizza. Hopefully you can get BC wine? A strange one: I had never had so much Caesar salad til I moved to Vancouver, so if not typically Canadian, it is pretty ubiquitous (you can top it with lots of seafood if you want). And of course Naniamo bars for dessert.
However, you could also take an Asian-inspired route or riff on the hundred Mile diet which originated here or look-up Westcoast cuisine for some ideas.
Here in Vancouver the talk around the table at a recent dinner party was what Greek foods to cook for the Olympics : )
Alder smoked salmon would be a must! Pacific seafood would be good like octopus (calamari rings), oysters, and clam or crab dip. Try serving beer bread, eh, with a nice grainy mustard. Canada produces the vast majority of the world's mustard seed. Canada grows a lot of cranberries which you could serve as a chutney on baked brie, dried cranberries in biscuits, cranberry jelly with cream cheese on crackers, or in a drink. Cranberry juice and Canadian vodka go well together with a squeeze of lime. We're going to make a version of the Quebec specialty, poutine (fries topped with cheese curds and gravy). Ours are going to be Bobsled Poutine Potato Skins topped with curds, bacon, and gravy. Back bacon (aka Canadian bacon) is good on grilled sandwiches with maple glazed caramelized onions, Canadian cheddar, and sauteed apples.
We are also doing an 'opening night' ceremony dinner and for dessert, I am going to make an easy chocolate cake (or molten cake) in the shape of a hockey puck and then lay it on a plate that has been 'decorated' with the Olympic rings (I will likely use ganache and then pipe it on in each colour in advance). I got a bunch of 'swizzle stick' size hockey sticks from a dollar store to complete the look (or you could make cookies in that shape to add the final touch)
Lots of good suggestions. My favorites are oysters, salmon, game meats & B.C. wine or beer....
Not Canadian per se, but you could do onion rings! :)
Definitely salmon, a hot smoked salmon (not lox) is a British Columbia specialty. I used to love the smoked salmon jerky from Granville Island. Maple syrup is very Canadian so a chicken wing dish with maple syrup in the marinade might not be bad. Poutine is Canadian but definitely more popular in the eastern part of Canada (it's a French Canadian dish) but it is delicious! I miss not being able to get it in the states.
You can also do food themed towards the people that make up Vancouver, Asians (as stated in earlier post) Vancouver was just voted city that has best Chinese food by Conde Nast. The Asian population consists of many Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. Also there is a huge East Indian population.
I suggest hot smoked salmon if you want to be authentic to the west coast of Canada. Chinese can be easy too, egg rolls, maybe pick up some dim sum. For Japanese there is sushi as in a california rolls (you can get big trays from Costco). For East Indian samosas are always great. An electic menu with a few dishes from those cultures definitely represents Vancouver.
And as mentioned Bloody Caesars to drink and Nanaimo Bars for dessert (I just had those two on my superbowl menu as I'm the sole Canadian surrounded by Americans)
Have fun with it, get some red and white themed (Canadian flag colors) decorations. I just got my Team Canada jersey in the mail today and I am faithfully watching the torch relay online. My husband thinks I'm nuts but I'm just an ex pat loving watching the Olympics in my hometown!
Happy Eating and Go Team Canada!
Darn it I forgot to mention the seafood too, Definitely oysters, mussels, clams and scallops. So maybe a cheesey baked oyster, steamed mussels and clams and scallops wrapped in bacon.
Like others have already mentioned: Vancouver is best known for its Chinese food. So maybe a dim sum dish? Pan-Asian eclecticism defines the cuisine in this town. Pan-Asian Tapas might fit the bill and are fun to research and make.
We don't really have any dishes that epitomize "Canadian" cuisine that are representative of this part of Canada. The ones that have been mentioned - Nanaimo bars, Salmon jerky, Hot smoked Salmon, etc are probably the closest you'll get. (Poutine, Maple Syrup, Back Bacon, etc are more representative of parts of Eastern Canada).
As an aside, the first thing I thought of was the olympic rings. Perhaps you could prepare a 5 course meal each based around a different coloured "ring" (or circle).
Green: small salad
Yellow: Round of baked camambert, a soup
Red: A rare fillet steak, tuna steak
Blue: Individual blueberry cheesecakes
Black: Black bean soup, Coffee