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Jun 17, 2003 07:15 AM

Toronto signature food?

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Does Toronto have a signature food?

Montreal has smoked meat, PEI has mussels, Alberta has beef, Vancouver has crabs, Philadelphia has cheesteak sandwiches, etc.

What does Toronto have? Or is Toronto so multicultural that it is hard to call any one food or type, signature?

If I had to choose one, I would say backbacon sandwiches (especially from Carousel at St. Lawrence).

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  1. I agree with you in choosing backbacon sandwiches as our signature in terms of foodstuffs.

    I also think that another thing that sets us apart is our wine region. I'd say that NOTL is a huge part of making Ontario a destination for gastronomes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chris

      I think it's great Toronto doesn't have a signature food. What makes us unique is the fact you can eat food from pretty much anywhere in the world for a reasonable price. But I guess street dogs would have to be our signature dish, which is sort of sad. And late-night gigantic pizza slices.

    2. ...hey kids....aside from peameal bacon sandwiches, all I can think of are the hot dogs from the street vendors. sad, really.

        1. re: cathy

          You don't like Thai Shan Inn at least?

          1. re: cathy

            too funny... too true.

            A few years ago when I moved back here from Montreal I would have said "bad fusion food". And I think it's still true but I got used to it. I mean, every pub as a "Thai" salad or some such item that is beyond inauthentic, and not very interesting either.

          2. Now showing my age. Way, way back on the lower end of the AM band, there used to be a food show every Saturday morning hosted by Jim White. This was a must listen for me, and when Epcot opened (which had a Canadian Pavilion), Jim did a feature on the 'Canadian' foods they featured. All I can remember is Macaroni & Cheese and stuff even less Canadian. So Jim put together a contest and rounded up sponsors to provide a free trip to Epcot. All you had to do was describe the perfect dish to represent Canada (certainly) and Toronto (preferably). The winning dish was put on Fran's St Clair menu for several years (and occasionally thereafter). Indeed the 'official' winner (chosen by our tiny perfect mayor among others) was a back bacon sandwich with cheese (Canadian cheddar) and a spicy mayonnaise (for some reason this was supposed to represent the cosmopolitan nature. I recall it was a Thai mayonnaise - whatever that is). It was actually pretty good. I had it many times (billed as the Canadian sandwich).
            I put the 'official' in quotes, as many years later I heard that their favourite entry was not chosen because of its politically incorrect overtones.
            It was a bacon and cheese quiche. 'Canadian' back bacon; 'Ontario' cheddar; and quiche because 'there were no real men in Toronto'. That pretty much dates the show!

            1. I don't know that it's a signature food for Toronto, but I've never seen sushi pizza on sushi menus outside the Toronto area.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sunnyside

                I remember Iron Chef Japan (from the TV show on Food network) having a tuna sushi pizza......but maybe he got the idea from Toronto!?!