Few recipes exist that are wholly unique to Canada. With the landscape originally settled by British and French colonists, and lived on by indigenous peoples before that, much of their cuisine is derived from their European ties. It’s described as a sampling or rearrangement of other dishes from around the world. But there do exist dishes that are exclusively Canadian, or Canadian enough for its peoples to show pride in. They also happen to be quite delicious, so it’s advised not to miss out on them when exploring Canada’s food scene.
Despite the name, figs are not on the menu here. Rather, the Newfoundlanders who founded it say ‘figs’ in reference to raisins. Figgy duff is made by mixing raisins, brown sugar, molasses, bread crumbs, butter, flour, spices into a soft dough and boiling it in a pudding bag. Usually made alongside boiled vegetables and salted beef, the end result is more akin to a doughy raisin bread than actual pudding.
Poutine is Canada’s classic bar food, the greasy guilty pleasure served at hockey games, in ski resorts, roadside shacks. Originally conceived in Quebec, this iconic dish shamelessly blends two comfort foods common to the North, fries and cheese curds. A brown gravy is ladled over the top for an extra rich, fatty finish.
Nothing comes close to competing with traditional side bacon, but the Canadian’s at least gave it their best shot. Using the back bits from the pork loin, and just a little from the belly, it’s cooked in circular shapes. The meat is smoked instead of fried and ends up tasting suspiciously close to traditionally prepared ham.
The premiere Canadian treat, it’s cited as one of few recipes truly unique to the country. As such, it’s primarily served in the English-speaking regions. The butter tart, in its purest form, is a flaky pastry with egg and syrup fillings baked to a pudding-like consistency, and a crunchy top portion. Raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, walnuts, and pecans are all added pending the bakery as well.
Actually a part of an internationally established chain bakery, BeaverTails can be found across Canada and the U.S. Select locations can even be found in South Korea and Japan, perhaps a testament to the popularity of these beaver tail shaped pastries. They’re presented as a build-it-yourself dessert, with an array of whipped cream, fruits, cookies, and candy toppings to slap on.
A cultural food from the Inuit and Eskimo tribes in Canada’s northern providences. Their background in hunting whales,humpbacks, belugas, and narwhals,led to them using every part of the whale for what they could. Muktuk comes from the whale blubber and is usually eaten straight. Though many prefer it pickled or deep fried to cover up the sensation of eating animal fat.
Saskatoon Berry Pie
Saskatoon berries are found most abundantly, and unsurprisingly, in the city of their namesake. Surprising though is the fact that these blueberry lookalikes taste nothing like their counterparts. Instead, the saskatoon berries have a sweet, nutty flavor. This flavor, alongside their typical softness, sets the stage for a berry pie quite unlike any other.
Split-pea soup has been spotted in ancient Greek records, and it’s quite popular around Europe, so Canada can’t claim exclusivity. But they have their own version called soupe aux poise. It uses whole yellow peas and salted pork, with a dash of fresh herbs for an extra punch.
Fish And Brewis
Forget the chips, Canadians eat their fish with hardtack, a biscuit cracker that stays well-preserved for long sea voyages. The fish is primarily fried cod, though any salt fish will do. The fish and tack are soaked the night before, boiled separately, then served mashed together. A gourmet treat for sailors with limited ingredients.