Canada’s taste sensations

Canadian food is heavily influenced by its First Nations’ rich history and successive waves of European immigrants. To give you a ‘taste’ of what to expect, here are our favourites.

Touton – Newfoundland
As is often the case in cold climates, fried bread or dough is a staple of many diets. In Newfoundland, the carbohydrate hit comes in the form of a very tasty, but naughty, type of traditional pancake called a ‘touton’.

Made using leftover bread dough, the touton is fried in butter or pork fat to produce a thick pancake that is crispy on the outside and has a soft chewy centre. To give an extra energy boost, the touton is often served with dark molasses or corn syrup, maybe even fried crunchy pork back fat, at breakfast time. However, they’re also perfect for elevenses or to curb those 3pm hunger pangs.

Cod cheeks – Newfoundland
Fish cheeks used to be the part of the fish that fishermen would take home to their families. Unaware of how tender and tasty they were, not many people wanted to buy them. These little bite-sized morsels can obviously come from any fish, but as the predominant catch on the coast of Newfoundland is cod, cod cheek is one of the most popular dishes in the province.

Coated in breadcrumbs, or not, and then fried in butter and served with some freshly squeezed lemon, they’re a great snack to enjoy with a glass of the locally brewed beer.

Newfie Jiggs dinner – Newfoundland
Despite its rather amusing name, this dish is similar to the boiled beef and cabbage many people would have eaten while growing up. Also known as a Sunday or boiled dinner, the ‘Newfie’ – short for Newfoundland – has a few local twists.

Rather than corned beef, the dish is made with salted beef, which is common to the area. It’s also served with pease pudding – boiled split yellow peas. Pease pudding is popular in northern England and is an obvious nod to the heritage of the region’s settlers.

Crepes – Quebec City
With such a strong French culture, there’s little doubt why crepes are so popular in Quebec City. Served all over the city, you can choose to have them with freshly squeezed lemon and sugar (our choice) or you could go all out and enjoy them with strawberry jam, chocolate spread, or bananas and cream.

La tire – Quebec City
Discovered inadvertently by the First Nation people – where legend has it an Iroquois chief tasted sweet liquid dripping from a gash in a tree he’d axed the previous day ­– maple syrup can be found all over Canada. The good stuff (not the maple-flavoured variety) can be quite pricey and it’s for this reason that it’s known as the liquid gold of Quebec. You’ll find plenty of the real stuff in town and in ‘sugar shacks’ on the outskirts.

It’s at these sugar shacks that you can taste la tire or maple taffy, for yourself. The maple syrup is poured over snow or ice until it starts to solidify slightly and is then twisted around a stick and eaten like a lollipop.

Top 5 culinary destinations

  1. Vancouver
  2. Quebec
  3. Montreal
  4. Toronto
  5. Victoria

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