It’s difficult to define “Canadian Cuisine” as the country is such a diverse melting pot of influences from other cultures.
However, there are a few dishes that have come to be known as Canadian Foods. Here are a few of the most popular Canadian foods to eat. These are foods that are iconic to Canadian culture and although none of them are particularly healthy, they are essential foods for any visitor to Canada to try.
“What’s so special about chips, cheese and gravy?” you might ask. However, this French Canadian dish is so much more than that. The cheese must be cheese curds, which have a particular “squeak” when you bite down on them. The gravy should be thin, meat based and peppery and the chips should be crispy on the outside and soft on the outside. Some poutineries will offer dozens of different variations, including toppings like bacon, chicken, sausage or even lobster.
Named after a city on Vancouver Island, these rich and filling dessert bars are irresistible. They have a crunchy, chewy brownie base that usually features chopped nuts, a creamy custard middle part and a layer of smooth chocolate on top. There can also be variations with different flavours added to the custard, such as mint or mocha. Nanaimo bars are incredibly satisfying and are a classic dessert to bring to any Canadian potluck. The best place to try them is their namesake city, so follow the Nanaimo Bar Trail.
Butter tarts are a sweet and delectable Canadian delicacy. They have a flaky exterior and are light and sugary. Sometimes they have walnuts are pecans inside, other times raisins. They are yummy and bite sized, so it’s easy to eat too many of them! They have a long history – they were eaten in the early 1600s by the first pioneers.
Tim Hortons Timbits
Tim Hortons is a Canadian institution and every Canuck knows the thrill of rolling up the rim of their coffee cup to win a free donut. Even better than the donuts are the Timbits – tiny donut balls just big enough to pop in your mouth. They are fluffy and soft, with a sweet glaze and come in a range of flavours including apple fritter and blueberry.
This style of meat pie originated in Quebec and is made with finely diced pork, beef or veal. Wild game such as venison is also sometimes used. There is no one correct filling for a Tourtière – the type of meat depends on the region. Sometimes in coastal areas salmon is used. It is traditionally served at Christmas, but many French Canadians will eat it all year long.
There are so many other Canadian foods and treats that didn’t make it onto this list, including Kraft Dinner (packaged Macaroni and Cheese), Montreal smoked meat, Saskatoon berry pie, ketchup chips, maple syrup, split pea soup, Newfoundland Jigg’s Dinner, Canadian bacon, Beavertails and much more. Let us know your favourite Canadian foods in the comments!
Be sure to also check out our blog on our picks for restaurants and cafes for comfort food!