One of my favourite things about travelling is food. Pushing yourself to try local dishes can be very rewarding. Not only do you often find new favourite foods that you can take back home but you also get that nice full feeling inside! Currywurst in Berlin, wild boar in Italy, tapas in Barcelona and the delight that is apple sauce with chicken nuggets in Holland are just a few of the mouth-watering treats that I’ve been lucky enough to taste along the way. Here are some pics of us enjoying food!
When coming to Canada I didn’t think there would be too many differences between British and Canadian foods. Both being western countries I figured that grocery shopping would be similar. However, there are less similarities than expected. Supermarkets are far more brand orientated than in the UK, food prices are higher and organic produce is very popular (particularly on the west coast). Oh, and chocolate is so expensive it makes me want to cry! There are some things I cannot find all together, for example, squash (not the vegetable), good cheese, prawn cocktail crisps, quavers, mini cheddars, jaffa cakes and pigs in blankets.
However, while there are foods I have been craving there are a few culinary delights unique to Canada that have made it all worth it. For example:
Originating from Quebec, poutine is French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy. You can get many variations, one of my favourites in having it with BBQ pulled pork on top. It is so much more than the chips, cheese and gravy equivalent back in the UK.
Recently we visited Smoke’s poutinerie in downtown Halifax and had some amazing poutine. The cheese curds make it and it has to be nice thick gravy.
We were treated to Bannock by one of our lovely workaway hosts, who insisted we head down to the local market and try some. It was one of the tastiest snacks ever. Bannock is a type of flat bread that is fried and can be dipped in sugar. Mine had raisins in to add an even sweeter note. Unfortunately, I ate it too fast to get a picture!
Another sweet treat, is the Nanaimo bar. Named after a city on Vancouver Island the bar is a layered heavenly slice comprised of a crumb layer, custard and a chocolate top. I enjoyed a beautiful minty variety and will be attempting to re-create this no-bake treat when back home.
Saskatoon Berry Pie
This one we tried purely by accident. It was left behind by a homeowner at one of our house sits. She said we could eat anything in the fridge that wouldn’t last the two weeks they were away. So, it was pie for dessert! The Saskatoon berry can be found in western and central Canada as well and north west and north central USA and is a dark purple colour. It has a sweet taste with a hint of almond to it.
This one is an east coast phenomenon and one I’m sure the Brits would enjoy. Arriving in Halifax in the early seventies, the donair is based around Greek gyros and donner kebabs.
The inventor was Peter Gamoulakos who changed the traditional recipe to suit Nova Scotian tastes. The beef was changed to lamb and the tzatziki sauce was substituted with the sweeter mixture of evaporated milk, sugar and vinegar. Now, I’ll admit that the sauce does not sound appealing but, oh my it is delicious. A bottle will be returning home with me for sure!
There are a few things left to try on my Canadian food bucket list:
- Montreal smoked meat sandwich- a salted beef brisket cured in a beautiful mix of spices
- Montreal style bagels- sweeter, denser and thinner than the NYC version they are apparently an unsung Canadian hero
- Nova Scotia Lobster rolls- never had lobster so excited to try this one
- Beavertails- the most Canadian sounding food! It is a deep fried dough cover in delicious toppings such a Nutella.
- Ketchup crisps- not sure on this one but will have to try them at least once.
Thanks once again for joining me on my A-Z Travels of Canada. Next week is going to be G for the Grouse Grind, a gruelling hike with spectacular rewards. Happy travels 😊
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