Canadians are an interesting lot, with foods all our own.
We fuel up on double-doubles and timbits, while fantasizing about our next poutine fix, and searching for the nearest BeaverTails location. And by the way, how far is Nanaimo?
With the melting of snow comes spring, a time when we begin to make plans for the family road trip. It’s the time of year we dream of roaming this vast country in search of the best food on the planet. Not ordinary food mind you, that’s too dull. I’m talking about interesting made-only-in-Canada food.
So if you're up for a culinary adventure, head across this great country of ours and fill up on some of the more interesting Canadian foods. From east to west, here’s a list of five not-so-mundane Canadian foods.
This is not exactly tongue, but rather a gelatinous bit of flesh from the fish's throat. If you’re from Newfoundland, you know what it’s all about. For everyone else, these are little morsels, which grew out of necessity – a tiny bit of fish that could be had for nothing, by anyone willing to remove it from the many discarded fish heads lying about on the fish docks. But times have changed, and today, cod tongue is a coveted delicacy served not just in mom and pop dinners, but also in high-end restaurants across the province. Cod tongues are usually battered and fried, and served with an array of toppings, including scrunchions, salted pork fat which has been cut into small pieces and fried. And everything tastes better with pork fat on it, I say!
This sounds like something that would talk back to you. In fact, it’s something to talk about, indulge, then talk about it some more, because it is a scrumptiously delicious treat. This is a sweet Nova Scotian dessert that dates back to the earliest settlers. It’s made by gently simmering together blueberries, sugar and water. Then, top the mixture with homemade dumplings, wait 15 minutes, dig in and enjoy. I’m not sure if the “grunt” comes from the sound of blueberries bubbling away in sugar, or the sound you make after the satisfying event of eating this dessert.
BeaverTails, or Queues de Castor in French, are deep fried, crispy, tasty goodness shaped to resemble a beaver’s tail. Once removed from the hot oil, they are dusted with sugar and cinnamon. Several other toping options are available, like chocolate and whipped cream. These true Canadian delicacies gained world-wide attention in 2009, when U.S. President Barack Obama visited Ottawa and stopped by ByWard Market with the sole purpose of indulging in a beavertail.
A well-known dish in the Canadian prairies, these delectable tidbits are not oysters at all, but rather a testament to your culinary explorations - calve, bull or buffalo are castrated (there are reasons for this, but that’s another story). The removed testicles are then peeled and membranes are removed. They are sliced, breaded, fried and voila. Pop them in your mouth and don’t even think about how they landed on your plate.
A dessert that is sweet, delicate, delish and requires no baking. Where do you find it? Nanaimo, British Columbia, of course. There are different varieties or flavors of the Nanaimo bar, but the basic version consists of a wafer crumb-based layer, topped with a layer of light vanilla or custard-flavored butter icing, which is then covered with melted chocolate. This luscious dessert is now popular around the world, and when you see them in Laos, be sure to wave your Canadian flag.