One of the best things about spending time in a foreign country is the chance it provides to sample new flavours and to experience new foods. If you’re moving to Canada then you’ll have plenty of time to experience the meals and drinks that are popular throughout the country. Here are six favourite Canadian flavours that are loved by residents and by tourists:
Something of a Canadian staple, maple syrup can be added to sweet and savoury dishes. It’s enjoyed as an addition to mashed potato, it’s used to cover pancakes, it’s added to porridge, used as a dip for fresh fruit, drizzled over ice cream and served with sausages. It’s also used to make sweets and to flavour cakes, and can be used as a coating for popcorn or a glaze for meat or fish. 85% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada.
Tim Hortons’ Hot Chocolate
Tim Hortons’ famous hot chocolate has a rich, creamy flavour and is a very satisfying drink. Tim Hortons is a Canadian fast food restaurant serving sandwiches, snacks and drinks and on the menu you’ll find varieties of hot chocolate ranging from the traditional cocoa drink to flavours including vanilla, toffee, caramel, mint and hazelnut. There are also seasonal favourites including gingerbread and the much-loved Candy Cane flavour with white hot chocolate, mint flavouring and coloured sprinkles.
Another Canadian speciality, the butter tart is a dessert tart made with butter, syrup, egg and sugar in a flaky pastry. Traditionally, raisins are added. The recipe for the butter tart varies across Canada, with many families having made their own modifications. Often, additional ingredients include nuts, coconut, currants, butterscotch, peanut butter, maple syrup and chocolate.
Authentic Canadian bacon is a lean roasted joint that has been rolled in cornmeal. It tastes fresh and is unsmoked. You might think that a joint of meat is best served as an evening meal, but many Canadians also serve Canadian bacon with pancakes and maple syrup as a breakfast dish.
As their name would suggest, Beaver Tails are flat pastry snacks in the shape of a beaver’s tail. They’re fried like a doughnut, and typically topped with butter. Then, Canadians add anything from cinnamon or chocolate to dried banana slices, pieces of fudge, nuts, fresh pieces of fruit, Nutella and, of course, maple syrup. Lemon can also be drizzled over an untopped Beaver Tail, or used as an accompanying flavouring.
Poutine is a Canadian fast food dish made of chips, gravy and cheese curds. It’s certainly not healthy, but it is surprisingly satisfying. Poutine has long been a Quebec staple, but it’s now becoming more popular across the country and has recently been added to the menu of all Canadian McDonalds restaurants.
You don’t have to be living in Canada to try these meals and drinks. Thanks to online shops and the fact that many ingredients are available elsewhere, it’s possible to try these popular flavours without ever entering Canada. Have you got a favourite Canadian dish? Do you have any to add to this list? Why not comment with your thoughts?
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Susan Lewis is a cookery blogger originally from England, and now lives in Canada preparing authentic Canadian dishes for the whole family.