CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 12…Canada…where Poutine is the National Dish and Tiger Tale Icecream is a childhood favourite…


Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of  Canada…

Canada occupies most of the northern part of North America. The country is bounded by the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, the North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north.

Canadian food culture is a changing landscape that has been heavily influenced by many different traditions and recipes from around the world. Every regional cuisine in Canada has its own unique take on food, whether it’s the adaptability of Canadian Chinese food or the pervasiveness of Quebecois poutine…over the years of reading food magazines and blogs poutine has been mentioned…something I have not tried but it is said to be Canada’s National Dish…for those of you who don’t know what poutine is it’s a Canadian dish made of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It first appeared in 1950s rural Québec snack bars and was widely popularized across Canada and beyond in the 1990s.

But what are cheese curds?

Truth? I had to look it up as I wasn’t sure…I was nearly right but not absolutely…Cheese isn’t fresh. In fact, cheese is old/matured…Right? — that’s the point. Cheeses are aged to reach their ideal flavour and texture. But cheese curds should be fresh…they are nothing special just young cheddar cheese that hasn’t been aged…These curds are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being moulded for a future cheese wheel, they’re sliced up and bagged to be sold right away…That’s it…Cheese Curds!

And if they don’t “Squeak” they ain’t fresh they are cheese, not curds.

Poutine Gravy…ask anyone who is in the know and your answer will be “all poutine sauces are gravy, but not all gravies are poutine sauces.”

And if you normally eat your fries/chips with your fingers…forget it you need a fork or it will get messy…be warned!

Indigenous Cuisine…

Is finally getting the recognition it deserves you will find a wide range of great dishes that focus on locally and ethically sourced ingredients that are used in traditional dishes some with a modern twist…You will find indigenous cuisines all over Canada that reflect the local geography and environment …for example” Obibwa Tacos” use bannock instead of corn tortillas, rubs will be free-range buffalo ribs and all greens will be local and organic.

Nothing at all like a corn taco these are made from Bannock bread or as it’s sometimes known as fried bread then the taco toppings are added it’s like a pizza with extra toppings …

Canadian Chinese cuisine…

Canadian Chinese food restaurants can be found in almost every Canadian city, even small towns in very isolated areas of Canada will often have a Chinese restaurant. During the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway the thousands of Chinese workers who had been hired found it impossible to acquire traditional ingredients for cooking and as a result, Canadian Chinese cuisine was born and spread all across Canada. Larger cities will often have more regional options such as Szechuan or Taiwanese.

Classic examples of Canadian Chinese cuisine include Canadian lemon chicken, Chinese lemon chicken isn’t an authentic Chinese dish, rather it is a Chinese-takeout classic native to Canada, Canadian ginger beef a westernized version of Szechuan Beef, with the addition of carrots, and a little less spice and egg foo young.

Prairie cuisine…

The cuisine of the Canadian prairies is primarily influenced by Ukrainian, German, and Polish food due to an influx of settlers between 1891 and 1914.

Pierogi is a regional speciality that can be found traditionally and freshly prepared in both restaurants and grocery stores with a large variety of fillings from savoury potato and bacon to blueberry and pressed dried cottage cheese.

Saskatoon berries grow prolifically in the Prairies and are used to produce jams, pies, ciders, beers and wines that are a boon for the tourist industry as well as local cuisine…although they look very much like blueberries they are closely related to the apple family…

High in fibre and antioxidants, they grow in many conditions unlike the blueberry and happily grow at sea level and on mountain peaks. Like their apple cousins, they continue to ripen after they have been picked…

Montreal cuisine…

Montreal is home to one of the oldest Jewish populations in Canada, meaning that its fantastic fare is heavily influenced by Jewish cuisine.

Smoked meats, bagels, and smoked salmon are but some of the wonderful foods to choose from, there is a wealth of Jewish-owned bakeries and restaurants to explore in Montreal…This video shows a few of them and they certainly don’t skimp on the portions…

Maritimes cuisine…

Maritimes cuisine is heavily influenced by Irish, English, and Acadian culture and cuisine and it varies according to province. Seafood is a mainstay of Maritime cooking due to its close proximity to the Atlantic and can be found on almost every menu in the area.

New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island produce the largest amount of potatoes each year in Canada and include them in traditional recipes such as hash browns and potato gratin. The Maritimes is celebrated for its blueberry season and there are several blueberry festivals held each summer these seasonal berries can be found in everything from pies to homemade ice cream.


I couldn’t not mention the desserts which of course many include the glorious Maple Syrup…One of the best names for any dessert,” Pouding Chomeur” translates from French to unemployed man puddling. Also known as poor man’s pudding, it was created during the Great Depression in Quebec by female factory workers…

The simple, rich dessert takes basic cake batter to the next level by topping it with hot caramel, which settles through the cake to the bottom of the pan when baked. The result is an addictive, gooey upside-down cake which is now a French-Canadian tradition. Maple syrup is commonly used as the sweetener in the caramel, making it a perfectly indulgent, easy-to-make treat that I could eat right now…

Named after the city it was invented in (Nanaimo, British Columbia on the west coast of Canada), this no-bake dessert has been hailed as Canada’s most iconic treat. A layer of chocolate ganache sits atop a layer of thick yellow custard that sits atop a chocolate-graham-coconut layer creating a triple-threat dessert bar. The earliest published recipe is said to date back to 1953, but if you ask around town, locals will tell you stories of their grandmothers making them long before then.

Butter Tarts…butter tarts are a Canadian obsession. These small tarts are like a pecan pie (but without the pecans), are usually sweetened with maple syrup and have such a following that trails, tours, festivals and bake-offs are dedicated to the bite-sized treat…

It doesn’t stop there there are many other desserts like Flapper Pie, Tiger Tail Icecream, Beaver Tails all to die for it sounds like heaven…I have put on a few pounds just writing this post…I hope you have enjoyed the virtual tour of Canada’s Cuisine…

Thank you for reading …I look forward as always to your comments…xx

36 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 12…Canada…where Poutine is the National Dish and Tiger Tale Icecream is a childhood favourite…

  1. Victoria Zigler

    I tried Poutine when I was in Canada (when I was still risking eating dairy sometimes). It was incredibly good. I now make a vegan version where I just use my prefered vegan cheese.

    I tried a Pierogi too. Wasn’t so keen on them. Personally I thought they tasted like someone had tried to make a pasty and failed to cook it properly.


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Nor to me as I am not a chip person, Liz but it does appeal to many and maybe some of the other versions would be more to our palates the lobster one I have been assured is very nice 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I’m really having fun researching this series its interesting how some cuisines span different countries they border but with slight differences… Yes, there are differences between what we initially thought… I’m finding it both fascinatting and informative.. Happy Easter, Robbie. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 10th -16th April 2022-Monday Musings, A-Z World Cuisine, Canada , Food Review “Spring Cleaning” and Saturday Snippets where “Squeak” is my prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

  3. mandioutsidethebox

    Thank you for writing about all
    The great food we have here in Canada! Squeaky cheese is the best! Like some have commented you can get some pretty fancy poutine here now! Lobster and pulled pork poutine are amazing!

    I have some funny stories about trying to get a poutine in London England when I lived there!!! We even have butter chicken poutine here at one of the Indian restaurants! So good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hi Mandi.. You are welcome I am happy you enjoyed my virtual tour of your homeland it is a fun/learninhg challenge for me and I am enjoying and learning at the same time.. Lobster Poutine sounds good as does butter chicken poutine.. You didn’t say whether you actually got poutine in London or if in fact it resembled the original at all?… Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a valued comment.. Happy Easter 😊


      1. mandioutsidethebox

        I tried on many occasions to get poutine there! The first attempt was terrible!!! The fries were in a paper cone… the cheese was sharp cheddar and the gravely was just Hp sauce! Haha!
        There is a Canadian pub in central London but still… wasn’t the same!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Saturday Snippets…16th April 2022…Todays prompt is “Squeak” | Retired? No one told me!

  5. Darlene

    This is the best explanation of Canadian cuisine I’ve ever read. Thanks! I was raised on pierogi and it is my comfort food. Canadians come from all over the world so, of course, our food is varied. I think that is why when we travel we have no problem eating the food of wherever we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. seaangel4444

    Thank you so much for this excellent post, Carol! As a Canadian living in the United States, I was shocked when I found out some of my favorite foods were unknown here! How could this be? LOL, buttertarts and Nanaimo bars are never far from my mind! Cher xoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

      1. seaangel4444

        Ah, thank you, Carol! Yes, it was news to me as well! LOL I must confess that on occasion I either ask a friend or relative from Canada to send a few goodies my way. Thanks again for such an informative post! Cher xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Sounds intriguing … posh Poutine but restaurants are good at taking a basic good dish and elevating it…what are they using foie gras and truffle oil?…I fancy trying just the best basic one with curds and gravy no lobster or anything 🙂


  7. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 12…Canada…where Poutine is the National Dish and Tiger Tale Icecream is a childhood fabourite… – MobsterTiger

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      You are very welcome, Marian..I hadn’t heard of Tiger Tale icecream until I was doing my research and saw it on one of the videos I was watching 🙂


  8. silverapplequeen

    You didn’t mention peameal bacon! It’s Canadian bacon covered with “peameal”, i.e. cornmeal. I live in Buffalo, NY, & people here cross the border just to buy it. Here in Buffalo, poutine has become very popular, with poutine places opening up everywhere. Go out of town a few miles & there’s Kutter’s Cheese Factory in Newstead, NY, where you HAVE to stop to get the best cheese curds known to man. They’re sold in the local markets, of course. I often make poutine at home. LOVE IT!!! But my people came to the States through Canada & I have relatives up there so I guess Canada’s in my blood.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you I didn’t come across that when I was doing my research…I have just googled it and it looks delicious…Poutine does sound good I haven’t tried it myself or come across cheese curds…Thank you so much for your informative comment 🙂


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