While you can find lists of top Canadian foods at various sites around the web, we’ve decided to bring you a special slant on our country’s favourite meals and snacks: Top Canadian food and recreation combinations. What kind of eats goes best with activities like drinking beer beside a beautiful lake, or playing a game of pick-up hockey in gear that should be disinfected by a biohazard crew. Or maybe watching something gory on TV with an appropriate side dish? Here’s our Top Food & Recreation Combos for Canadians. 7 Deadly Snacks for Canadians and how to enjoy them:
Soup and Scary
Download and line up these three Canadian horror film classics – My Bloody Valentine, Scanners, and Black Christmas. Fry up some peameal bacon – lean, boneless pork loin brined and rolled in cornmeal nowadays, rather than actual peameal which was the original way. Add the bacon to a can of heated Habitant Split-Pea Soup, which is made from yellow peas with salt pork and herbs. Season with Montreal Steak Spice. Have a handy supply of Vachon’s Jos Louis cakes – a lascivious cream-filled chocolate snack from Quebec – for the really scary parts.
Snowy and Sweet
Beaver Tail [Public Domain]
It has to be Beaver Tails while skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. These obscenely generous pastries are hand-stretched and shaped like a beaver’s tail and topped with stuff like whipped cream and berries, or melted chocolate and bananas, or maple butter and nuts, or sugar and lemon… You need some goodness in you after pushing yourself around on skates on the frozen canal.
The Canadiens and Montreal Smoked Meat
As in heading to see the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal and then heading to Schwartz’s Delicatessen to devour a Montreal-style Smoked Meat Sandwich. Montreal Smoked Meat is not quite pastrami. While both are kosher-style deli meats made by curing and spicing beef brisket, Montreal Smoked Meat is made from variable-fat brisket as opposed to marbled-fat brisket used in New York pastrami. It is also cured for longer - about a week - and made with less sugar and more cracked peppercorns. It is heaped onto rye bread and served with large quantities of yellow mustard. Who exactly introduced this mouth-watering delicacy to Montreal is still being debated, but please save a quiet moment while eating, in honour of the no-longer-present Ben’s Delicatessen which opened in 1910, and whose founder, Benjamin Kravitz, is one of those who might have been responsible for bringing smoked meat to Montreal.
Dashing, in mid-winter, from your car to the front door in Winnipeg, and Butter Tarts
There are colder towns in Canada, but as a major city Winnipeg takes the cake for freezing cold winter winters. Having made it from your car to your heated home, you can now treat yourself to this very Canadian delicacy, the Butter Tart. It is made from a flaky pastry tart filled with butter, sugar, syrup, and egg and baked until the filling is semi-solid while the top is crunchy. It can also have raisins, pecans, dates, chocolate chips, maple syrup and even peanut butter. A warmer way to sample them is the Butter Tart Festival at Muskoka Lakes in Ontario’s cottage country.
Shooting Bear and Baking Wild Saskatoon Berry pie
The Saskatoon berry grows across the prairies, and in southern Manitoba they are apparently abundant still. However, when going out to pick this native fruit, locals bring a rifle with them to scare off scavenging bears, especially if there are fresh mushrooms around. So you can combine shooting and baking all in one family outing. Some helpful hints on baking this prairie classic dessert, Wild Sasktoon Berry Pie:
- After cleaning and storing your firearm that you have used to ward off a hungry Mother Bear and her scavenging cubs, gently toss your Saskatoons (as the locals call them) sugar and cornstarch together until the berries are coated.
- Fill your pie plate with a lower crust, then fill with berries and top with upper crust. Sprinkle with sugar, pinch the seams, and mark your pie vents.
- Make a note of how much ammo you need for the next outing and fire up the oven.
It is a heart-warming experience they say.
Calgary Stampede Pancakes
Ok, pancakes are not necessarily Canadian, but Maple Syrup is, and you can stand in line sometimes and shake a Prime Minister’s hand after he’s flipped a few pancakes for you and served you up a plateful. Then you can go watch the chuck-wagon races and see whose wheels fall off as their wagon flips over while trying to make a turn in the frenzied competition. The Stampede is a famous rodeo held each summer in Calgary, Alberta and most of the time it will be a Stampede Caravan member- that’s a volunteer in a white cowboy hat - who will make you your pancake breakfast, rain or shine. And the pancakes are free. You’ll have to pay, however, for the Bloody Caesars you might consume later that night. They’re made with Clamato juice - that’s a blend of clam and tomato juice - and vodka, and they were invented at Calgary’s Westin Hotel apparently.
Winter Surfing and Nanaimo Bars
Tofino, on Vancouver Island’s west coast with nothing but open north Pacific waters between you and Vladivostok, is a surfing town, even in winter. So after taking the Vancouver-Nanaimo ferry and driving the next 200 winding kilometers of scenic route, all to wear a wet suit in freezing cold waters, be sure to make a pit stop in Nanaimo and pick up some of Nanaimo’s famed dessert. Nanaimo Bars have a base of wafer crumbs and a chocolate top with a custard flavoured butter icing filling between the two. Like chocolate fudge with a cream explosion in the middle. Assuming you don’t get mistaken for a mid-morning snack by an Orca, those Nanaimo bars make a great treat and might even ward off your hypothermia, after your winter surfing session is done.
Black Christmas Trailer
Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal
Chuckwagon Races at the Calgary Stampede