Finding the perfect Canadian food – Happy Gourmand

Food is an essential part of many celebrations, and there are days dedicated to celebrating certain foods.

Did you know that there is “Tapioca Day” and “Bologna Day” and even “Sneak up for some zucchini on your neighbor’s balcony night”? This got me thinking, with Canada Day yesterday, is there a food that represents Canada?

What is the ideal food for Canadians to eat on our national holiday?

The essence of Canada is intrinsically linked to its intricate roots and multicultural mosaic of people, all woven into one delicious buffet. There is no single answer to what Canadian food stands for.

But, if you’re looking for a new idea for something to test out or wondering what else is on the list besides your favorite things, here are some food items to think about (or celebrate).

Many of the food days that are celebrated are associated with corporate America but are simple associations. There is no political or historical significance for National Butterscotch Pudding Day (September 19, if you’re a fan).

But back in Canada, July is hot dog month. But those are known to be almost like apple pie, right?

Many people outside of Canada think poutine is the perfect Canadian food. It’s a Quebec classic, but in the Maritimes, they would instead have a lobster roll or hodgepodge (a stew with local baby potatoes). Blueberry Grant, a kind of sweet dumpling with stewed fruit and moon mist ice cream are specialties of the desserts. The combination of banana, grape, and butter is definitely unique, although I’m not sure it’s a complete cross-section of Canada. (No offense intended to any fans of this fabrication.)

The Canadian version of apple pie is to eat it with cheddar cheese. You’ve probably heard of Montreal smoked meats and fin pie, and there’s sugar pie and red rose tea (“Only in Canada, you say? Pity!” — remember those TV ads?)

There are foods from the western part of the country that we can pick up. Some of the classics are wild rice from Manitoba, Saskatoon berries, Nanaimo bars, and butter pancakes. Even the bloody Tsar’s cocktail. (It was invented by a bartender in Calgary in 1969, but I guess cocktails aren’t really food.)

What about jam busters? This delicacy, also known as the jam-packed out of the prairie, was a favorite of mine when I was little. Maybe we can at least have National Jam Buster Day?

You can incorporate some of the mix of Canadian cultures if you enjoy a Chinese buffet or “Lumberjack Breakfast”. Both were invented in the 1870s in the shanty town of Gastown (Vancouver) when men of different European backgrounds worked in the city for long days and wanted a hearty meal.

Whichever way you go, I think the important thing is to remember to celebrate, appreciate the food, and share it with those we love.

Just watch out for your neighbor’s zucchini lurking on the balcony on the night of August 8th.

This article was written by or on behalf of an outside columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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