Canadian cuisine varies widely from region to region. Generally, the traditional cuisine of English Canada is closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of Québec and French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. The basis of both groups is traditionally on seasonal, fresh ingredients, and preserves. The cuisine includes a lot of baked foods, wild game, and gathered foods. Prepared foods were still a novelty for recent rural generations, so there are some that are well-loved to the point of obsession -- and which have come to dominate suburban diets. However, home-made, warming, and wholesome remain key adjectives in what Canadians consider their cuisine. Modern Canadian cooking represents these diverse origins, as well as the many other immigrant cultures that have made the country their home. As such, most home cooks in Canada have assimilated new ingredients and recipes from around the world into the more traditional favorites. At the forefront of Canadian cuisine is the fusion of modern culinary techniques and uniquely Canadian ingredients, such as wild blueberries and saskatoon berries, fiddleheads, mussels, caribou, bison, salmon, wild rice, maple syrup and locally produced wine, beer, ice wine and cheeses.
Oreilles de Christ
(French literally translates to Christ's ears) is a popular dish in Québec. It is simply deep fried smoked pork jowls. It is generally served at cabanes à sucre (sugar shacks) in spring time, and is topped with a generous quantity of maple syrup. Contrary to what the name implies, it is not religious in any way, and is not made from human ears.
A popular snack consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and covered with hot gravy and sometimes other additional ingredients. The curds' freshness is most important as it makes them soft in the warm fries, without completely melting. (When the curds are really fresh they will often squeak between the teeth.) Poutine is available in only a few places outside of Canada. Poutine is a fast food staple in eastern Canada; it is sold by nearly all fast food chains in the provinces, in small diners and pubs, as well as by roadside vendors. It is also very popular in student cafeterias in high schools and universities. The dish originated in rural Quebec, Canada in the late 1950s and is now popular all over the eastern half of the country.There are many variations of poutine. A common variation, Italian poutine, substitutes gravy with Bolognese sauce, while another popular variation includes sausage slices.
A concentrated food consisting of dried pulverized meat, dried berries, and rendered fat. It was invented by the native peoples of North America, and widely used during the fur trade and later by Arctic and Antarctic explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott as a high-calorie food. Properly packaged, it can be stored for long periods of time. The specific ingredients used in it were usually whatever was available; the meat was often bison, moose, elk, or deer, the fruit saskatoon berries, though cherries, currants, chokeberries and blueberries were also used. The finest pemmican is made from lean meat and bone marrow fat; the pemmican buyers of the fur trade era had strict specifications.
Yellow pea soup
Soupe aux pois (yellow pea soup) is a signature dish in French Canadian cooking. The most authentic version of Quebec's soupe aux pois uses whole yellow peas, with salt pork and herbs for flavour. After cooking, the pork is usually chopped and returned to the soup, or sometimes removed to slice thinly and served separately. Newfoundland Pea Soup is very similar, but usually includes more vegetables such as diced turnips and carrots, and is often topped with small dumplings.
A type of pastry best known as a Canadian treat said to be invented in northern Ontario around 1915. The Canadian tart consists of butter, sugar and eggs in a pastry shell. Additional ingredients can include raisins, pecans, walnuts, coconut, butterscotch, chocolate chips or peanut butter. Butter tarts were a staple of pioneer Canadian cooking, and they remain a characteristic pastry of Canada, considered one of only a few recipes of genuine Canadian origin. Yet similar tarts are made in Scotland, where they are often referred to as Ecclefechan butter tarts from the town of Ecclefechan; and in France, where they are uncommon but known as "tartes au beurre", related to the much commoner tarte à la frangipane, that differs from the basic Canadian recipe only by the addition of ground almonds. The origin thus appears to be unknown. Butter tarts are said to have been a favorite treat of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
A Canadian dessert that is a type of chocolate cake, it receives its name from the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, where it first became known in the 1930s. It consists of a crumb-based layer, topped by light custard which is covered in soft chocolate. Many varieties are possible by using different types of crumb, flavors of custard, and types of chocolate.