People give me a lot of shit for going all the way to Canada just for college. However, in addition to the obvious perk of the lower drinking age (18 in Montreal), Canada offers my taste buds a new, diverse selection of foods to devour. From the the drinks to the drunchies that follow, the savory to the sweet, the meals to the desserts, Canada has it all covered in its own unique, delectable way.
Here is a list of some signature foods:
No list of classic Canadian foods would be complete without poutine. This go-to drunchie is delicious with just the cheese curds and gravy, but can be made more fancy by adding protein and vegetables. It is a savory, oozy, and greasy food tourists and students can’t resist.
Maple creams, candies, syrup, cookies, ice cream, bacon, beer, sausage… even maple on a stick. If you maple-ize it, the Canadians will eat it.
Smoked meat is simply brisket with a spiced rub added, resulting in a darker and richer flavor. But Canadians take it to the next level by allowing the meat to sit for a week, allowing the flavors to really develop. Get your fill at Schwartz’s or Lesters.
Hailing from New Jersey, I have to say I am in love with my fluffy pumpernickel bagel from home. However, Montreal bagels offer a different kind of taste. People here swear by their bagels and the way the dough is mixed with eggs and honey. Don’t go in expecting a New York style bagel, but rather let your taste buds explore the sweetness of Montreal bagels. Let the St. Viateur / Fairmount bagel rivalry continue.
These bars are a staple in British Columbia (but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them in Quebec), and they have an interesting history. The bars are three layers: a bottom layer of chocolate, walnuts, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, a center layer of a vanilla pudding, and a top layer of straight chocolate. It is a creamy chocolate explosion in your mouth, with a hint of coconut that just adds to your satisfaction. And you don’t have to travel across Canada to devour one of these — Nanaimo bars can be found at Starbucks.
Cue the “ewwww.” These chips are really not as bad as one would think. They are salty but also have a hint of sweetness from the tomato flavor. In addition to ketchup flavored chips, Canada has dill, all dressed, and a slew of other interesting flavors not found in the US.
Beaver Tails are a scrumptious dessert that few Montrealers have had the pleasure of eating. The dough (which is shaped like a beaver’s tail) is deep fried, typically covered in cinnamon and sugar (like a churro), and covered in Nutella, bananas, cinnamon, Oreo’s, and anything else you can imagine. They are sweet and scrumptious and oh-so filling. Go out and enjoy one at any of these stores.
Smarties (Canadian M&M’s), Coffee Crisp, Aero bars, Kinder Bueno’s, Kinder Eggs… the list goes on and on. Canadian candy is amazing. Kinder Eggs, a hollow milk and white chocolate egg, are my personal favorite – probably because they contain a toy prize like a racecar or Disney princess.
This Canadian spin on a Bloody Mary still involves the alcohol but while a Bloody Mary uses tomato juice, a Bloody Caesar used clamato, a tomato-clam juice combination (don’t let that scare you). In addition, Caesar’s have a spice mix added to them. They have a little more kick than your traditional Bloody Mary and taste great!
Get your fill of Canadian fare with these reads:
- Montreal Munchies: Canada’s Food Scene
- What I Learned Aboot Canadian Food: Five Northern Favorites
- Meet the Man Who Created a Fake Trader Joe’s in Canada
More food porn ahead: