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Moving to Canada? Here’s a Quick Guide to Canadian Cuisine

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Canadian food has some marked differences from American cuisine

In light of recent events, you might be considering high-tailing it out of the country and taking up residence in our neighbor to the north. Should you decide to pack up and move to Canada, there’s going to be a whole lot you’re going to need to learn about Canadian culture, especially the food. So though trying to explain Canadian cuisine is as complicated as attempting to explain American cuisine, here are some Canadian foods and drinks that you should definitely be aware of.

Butter Tarts
These are small tarts filled with a mixture of butter, sugar, maple syrup, and egg, and topped with something crunchy, usually nuts. Sometimes they contain raisins.

Donair
Most popular in Nova Scotia, this is a play on the traditional doner kebab. Ground beef is seasoned and baked as a loaf, then sliced and tucked into a pita and topped with a sweet white sauce.

Ketchup Chips
Ketchup-flavored potato chips. Don’t knock them until you try them; you dunk fries in ketchup, right?

Kraft Dinner
This is what Canadians call Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Lumby
Short for “lumberjack’s breakfast,” this hearty meal includes at least three eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, and pancakes.

Montreal Bagels
Montreal-style bagels are sweeter than traditional American bagels due to the addition of honey, and the hole in them is larger.

Nanaimo Bars
This is a three-layer no-bake dessert with plenty of variations. The most traditional recipe starts with a graham cracker crust, which is then topped with custard flavored icing and a layer of chocolate. Variations include different crusts, different flavor icing, and different types of chocolate, but they all follow the same basic format.

Peameal Bacon
What do they call Canadian bacon in Canada? Either cornmeal bacon or peameal bacon. It’s cured pork loin that’s been rolled in cornmeal.

Poutine
This dish is making serious inroads into America, namely because it’s so decadent and delicious. French fries are topped with cheese curds, and it’s all doused in brown gravy.

Spruce Beer
As the name might imply, spruce beer is flavored with the buds or needles of spruce trees. It has a floral and piney flavor, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions are available.

Tourtière
A Quebecoise specialty that’s sold in grocery stores across Canada, tourtière is a meat pie filled with any variety of meats, but traditionally ground pork and spices including cinnamon and cloves. It’s a popular Christmas dish. 

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