Best of Canada: 7 Canuck Food Facts
Marie Antioinette cake ice cream, with maple syrup, by Nadege Patisserie
Our home and native land. A natural wonder, a diverse people, a place where we can stand together for thee. And then there’s the food. Yes, Canada does have a unique foodie culture all its own: from Maple syrup to poutine and many an adopted foreign cuisines that now have their place in our collective foodie psyche. We asked those in the know for this roundup, a field guide of sorts to seven Canadian food-facts to get you feeling true, north, strong and where to go to be hungry-free.
1. Toronto is the most diverse city in the world.
Over half of Toronto’s population is made up of residents born outside of Canada. The city is host to 230 diverse ethnic groups, speaking more than 140 languages. That beauty of diversity shows through in our food, too. When Seigo Nakamura, the mastermind behind Miku Toronto, and this gorgeous dish, above, took over his father’s struggling sushi restaurant in Japan, he vowed to learn as much as he could about the restaurant industry. He’s now a Canadian success story.
The Made-in-Canada Twist: Miku’s Aburi Sushi, which translates to “flame-seared”; a flame is applied onto a piece of Japanese bamboo charcoal over the seafood to create a new texture and enhance the sushi’s natural flavour.
2. When the Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich was first introduced 100 years ago it only cost 5 cents!
The Montreal smoked meat sandwich features corned beef and pastrami, served on artisan or rye bread smothered in mustard. It’s no surprise this smokey and savoury delicacy has been popular since 1908. Curb your hunger and make a classic Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich.
3. Winnipeg is one of the top- five coldest cities in the world.
Often referred to as “Winterpeg,” temperatures routinely dip below -21 C in the winter months. The two coldest nights the city has experienced, felt like -45 C on February 18, 1966, and -47.8 C on December 24, 1879.
The Made-in-Canada Twist: Venture to The Forks, Winnipeg’s number one tourist destination, above. Located where the Red River and the Assiniboine River meet, The Forks has been a historic meeting place for Indigenous groups for more than 6,000 years. Today, The Forks still holds a rich cultural history as Winnipeg’s most diverse culinary destination, offering a range of eclectic dining choices for any palate or pocketbook. And, with stellar waterfront views, it’s the perfect (and patriotic!) destination to visit, winter or summer.
4. Canadians purchase more ice cream in winter than summer!
Canadians often have mixed feelings toward Mother Nature. While there are beautiful snowy moments in our winters, we know how long and dark the season can feel. That’s why we love to soak up the sun, and enjoy everything summer has to offer, including ice cream. What’s surprising, however, is that Canadians actually purchase more ice cream during the winter months!
The Made-in-Canada Twist: Montreal-based, CoolWay ice cream, above, allows you to enjoy your favourite flavours year round without the guilt – each tub contains 28g of protein and ranges from 280 to 360 calories.
5. Canada is home to 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four marine conservation areas.
With so much natural beauty around us, it’s no wonder Canadians are camping and cottaging all summer (and winter) long. Whether you’re into backcountry portaging or lounging on the dock, it’s undeniable that food is often the centre of the outdoor experience.
The Made-in-Canada Twist: Outdoor grilling and barbecuing are a breeze with All-Clad Canada’s new outdoor cookware, above.
6. Canada produces 71% of the world’s maple syrup with 91% produced in Quebec.
In 2017 Canada produced more than 12.5 million gallons of maple syrup. That’s enough to fill 19 Olympic swimming pools! Maple syrup is one of the country’s main resources, and it’s a national treasure.
The Made-in-Canada Twist: Toronto’s NADÈGE includes maple syrup in a number of their desserts, including one of their most popular items, the Marie Antoinette Cake. Featuring fresh vanilla panna cotta and a light maple syrup mousse topped with classic macaron biscuits, the beloved cake is also the inspiration for one of NADÈGE’s 16 ice cream flavours, above. The new NADÈGE ice cream shop is located at the patisserie’s flagship, 780 Queen St. West, beside Trinity Bellwoods Park.
7. Though poutine was invented in the 1950s, the word wasn’t added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary until 2014.
Although Anglophones often pronounce it “pou-teen,” the proper Québécois pronunciation is “pou-tin,” with less emphasis on the final syllable.
The Made-in-Canada Twist: Try the Butter Chicken Poutine, above, at My Roti Place in Toronto, made with crispy fries, flavourful butter chicken and gooey cheese. At 406 Queen St. W, My Roti Place features a variety of dishes with simple and fresh ingredients and the quintessential spice palette of traditional Indian curries and sauces.