Try This East Coast Donair Sauce Recipe, Inspired by a Legendary Halifax Eatery
King of Donair restaurant, Halifax. Photo: N.S.photography, Courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada Limited
One of the defining characteristics of a Halifax donair is the sauce — a sweet, tangy elixir that East Coasters love on their donairs, on their pizza and on their garlic fingers . . . and on a whole lot of other things too these days. Donair sauce as a condiment is fair game on menus across the Maritimes — you’ll find it on everything from steamed buns to cheesecake (yup, that’s right, the Sweet Hereafter in Halifax had a donair cheesecake).
Garlic fingers, simply a pizza pie piled high with mozzarella and garlic cut into strips, is another much- beloved Atlantic Canadian invention, and donair sauce for dunking is a requirement for this dish. There’s also one incredibly controversial ingredient that pizza-shop owners and eaters have debated for generations: To garlic powder or to not garlic powder?
East Coast Donair Sauce (inspired by King of Donair)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups (375 ml)
2/3 cup (160 ml) evaporated milk
2/3 cup (160 ml) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp (2 ml) garlic powder (controversially optional)
1/4 cup (60 ml) white vinegar
- In a large bowl, mix together the evaporated milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. If using the garlic powder, add it and mix until well incorporated.
- Slowly drizzle in the vinegar, folding it into the mixture. Do not stir too aggressively or whisk, or the sauce will split and clump.
- Transfer the sauce to a glass container and refrigerate, sealed, for at least 1 hour before serving.
Excerpted with permission from Where We Ate: A Field Guide to Canada’s Restaurants, Past and Present by Gabby Peyton. Copyright © 2023 Gabby Peyton. Photography credit: King of Donair. Published in Canada by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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