Does Canada have a national dish? One that typifies this country and unifies its people? Some would argue poutine; however, poutine is a Quebec invention and there is a segment of the Quebec population who have wanted to separate from the rest of Canada (and to be truthful a section of the English-speaking population who would also like the same. The English-French rivalry still carries over from the Old World to the New World…)
Canada is a vast expanse of regions, territories and geographic and demographic variety. The food reflects this too. Maple syrup you say? Well maple trees are native to Quebec and Ontario and do not grow in Western Canada. (With modern technology, though, anything can grow anywhere.) On the coasts it’s all about the fish (cod to the east, salmon to the west, Arctic char to the north) and in the landlocked provinces it’s all about the beef. Fruit is regional and very seasonal too. So other than European imports like pizza and fish and chips, is there a food that all Canadians eat and embrace as part of the Canadian experience? I would suggest it’s poutine though there are some other strong contenders (e.g. butter tarts, Nanaimo bars and dare I say/type it…bacon).
Poutine is simply a dish of french fries covered in gravy and squeaky cheese curds. You can get all fancy, as some do (Montreal Poutine), but nothing beats the classic: tasty potatoes layered in salt and fat. Mmm…
For our top (and only) poutine posts, click here.
Apparently the McDonald’s restaurant chain has come out with their own version of poutine. I guess their famous prescribed phrase will no longer just be “would you like fries with that?”