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Many people believe that Canadian cuisine is still in the process of being defined, as it has been heavily influenced over time by a multitude of different cultures. However, there are certain culinary traditions that Canadians remain fiercely proud of, from the local ingredients that are used to the ways in which they are put together. OROGOLD reviews some of the best dishes in Canadian cuisine.

Maple syrup being poured on top of a pancake.

Canada’s national symbol, the food properties of the maple tree were originally discovered by Canadian Aboriginals, long before the European settlers arrived. Canada now produces over 80% of the world’s maple syrup, and maple is frequently used in dishes across the country. From savory delights such as maple baked potato wedges to delectable deserts such as maple scones and maple custard, and even little treats such as maple taffy or maple cookies, the Canadians have thought of hundreds of ways to utilize their world famous local ingredient. Some of the more creative maple dishes that have recently become popular, combining sweet and savory, are maple candy-coated bacon and maple-bacon donuts.

Fresh Montreal Badgels

Montreal Bagels
This popular Canadian breakfast item looks similar to its American equivalent, but is really quite different, and not just because it sports a bigger hole. There are strict guidelines to how these bagels must be produced, beginning with each one having to be made by hand. They are then required to be poached in water that has been infused with honey, before being cooked in a wood burning oven, ensuring a consistent quality each time.

Montreal Smoked Meat

Montreal Smoked Meat
Montreal smoked meat is Canada’s version of pastrami, but with a few differences. Only brisket is used, and it is marinated for much longer, giving each bite a more explosive burst of flavor and spice. It is also much thinner than pastrami, and contains less sugar, with the bold and smoky meat just melting away in your mouth.

Canadian Poutine

Poutine, the star attraction in Canadian cuisine, is the most popular dish among locals. It is a simple dish made from french fries that have been topped with gravy and cheese curd, although many places also add bacon and other meats. Although a relatively unhealthy dish, it is a national favorite that you are bound to encounter throughout Canada.

Portion of Tourtière served on a plate.

Tourtière, a traditional spiced savory meat pie, in both group and individual sizes, is believed to have originated in Quebec. It almost always contains pork, onions and certain spices, including cloves and cinnamon, and is cooked in a pie crust, but other than that, is open to interpretation. Whether you add other meats and vegetables is up to you, and the endless variations of the dish are what makes this French Canadian delicacy so popular.

In addition to its cuisine, Canada is also famous for its drinks, from the Bloody Caesar, dubbed as the only truly Canadian cocktail, to homegrown beers and rye whiskey. Although Canadian cuisine may be hard to define, OROGOLD loves how Canadians take pride in using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible, making each dish much tastier.

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