Source: Free-Photos on Pixabay
When it comes to travelling, one thing everyone always seems to love to do is to try new and strange foods. Whether you’re adventurous or you’re a bit more conservative about your dining options, eating strange foods is one of the time honoured traditions of travel. Nothing says exploration quite like trying dishes that are a bit outside your comfort zone, so why not make Canada one of the stops on a culinary exploration tour? With some unusual, interesting and downright delicious things to try from coast to coast, you won’t be disappointed. Here are just a few things you can try on your next trip to the Great White North.
Jig’s Dinner, Newfoundland
Jig’s dinner is one of the finer points of Newfie cooking. Consisting of salted beef (or sometimes pork), lots of veggies including potatoes, cabbage and carrots and some herbs and seasonings, a Jig’s dinner is a type of down home style cooking that comforts the cockles of the heart when you’re out jigging (fishing) on that cold Atlantic water. You can find Jig’s dinners in a lot of Newfoundland restaurants, although if you have a Newfie friend willing to cook one up for you, definitely take them up on the offer. You can find cheap flights to Newfoundland – and we honestly recommend this amazing province.
Back when the kids were hungry but it wasn’t time for dinner or lunch, a touton was a great way to make them happy for awhile. A touton is literally just a chunk of bread dough, rolled out and then fried. Served with maple syrup, molasses, jam or honey it’s a great breakfast dish. You can find them in almost every Newfoundland restaurant worth its weight, but if you want some of the best, check out the Bagel Cafe in downtown St John’s.
A true Canadian staple, poutine sounds and looks a bit strange but is oh so delicious. Almost every restaurant across the country will carry it – often as an alternative to just plain fries with a burger or on its own as a main or side. It consists of french fries, cheese curds and gravy and when it all melts together it gets gooey and delicious. Try with a side of root beer for the perfect Canadian lunch. Our personal favourite
Nanaimo Bars, British Columbia
Originally created in Nanaimo, BC, the Nanaimo bar is a popular Canadian dessert treat. Made with layers of chocolate and custard, it’s extremely rich but amazingly delicious. It’s a popular treat served around Christmas time, but you can have it year round. The bottom layer is cocoa powder, graham cracker crumbs, coconut and nuts, the second is custard powder, butter and icing sugar with the top layer being butter and melted chocolate. Sounds delish, right? We promise it is. There’s even Nanaimo bar flavoured ice cream, that’s how popular they are!
This drink was originally created in Calgary in the 60s to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant. Before long, the caesar had taken off in popularity. Made with a combination of vodka, tomato or clamato juice, worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce and different seasonings (especially around the rim of the glass), estimates claim millions of these delicious Canadian beverages are consumed each year. Garnishes can be as simple as a stick of celery or as elaborate as whole burgers with onion rings. Found in every establishment that serves alcohol throughout Canada.
Prairie Oysters, The Prairie Provinces
Now this is where we take a turn into the truly unusual. Prairie oysters aren’t actually fish related at all. Given that the prairies are far from any oyster producing area, you make do with what you have, and that’s cows, cows, cows! Prairie Oysters are either calf or bull testicles which are dipped in a flour and seasoning batter then fried. Usually found at fairgrounds.
Beaver Tails, Throughout
This is a bit more of an innocent one, but also fairground food. Beaver tails are a big slab of doughnut style dough, flattened into a large plate-sized patty, deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. They taste as good as they sound and are popular all throughout Canada.
Tire Sur La Neige, Quebec
This Quebecois winter treat is something everyone wants to lay their hands on when they visit the likes of Quebec City or Montreal in the dead of winter. Usually served as part of a winter festival, tire sur la neige (pronounced teer-sur-la-nege) is a sticky sweet treat made of boiled, fresh maple syrup, right out of the tree and then drizzled on bricks of clean snow so they go a taffy consistency. Delicious!
With so many cool, unusual and interesting dishes to try in Canada, who can blame those who venture to this vast, welcoming and interesting country time and again? We’re sure you’d love it too, so come on over and see for yourself!