One of the many culinary gems to come out of French Canada, poutine is perhaps one of the most outlandish and definitive Canadian dishes. Several small towns in Quebec claim to have invented this celebrated dish (or side dish), and it’s said to date back to the 1950s. A real poutine uses peppery meat-based gravy and “squeaky” curds on fries.
Where to eat it: Any Canadian diner with fries on the menu will typically offer poutine, including big chains like McDonald’s. National franchises like Smoke’s Poutinerie serve up just about any protein or vegetable in variations on the calorie-heavy dish. If you’re up for a real celebration, there are also annual poutine festivals in cities across the country.
Poutine’s Canadian origins may be common knowledge, but would you believe these 20 things were invented in Canada, too?
2. Canadian Bacon
What’s known in our country as “peameal bacon” is branded as Canadian bacon just about everywhere else. Unlike traditional bacon, which comes from the pig’s belly, Canadian bacon is lean pork loin that’s been brined and rolled in cornmeal. During the turn of the century, Canada would export its pork to England, which was experiencing a shortage. At the time it was rolled in yellow peas for preservation, though over the years, that switched to cornmeal. Want to cook bacon like a true Canuck? Avoid these mistakes everyone makes when cooking bacon.
Where to eat it: Carousel Bakery in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market is world-renowned for its Canadian bacon sandwiches, though they insist on calling them World Famous Peameal Bacon Sandwiches. (Check out 50 more Toronto attractions that will have you falling in love with the Big Smoke all over again.)
Invented in 1969 by Calgary restaurant manager Walter Chell, this cocktail took off to become enormously popular from there. (Clamato-maker Mott’s claims more than 350-million Caesars are sold every year.) Its key ingredients are Clamato juice, vodka, Worchester and a salted rim. If you end up enjoying a few Caesars too many, this roundup of the best hangover cures from each province will come in handy.
Where to eat it: Although the Caesar is considered a cocktail, one Vancouver restaurant has turned it into a meal. Score on Davie offers the “Checkmate Caesar,” which is garnished with a full roast chicken, cheeseburger, chicken wings, pulled pork mac and cheese hot dog, roasted vegetables and a brownie. Sound incredible? It’s just one of the many reasons it’s great to live in Canada.