5 Uniquely Canadian Foods You Have to Try

This post originally appeared on become Canadian, a blog about how to blend in with with locals on the West Coast, on April 2, 2016. If you want to get more tips on language, food and lifestyle in Canada head over and/or follow my FacebookTwitter and Instagram for regular updates.

Canadians are extremely creative people — not just when it comes to language and using it in ways you wouldn’t expect, but also in mixing tastes that you might not think can ever go together.

So the next time you visit, bring an open mind and hunger to learn what Canadians love to eat. Next to all their other creative inventions, like butter tarts or Nanaimo bars, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on these 5 uniquely Canadian foods!

1. Poutine


Poutine is a true Canadian invention and favourite.

Fries with gravy and cheese curds might not look that good but luckily the taste saves it. You can get Poutine in nearly every facility that serves food, nevertheless it might take some time until you find your favourite spot that offers the right balance between gravy and cheese.

2. Maple

As stereotypical as it might be, it’s true: Maple is everywhere. A lot of Canadian recipes seem to use it as a replacement for honey and/or sugar, adding the subtle but unique taste of maple to everything.

3. Ants on a Log

Ants on a log

The origin of the name is obvious: the raisins sit on the peanut butter just like ants on a log.

A friend just recently told me about this Canadian childhood memory and at first I thought he’s fooling me. But then I heard other friends getting just as excited about a stick of fresh celery topped with peanut butter and raisins (or dried cranberries for the luxurious version). However, it’s mostly just an excuse to eat peanut butter.

4. Bannock

This fried bread is a traditional post-contact dish among First Nation communities. That means, it became popular and common after Europeans brought over wheat flour; therefore it carries some political and cultural significance.

5. Caesar

I know, it’s a drink but it has to be on here because it’s so uniquely Canadian: vodka, Clamato — a proprietary blend of tomato juice and clam broth, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce served with ice in a large, celery salt-rimmed glass and typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime (what’s with all this celery Canada?!). Rumour has it, it’s not only popular during the night but also the morning after to cure hangovers.

photo credit: Duckfat’s Poutine via photopin (license)

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