Canadian food as we know it today is a diverse mix of culinary treats. Just like our country’s population, influences have come together from far and wide to create something unique. Though some of these foods may have originated from outside of Canada, they’ve all been adapted—and some would even argue perfected—to suit the Canadian palate.
To appreciate a culture’s cuisine is to appreciate the culture itself. And so, what better way to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st than to celebrate the unique foods that help define Canada? Let’s now nibble through a list of edible items that are either made in Canada or available predominantly in Canada!
Top foods you can (mostly) only find in Canada
For some markets, especially our US neighbours across the border, some of these may only be available online or through specialist importers. For other markets, such as the UK, some of these might look, sound or taste a little familiar. Whatever the case, here is a sampling of dishes and snacks that Canadians grew up on—and travellers around the world find themselves craving!
Imagine being the envy of kids outside of Canada every Halloween (and the rest of the year)! While Coffee Crisp has long been a favourite Canadian treat, Smarties, Crispy Crunch, Mr. Big, Wunderbar, and others are sought-after by those with a sweet tooth, too.
You’ll find the much-loved ketchup flavoured chips pretty much on any Canadian grocery shelf, offered exclusively in Canada by American chip brands—Doritos, Lays, Pringles, you name it. Other flavours you can enjoy this side of the border include ‘all dressed’ and dill pickle. And of course, there’s our longtime favourite Hawkins Cheezies, produced in Canada since the 50s.
When you think of baked goods that make Canadian mouths water the most, what comes to mind? Nanaimo bars? Butter tarts? Both answers are correct. Of course, there’s also Montreal-style bagels. Though fresh bagels are commonly found in North American delis and beyond, this partially-baked, partially-boiled bread is extra special.
Poutine is Canada’s national dish—everyone knows that. But there’s also beaver tails (pictured above), Montreal-style smoked meat, and the Halifax donair, just to name a few; and for some inexplicable reason, they taste that much more delicious after a late night out in the Canadian cold.
Traditional foods with a Canadian twist
There are many food items that can proudly be called Canadian, thanks to our history and the contributions of Indigenous people, such as bannock and candied salmon-jerky. Want to make something truly Canadian? Put lots of maple syrup on (or in) it!
How many of these have you tried? Know some things we missed? Leave your comments below.