I’m not your typical foodie. I don’t normally research a lot of places to eat before I go on holiday. I’m more of a ‘eat wherever I find myself’ person (please don’t hate me!). But my recent trip to Canada may have changed all that. I found myself searching for particular foods I’d heard about and taking photos of my meals before I started tucking in. There’s so many things that you must eat and some of them can only be found in Canada. So if you’re planning your next trip, or are even just a food fan, then you’ve really got to check out these culinary highlights. For non-food related highlights check out the Best of Canada.
Everyone told me I had to try poutine. So naturally it was the first thing we ate when we arrived and from that moment I became obsessed. I’m actually heartbroken that you can’t find the real thing in Melbourne. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically hot chips covered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. I must admit that every time I describe it to someone I seem to lose them at Cheese curds, but trust me, it’s delicious.
You’ll find it everywhere across Canada and in many shapes and forms. At the Calgary Stampede I had cheeseburger poutine which came topped with bits of bacon and beef. A lot of places will allow you to upgrade your side of fries to poutine too. And I even had a poutine dog – think hot dog covered in gravy (which didn’t photograph well).
The Beavertail, another distinctly Canadian treat, is basically the most amazing sweet you will ever have. Named because it looks like a beaver’s tail, it’s fried dough topped with all sorts of amazing toppings like banana and chocolate, apple and cinnamon, chocolate hazelnut, or even peanut butter and reese’s pieces. But my faves were the maple butter as well as the oreo. They are quite big so if you haven’t got a sweet tooth you could easily share one between two people. But let’s be honest, who wants to share something this good.
There were so many weird and wonderful foods available at the Calgary Stampede. With that many food trucks and stalls, it took us ages to decide on what to eat. Amongst many other things, we enjoyed mac and cheese with hot dogs on top, mini corn dogs, giant churros, as well as beaverballs – donut holes covered in fairy floss, cream cheese, nerds, sprinkles and whipped cream. We didn’t get to the deep fried tequila shots and oreo churros though. #regrets.
Cows Ice Cream
No trip to Canada is complete without a trip to Cows. Cows Ice Cream is amongst the best, not only in Canada, but in the world and they have an amazing selection of fun flavours to choose from (like Brownie Explosion or Pure Strawberry). After what felt like hours trying to decide, I ended up settling on the Maple Walnut (because when in Canada) and a flavour called ‘Messie Bessie’ which was a delicious combination of chocolate crunch, oreo cookie and English toffee.
I consumed maple flavoured things like there was no tomorrow. While in Canada you’ve really got to make the most of the endless maple syrup – trust me, it’s not like the stuff we get at home. You can have maple anything really, and I found myself ordering anything on a menu that had maple in it. So I enjoyed (amongst other things) maple ice cream, maple bacon, and maple butter as well as maple flavoured chocolates. I even bought some home with me and have been rationing it ever since.
Not strictly a food, but a must try none-the-less. If you’ve never heard of Ice Wine (like me) then here’s what you need to know. Ice Wine is made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine and are picked in the middle of the night when it is coldest. You only get one drop from each grape. Ontario is one of the world’s biggest producers of Ice Wine and there’s plenty of wineries near Toronto.
What are your Canadian must eats? Have you found a place that sells poutine in Melbourne?