For two weeks during this glorious summer period, I spent my time wandering the very wide streets of Red Deer, Alberta. Despite the trip being a first to Canada, I decided to leave aside sight-seeing, thrill-seeking and the frivolity of such things as tourism, and turn my extremely adventurous attention to the food of Canada.
The country is bountiful of the product of it’s flag, maple syrup, and monumental supermarkets, that potentially span across the equivalent of London could satisfy any stomach with their frightful abundance of stock; having almost an entire aisle devoted to crackers, crisp-breads and rice cakes. But aside from their grand food stores, I was in pursuit of the reputable Poutine.
Reminiscent of the Northerners staple of chips ‘n’ gravy, or a student’s post-night out nosh of cheesy chips, poutine proves to be a great competitor against it fried potato cousins. Canada offers not only it’s grand halls of supermarketry, but also it’s extensive amount of fast food takeaway joints. I was advised by my host (my best friend), the fast food establishment named New York Fries offered one of the best poutine selection – she was very right! Traditional poutine consists of chips, gravy and cheese curds, however New York Fries presents a poutine delight! Butter Chicken, pulled pork and bacon double cheese poutine, I would not be deficient in this traditional Quebec dish!
Not to submit this article as a review, however, poutine is one of the foods that you have to try in life, even if it means grabbing the Ah Bisto gravy, cubing some mild cheddar and piling it on top of chips, then you’ve experienced a slight essence of the popular poutine! And what’s better is that Canada was able to create probably the ugliest dish in the present world that emulates sick, and make it the tastiest one.
Alongside this dish, Canada is known for it’s maple bacon, high quality steaks and Tim Horton’s, sadly none of these I was able to make an ample opinion about. However, with a slight atmosphere of the U.S food industry, I was satisfied in abstaining from the glazed sugary and processed foods of Canada. What strikes me concerning the food industry in Canada, is the frequent amount of barbecuing and meals taking place outside. The nice weather that the majority of the country only get during summer is ample time for people to walk outside without the pre-caution and threat of being caught under a huge snow cloud, or accidentally delving into ten inches of snow. Unlike England, Canada’s park and reservation sites frequently devote portions of their land to fire-pits and barbeque sets for the summer to be truly savoured; no need for booking or reservation! What’s significantly better for the Canadians is that their independence day, “Canada Day” is celebrated on the 1st July, paving a celebratory foundation for their summertime.
Bursting away from my previous bout of veganism in preparation for my trip to Gambia (meat and fish as a staple), Canada sufficiently gave me the opportunity to peel myself away from tofu, vegan cheese, and beans and into the normality of most people.
Warning: To those who are vegan, and revert to meat, fish and dairy, weight increases pretty quickly, and your system belongs to the slower digestion and an extra little gift of new… gases. So, from Canadian cuisine, off I trot for a dip into Gambian grub!