While tacos are as common to American dinner tables as Tuesdays are to the calendar, foods from north of the border are nigh impossible to find stateside. Although it lacks the unified appeal of smoky peppers and piquant salsas, Canadian food is "sexy a any" according to Anita Ward, the "Patron Saint" of Canadian cuisine and author of "Canada: The Food, the Recipes, the Stories." Ward's culinary patriotism has merit, since Canada boasts two oceans, prairies filled with grain and fat cattle, two winery regions and 71 percent of the world's maple syrup output. From haute cuisine to fireplace cooking, Canada has it all, including these treats found nowhere else:
This French fry dish sans ketchup originated in la belle province of Quebec, but is arguably a contender for national dish of Canada. Crisp steak fries are served with a generous ladle of meat gravy and cheese curds that melt into the fries. A lobster variant by Montreal-based chef Chuck Hughes led to his victory over Bobby Flay in Iron Chef America back in March, 2011 — a true gastronomic victory for Canada.
Pate chinois (pah-tay shin-wa)
Another dish from Quebec, it translates as "Chinese pie." Based on the English cottage pie and like American shepherd's pie, it consists of browned ground beef cooked with onions, layered with creamed corn, followed by mashed potatoes and baked until a thin crust forms on top. It is said to derive it name from the fact that Chinese cooks served it to railway workers when in Quebec.
This fried dough pastry from a Canadian fast food chain of the same name comes with several options, such as cinnamon and sugar or chocolate hazelnut spread. As the beaver is the national symbol of Canada, it is a common treat on Canada Day celebrations.
Smoked meat and bagels
This sounds like the offerings of a Brooklyn delicatessen, but Montreal's large Jewish population features its own version of the bagel, boiled in honey-sweetened water and baked in wood ovens, and smoked meat sandwiches of rye bread and mustard, with filling that is less sweet and more strongly spiced than its New York cousin, the pastrami.
This no-bake dessert of Canada's Pacific Coast is like a sweet pate chinois with chocolate wafer crumbs, custard-flavored butter icing and lastly, melted chocolate. It is sweet and takes very little time to prepare, so is a popular treat for cook-outs and get-togethers.
This savory meat pie is filled with ground meat seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg and all of its juices, baked with cubed or mashed potatoes in a flaky crust. It is a common holiday food for French Canadians, although it is popularly enjoyed throughout Canada.
Enjoyed throughout the Maritimes, succulent Canadian lobster meat is mixed with mayonnaise and then stuffed into a hot dog roll. Although also enjoyed by Yankees in New England, the colder waters make the lobster sweeter and more tender than those chewier ones from American waters.