4 Canadian Delicacies Worth Devouring

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During our recent Road Trip from Boston to Canada, we were not only intrigued by Quebec cuisine but pretty much convinced that we had to try certain Canadian delicacies for ourselves. Canada may be famous for many things but perhaps cuisine is not at the top of your list when you think of the stereotypes associated with the Maple Leaf nation.

Here are 4 of our top Canadian delicacies that you HAVE to try when you visit there next.

Poutine

I was reading an article yesterday that described an experience with a so-called ‘heart-attack food’ and I have to admit that I was able to relate to this pretty well. Before we headed to Quebec, I had several folks tell me that we had to try the delicacy that is ‘Poutine’. Ok, well let’s be honest it’s not really a delicacy, rather it’s a combination of high calorie items that when you see this really doesn’t make it look at all appealing!

Here are the ingredients:

  • Chips/French-Fries – Whether you are from USA or England will depend on what you refer to these as but in this instance a good old portion of chips is the basis for poutine.
  • Gravy – Thick, dark brown gravy is a must as it is piled over the chips.
  • Cheese Curds – Ok, so this part is what really grossed me out whenever I was told that cheese curds are scattered among the chips and gravy.

How does that sound? Delicious….ok maybe not, because I agree that whenever I envisioned this I wasn’t all that fond of trying poutine.

chez ashton canadian delicacies

“Welcome to Chez Ashton – how can I help you today?” – This was the greeting from the server in Old Quebec as we ventured inside the chain restaurant to sample poutine. The pictures on the wall pretty much confirmed my initial impression of poutine.

We ordered a ‘small’ portion of poutine, nothing fancy with the variety of options available such as hot dogs, different gravy flavors etc, instead we just wanted to sample true poutine that the Québécois locals eat on a regular basis.

Poutine

After a short wait, our order was ready and the first thing I noticed was that it actually looked more appetizing than pictures show. But I was still a little apprehensive about those cheese curds that looked even more menacing floating on the gravy. I am sure that everyone who knows me will testify that I generally don’t like sampling weird cuisines, but I was ready to try this today and no one was going to convince me otherwise!

The moment I put the fork to my mouth, my whole opinion about this delicacy changed. Yes, that’s right I will now use the word delicacy to describe poutine because as much as the look and appearance may put you off, the taste of this weird and wonderful combination is AMAZING! The cheese curds really didn’t have that ‘cheesy’ taste, rather they had a little rubbery texture which made it go well with the chips and gravy.

I would definitely recommend sampling poutine the next time you head to Canada. It may not sound or look too appetizing, but please don’t let that stop you from sampling a true Canadian delicacy.

Lobster Roll

Although you may associate lobster with the north-eastern US states, you may be surprised to realize that Canada offers great lobster rolls. Arriving in Quebec City late in the evening, we opted to head downtown to find something for dinner. We read various reviews of spots around Quebec City and finally decided to sample Le Cochon Dingue which is another local establishment popular among the Québécois residents and visitors alike.

le cochon dingue canadian delicacies

I opted for the Fish and Chips and Heather went for the Quebec style Lobster Roll. Both dishes were excellent choices but the lobster roll in particular was something a little different to what you typically find in chain restaurants.

Maple Syrup Ice Cream

After the main course of a lobster roll or poutine, head on down to the Quartier Petit-Champlain to try some maple syrup ice cream which is undoubtedly one of the best dessert options in Canada (though one of my later delicacies in this article may argue otherwise). With several quaint bistros and cafes to choose from, you really are spoiled for choice but we opted for a local establishment that was selling maple syrup taffy outside and with crowds surrounding this it suggested this was a popular option.

Maple Syrup Ice Cream

Although our ice creams were a little expensive at $5 each (Canadian Dollars), they really were a treat with the maple syrup and ice cream combination working like a treat. There is nothing better than grabbing a maple syrup ice cream and then wandering around the idyllic gift shops scattered alog the Rue de Petit-Champlain.

Maple Syrup Doughnuts

What is it about Canada and their love for maple syrup? Well, after spending a few days there you will soon realize what all the fuss is about. Maple syrup really goes well with a variety of dessert options, none more so than the delectable doughnuts that are available from various establishments. Our favorite has to be Tim Horton’s simply because our experiences there have always been nothing but positive. During our trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls last year, we sampled Tim Horton’s for the first time and I think from that moment we fell in love with this place.

tim hortons canadian delicacies

 

Visiting Quebec City was no different and Tim Horton’s is a great spot to visit for breakfast if you want either a Triple Berry Explosion muffin or particularly a maple syrup doughnut, freshly baked that morning.

Summary

There you have 4 Canadian delicacies that I strongly recommend you should try at least once in your life. Each one is very different and many will say they have a unique taste unlike anything else.

Canadian Delicacies

What have you sampled in Canada that you would classify as a delicacy that you may struggle to find anywhere else?

33 COMMENTS

  1. Oh man, Tim Hortons…I am not from Canada, but my grandmother was, and I daydream about Tim Hortons. For a chain, it’s pretty awesome. Happiness is a “double-double”.

    I’d love to try poutine in Quebec! I’ve had it in New Brunswick and it’s the kind of amazing that makes you feel so bad but so good.

    Great article!
    Tara Lepore recently posted…Dinosaur Valley State Park [Review]My Profile

  2. Those maple syrup doughnuts have my mouth watering… they have always been one of my favorites! My first response when seeing the picture of the Poutine at the top was eeewh with my nose wrinkled; however, after reading more about it I’d probably give it a try. I love hearing about foods from different areas even though I’m not that daring when it comes to trying them.
    Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal recently posted…Liebster Award: And The Award Goes To…My Profile

  3. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I am Canadian and have never tried Poutine – it never really appealed to me, and living in BC it’s harder to find this very Quebecois food. However I’ve definitely had my fair share of Tim Hortons (The Old Fashioned doughnuts, jalapeno bagels and Iced Capps are all good and still very Canadian because of where they come from).

    Having so many different cultures living in BC, true “local” food is hard to figure out. We’ve got amazing sushi and some of the best Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants outside of Asia but none of this is Canadian. If I had to add a couple things to your list, fresh cedar planked Salmon would be on there, as well as Nanaimo bars and butter tarts (popular at Christmas), and Canadian Bacon. I might catch some flack for that last one but no other bacon ANYWHERE can compare 🙂
    Calli recently posted…Soccer & Travel: Our 5 Most Thrilling, Exciting, and Hair Raising MomentsMy Profile

    • Very jealous of you Katie that you were able to experience Tim Horton’s so frequently but now you probably have major withdrawal symptoms more so than we do!

  4. I fell in love with Poutine in Ontario!! We have a restaurant in Baton Rouge that serves it, but it’s not exactly the same. BUT, I still order it! haha Tim Hortons was a regular stop too. I did eat one maple syrup donut and enjoyed it. I haven’t tried the other 2. I’m not a seafood eater, but would try the ice cream.

    Now I want poutine this weekend! Fun post! Thanks!
    Nancie Lee recently posted…Steps of a Waterfall – Trust Your Photographic InstinctMy Profile

    • Thanks Nancie, we appreciate your kind remarks! You would love the ice cream I am convinced, especially if you enjoyed the maple syrup flavor in the doughnut! Since we got back to Arkansas, Heather and I have discussed trying to make poutine ourselves but I am sure it won’t be the same as the real deal in Canada – the ingredients are likely to be different for a start that we have access to here!

    • I know, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t sampled maple syrup doughnuts in England before either but I guess they are really not as popular as they are in North America hence the reason we don’t have quite as many flavors aside from the jam filled or custard filled ones that I saw in the likes of Tesco or Asda. The lobster roll definitely was amazing, even though I think Heather was hoping it would be ‘warm’ rather than ‘cold’.

  5. Gah, now I’m STARVING! I love poutine. Sort of maple syruped out living in NH (we actually live a mile from a sugar shack that sells maple syrup cotton candy…ick). It’s everywhere here. But I could really go for that poutine ;P
    Erin recently posted…The Versatile Blogger AwardMy Profile

    • I could imagine that being around maple syrup every day would get a little old pretty quickly! Just having it once or twice a year like we do keeps us intrigued to want it even more frequently but probably best to keep it that way. Just reading all these comments about poutine makes me want some for dinner 🙂

  6. Yay for poutine! Glad you overcame your fear of the cheese curds and went for it. I grew up eating poutine- in northern Maine where I was born, they eat it all the time. You can find it at restaurants, truck stops, etc. because there’s a huge French-Canadian population. Next time make sure to try the ketchup potato chips- sounds weird but they are magical. Cheers!
    Jenn T. recently posted…The Cost of Owning a Car in Costa RicaMy Profile

    • Jenn, I am quite familiar with Ketchup Crisps as we refer to them in England and I agree they are awesome! Wonder if they taste any different in Canada but probably equally as good. Poutine is amazing for sure, can’t wait to bring it down to more of USA 🙂

    • No need for any more excuses in my opinion Margherita 🙂 Canada is awesome not only for the beautiful landscape and natural beauty but now we have all these different cuisine options – heaven right!! Just thinking about maple syrup again now that I am back home makes me want to go back to Canada just to have that.

  7. Tim’s is where it’s at! You two for sure had an ultimate Canadian experience visiting Tim Horton’s, hehe! Canadians are actually obsessed (hence one always being a stone throw away). I hope you purchased some real maple syrup to bring back with you for your pancakes 🙂
    Alli recently posted…Dancing Around The WorldMy Profile

  8. As a Canadian, you have this bang on. My boyfriend is from Montreal and one of the first things we do when we step foot in Quebec is get ourselves a poutine.
    Jessica, Turquoise Compass

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