Canadian Specialities

Learn about the speciality foods most often associated with Canada...

Maple syrup

Canada is famous for maple syrup and maple syrup products. The sugar maple's leaf is a symbol of Canada, and is depicted on the country's flag. Canada makes about 80 percent of the world's maple syrup and the majority comes from the region of Quebec. Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island also produce maple syrup, but not in the same quantities as Quebec.

In March and April, maple syrup is harvested and maple syrup producers often open their doors to the public to let them see how maple syrup production takes place. This season is called "sugaring off" in Quebec. In Nova Scotia maple festivals take place and in New Brunswick, sugar camps. Harvesting in the maple syrup producing regions coincides with the emergence of sugar shacks or pancake houses which open up to the public offering wagon rides, tours, snow taffy and demonstrations. Snow taffy is a kind of toffee, which is made by boiling maple syrup then pouring it onto the cold snow to solidify.

Poutine

Poutine, although originating in Quebec, is now found across Canada and is considered a typically Canadian dish and a comfort food. It is basically crispy chips topped with curd cheese and gravy. Poutine varies across the regions, with some of the Maritime provinces adding meat to the dish, while other provinces use different types of cheeses.

Barbecue

Canadians love to barbecue. Most barbecues are gas and covered so they are easy to light up all year round. It is normal for Canadian families to barbecue in the middle of the winter when it is below zero with snow on the ground.

Prince Edward Island Oysters

This small Canadian province have a thriving oyster and seafood industry. The shallow coves and bays of Prince Edward Island are the perfect breeding ground for the wild malpeque oysters, which are still harvested traditionally. They are exported across Canada and around the world. Every September the island hosts an annual shellfish festival.

Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads are the curled, edible shoots of the ostrich fern and are considered a seasonal delicacy in many parts of Canada. They grow for a few weeks in the Spring. Its flavour is similar to that of asparagus and green beans.