How to eat like a Canadian

The website fooddaycanada.ca is a comprehensive resource that highlights cooking and shopping Canadian. Learn more about Canada’s food in this all-Canadian list excerpted from the Food Day Canada website.

Beans and alternate proteins

• Yellow and green split peas, whole and split red lentils and white pea beans

• Chickpeas or “garbanzo beans” and chickpea (besan) flour

• Hemp hearts and hemp oil – Mettrum Originals in Ontario

• Flax – milled or whole & flax oil — 99% of the flax sold in Canada is from our farms.

• Pearl and pot barley — barley’s not just for beer…it makes a killer risotto instead of rice and it tastes infinitely better.

• Quinoa both golden and black – Ontario (Katan Kitchens / Quinta Quinoa)

Canola oil both traditional that most restaurants use for deep frying and cold-pressed where we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to two of the originals…Tony and Penny Marshall’s Highwood Crossing (Alberta) and Jason Persall’s Pristine Gourmet (Ontario) who also presses organic, Ontario soybeans for their oil.

Here’s the meat

Beef is very regional! There’s Golden Beef and Beef North in northern Ontario where hay is the major field crop. There’s fabulous beef from both Alberta and Saskatchewan and Atlantic Beef from the Maritimes. Can’t forget Ontario Corn Fed beef, either. One of the most successful ranchers is YU Ranch which raises Texas Longhorns on carefully-managed grasslands of SW Ontario. • Cloth-wrapped, Mennonite-style summer sausage found in many farmers markets and smaller grocery stores, especially in rural Canada.

• Pingue’s prosciutto – this Niagara-based company was THE pioneer in artisan charcuterie.

• Local lamb – there’s great lamb from one coast to the other, some of it feasting on salt grasses, while others bounding through vineyards trimming the grape vines.

• Canadian Pork – check the labeling as there’s a good deal of cheap American pork on our market.

• Maple Leaf Canadian Craft cold meats and hams. For such a large manufacturer, this line of products lives up to its billing.

• Good Back Bacon – love the handmade products at local butcher shops.

• Poultry – Because chicken and turkey are ‘supply managed’ the chances are that most of it is Canadian. It must be labeled.

• Eggs – lots of them – virtually all eggs sold in Canada are from Canadian farmers. The array of choices is amazing.

Something fishy

• Whitefish and Lake trout – we love it from the deep, cold waters of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay

• Lake Erie perch

• Pickerel (walleye / doré ) from our northern lakes

• Fresh or smoked albacore tuna anything recommended by Oceanwise

Dairy (there is so much)

• Butter –  sweet, salted and whey.

• Ice Cream – Look for the Dairy Farmers Quality Milk symbol

• Yogurt and sour cream

• Carnation Milk – many of us grew up on Carnation desserts.

• Eagle Brand Condensed Milk – so amazing for squares and baking.

• Avonlea Clothbound • Cheddar Cheese from PEI – one of the finest in Canada

• Goudas…Old Growler, an aged Gouda from Nova Scotia, Sylvan Star Gouda from Alberta and Glasgow Glen from P.E.I.

• Dragon’s Breath blue from Upper Economy, Nova Scotia – almost mythical, sharp blue cheese enclosed in its signature black wax.

• Gunn’s Hill cheeses – particularly Five Brothers and Glengarry Fine Cheese’s amazing Celtic Blue Reserve that was dubbed Best in Show in 2015 by the American Cheese Society.

• Maple Dale in Eastern Ontario…Especially their extra old cheddar. You’ll often see trucks parked outside as the drivers routinely stop in for a bag of fresh, made-that-morning cheese curds!

• Halloom frying cheese, a new cheese on the Canadian market and it’s terrific. Look for either Cedar or PC brands.

• Quality Cheeses (Orangeville, Woodbridge) the Borgo family are pioneers in the local cheese-making industry – check out their buffalo-milk mozzarella and creamy, rich mascarpone.

• The production of both sheeps’ milk cheese and goats’ milk cheese are thriving across the nation. In fact, with few exceptions, it’s become a massive, artisan-led industry. Check out River’s Edge (Ontario) and Ewenity Dairy Cooperative (Ontario) has been on the forefront of ewes’ milk cheese making for decades.