Every country has food and drink that are uniquely theirs. Italy sends us into a spin over pizza and pasta, Germany hands you a bratwurst upon arrival and Australia, well, we’ve got vegemite, barbeques and stubbies to gloat about.
Canada is no different, and whether your mouth waters or recoils at what they’ve got on offer, here are five culinary offerings that are as unique to the northern state as Justin Trudeau, even better, you are likely to find them in hidden places across Australia.
Hailing from Quebec but popular throughout Canada, poutine isn’t glamorous, but it is delicious. It’s chips and cheese curds and gravy, all of which vary slightly depending on your vendor. Always snatch a handful of napkins if you’re ordering poutine, and avoid wearing your favourite shirt. Poutine also makes for a brilliant hangover remedy.
Available in Australia? La Poutine Week, a Canadian festival devoted to sharing this national dish with the world, arrived in Australia for the first time in 2016 and there were chips, cheese and gravy aplenty. You can still get poutine at The Stuffed Beaver in Sydney or any Lord of the Fries.
#2 Caesar Cocktail
Like a Bloody Mary (though you’ll be scorned if you make the comparison out loud) a Caesar or Bloody Caesar contains many of the same key ingredients, including vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco or hot sauce, salt, pepper, lemon and celery. The difference? In the place of plain old tomato juice is Clamato, a combination of tomato and clam juice. Clamato is sold almost exclusively for use in these Canadian cocktails.
Available in Australia? If you’re lucky you’ll be able to catch a twist on the Canadian special at Bills in Surry Hills as well as House of Brews on the Gold Coast. That’s right, these cheeky locations managed to snap up some of that Clamato juice.
#3 Real Maple Syrup
Extracted from the maple tree, an icon deemed so utterly Canadian that it adorns their national flag, maple syrup is a Canadian treasure. Recently found to have antibiotic properties, it should be applied liberally to waffles, pancakes or, as is commonly done in Canada, bacon (but only Canadian bacon, yeah?).
Available in Australia? A major Canadian export, grab yourself a bottle at any good retailer or online. Put it on whatever, or whomever you like. Just up for a taste? Head to Crabapple Kitchen in Melbourne for the sweetest pancakes in the world.
#4 Ketchup Chips
While not particularly exotic, ketchup flavoured chips are much loved in Canada. The snack ranked highly in a recent survey inviting citizens to identify the most iconic Canadian foods. Around 63% regularly munch down on the chips, and wouldn’t hesitate to shake a red-stained, flavour-drenched finger at you should you criticise the popular snack.
Available in Australia? A heap of companies produce ketchup chips across Canada, but if you’re wanting to chow down on the tangy treats in Australia, you best jump online. O Canada brings the great nation down under, with these readily available to order.
#5 Sushi Pizza
Weren’t sushi and pizza good enough on their own?! Assuming a Canadian would answer “no”, sushi pizza uses lightly-fried rice as the base then loads on toppings such as avocado, salmon, tuna, fish roe, green onion and mayonnaise. It’s essentially a sushi roll unrolled, and is served at many Japanese restaurants around Canada.
Available in Australia? You might struggle to find a slice of sushi pizza in Australia, but at least you’ve got something to look forward to when you decide to make the trek, right? Desperate to try? You can always get creative and make one yourself.
Image Sources: Kolide, Gold Coast Bulletin, Crabapple Kitchen, The AV Club, A Side of Sweet, Winnipeg Free Press.