Nov 21, 2009

Canadian food, eh?

What is "Canadian" food? Might as well ask what's Canadian identity, for that matter. We're generally described as "nice", so I suppose our national food should be rather bland and unoffensive.
"My son's class is doing a world food day and has to prepare a Canadian dish to share with the class. Any favorite, popular dishes that showcase Canada? Perhaps something you eat after a rowdy game of curling."

Jeepers, this is always a hard question. We're a mutt nation (unless you want to do First Nations food, which also tends to get watered down to salmon burgers and beaver tales at most events), so we've just adopted all the foods that our families and other immigrant populations brought across the oceans. I guess buffalo burgers are what they do at the World's Fair, but i've eaten about 4 in my life (mostly at World's Fairs). Beer. Beer and back bacon (whatever that is), if you're a Bob and Doug fan. Maple syrup. Wheat. Hotdogs and pizza with Molson Canadian would be the apres-curling feast.

On a bad day, I'd lament that we're a sadly identity-weak nation, defined mostly by being NOT american and being good at hockey (and curling). Or on a good day, we're just so gosh darn blessedly culturally-diverse that we can't be pinned down to one dish.

So to answer the question, why doesn't your son's class just go around and politely steal a small dish from every other nation's table and put onto their Canadian "cultural mosaic" menu.

All this Great North pondering has made hungry, and Sarah's indulging the boys' afternoon request for popcorn at the fireside - hey, isn't that a local (First Nations) invention?

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