- Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste
Long before Samuel De Champlain’s L’ordre de bon temps feasted in Port Royal, our First Nations’ peoples gathered and shared what they hunted and grew. Settlers arrived, and adapted their food traditions to the wild and cultivated bounties they found. Immigrants brought new crops and herds, techniques and ideas to Canada, furthering expanding our national palate.
New Canadians used their traditional meals as a connection to the home and family they left thousands of kilometres away. Eventually, as people from different cultures began living side by side, meals were shared and replicated in other kitchens. From kitchen to kitchen, table to table and plate to plate, foods were adapted and shared and adapted again to become an integral part of the Canadian mosaic.
I think it’s time to celebrate the foods that help to make Canada, well, Canada.
But which foods are they? Are they traditional and indigenous ingredients such as salmon, maple syrup, bison, Jerusalem artichokes and corn? What about what early European settlers brought and whose descendants helped to adapt and develop such as Red Fife wheat, cheeses, wines and spirits and Yukon Gold Potatoes? Or is it how subsequent immigrant waves tempt our palates with foods such as roti, gormeh-sabzi, kimchi and aloo gobi?
I think it’s all of the above and then some.
We have traditional European-inspired foods to cutting-edge fusion cuisine. We are brewers and vintners; we are cheese makers, chocolatiers and farmers.
Our restaurants boast everything from home-style dining to haute cuisine. Our bloggers write and photograph everything from regional foods to their own kitchen creations.
A few years ago, Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess celebrated the culinary diversity that is Canada through Taste Canada. She asked bloggers—Canadian, ex-pat Canadian and even a few wish-they-were-Canadians -- to share what Canada tastes like to them.
This year I’m continuing her quest, but asking you to share which savoury dishes or drinks tastes like Canada to you? Is it the first meal you had when you landed at Pearson? Can it be found in the handwritten notes your grandmother brought with her when she docked at Pier 21? What about the local food co-op that brings local, organically grown food to its members? Do the memories of the meat pies, smothered in gravy at your hometown's little ma and pa diner immediately spring to mind? Do you think Canada tastes like one of our many craft breweries or wineries? Or does a recipe or two from one of the dozens of Canadian foodbloggers let your imagination run away with you?
Any course, any reason, any season: it just needs to taste like Canada to you.
How to participate in Mmm…Canada, The Savoury Edition:
Write and upload your post between 23 and 28 June 2008. It can be in whatever form you wish: an essay, a series of photographs, a restaurant review, a recipe, an interview, a video.
Email me at cardamomaddict at gmail dot com (you know what to do) with the following information:
- Your name
- Your blog name and URL
- Your post’s title and URL
- One photo (if applicable), sized to 150 pixels wide, with your blog name as the filename
- If you are a Canadian blogger, which province or territory you are in
- If you are an expat Canadian blogger, which province or territory you are from and what country you are in now
- If you want to be an honorary Canadian for this event (sorry, I’m not so powerful as to bestow that on you for your day-to-day affairs), what country you are in now
- For those of you who want to use the Mmm…Canada, The Savoury Edition badge, you can find it here.
If you aren’t a blogger and would like to participate, please send me your contribution (along with the above info) and I will post your contribution onto my Kitchen Diaries site.
And in response to some questions I've received about the savoury side of things (to be updated as they come in):
- You don't have to be Canadian to participate.
- Savoury drinks would include things like beers, spirits, non-dessert wines...even beef tea. Dessert wines such as Ice Wine would be part of the SHF edition.
- Entries can be in any language.
- Entries must be new posts BUT if you really want to enter a recipe, dining or drinking experience, food aventure (etc) that you've previously blogged about, you can upload new content about it within the posting dates.
- Please link back to the invitation post.
I’ll have my round-up posted for, when else, Canada Day (1 July 2008).
For those of you who think Canada’s pretty sweet, Jennifer is taking care of all Canadian-inspired sweet dishes in this month’s SHF: Mmm... Canada, the Sugar High Edition. And if you think Canada’s both sweet and savoury: yes, you can participate in both events.
Questions, concerns or anything else? Please send me an email.