Monday, August 11, 2014

My Canadian Adventure, A Quick Little Round Up Thus Far

Well it's been over 10 days, and my trip back home has gone really well.  Other than visiting friends and family, I've also had time to taste some of the treats that remind me of home.  I've only scratched the surface, but I thought I'd quickly share with you some of the things that make me think of home.  If you're Canadian you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, and if you're not, this is a great primer on must have foods when you come to the Great White North.
In Eastern Ontario, and Quebec, cheese curds have been a staple treat for decades now.  Most people know cheese curds as one of the main ingredients in the Canadian classic food Poutine, but not everybody knows how great they are all alone.  The key to getting good cheese curd is to get them fresh, and when I say fresh I mean not only same day, but within hours of being made.  Some cheese curd makers actually put a time on their bags, along with a date, that they where manufactured. You know you have really fresh cheese curds if the squeaky sound they make when you bite into them is almost headache inducing.
Another must try food is Montreal Smoked meat.  Now many people will say that they have the best smoked meat, but their wrong, unless they're Schwartz's Deli in Montreal, but you don't have to take my word for it.  First of all the lineup to get into this place can be hours long, secondly the shop is co-owned by Celine Dion...I mean what's more Canadian than Celine Dion?
One of the great traps that people fall into when they visit Canada is the tourist maple syrup vendor.  The shop that held the sign above was selling syrup at double the going rate and it's not nearly the highest quality.  The best maple syrup that you can get in Canada comes in March-April, and is only available if you know someone.  The best thing you can do is befriend a Canadian, and ask them where they get their maple syrup.  Don't worry, most Canadians are very friendly and always happy to share their source.
There's nothing really Canadian about the photo above.  I just thought that these Barba-Papa syrup bottles were really cool.
My latest stop on this adventure so far was at the Beaver Tail shop in the Byward market in Ottawa.  As far as Canadian treats go it's not very original (fried dough with toppings), but it is a great memory of home.  How good are Beaver Tails?  When President Obama came to Canada, he diverted his whole motorcade just to get one.
I'll hopefully post another update or two documenting more of the awesome treats and foods I've sampled on my visit back home.  You can also see more regular updates on our Facebook page and Twitter account as well.  Also be sure to let me know if there's any Canadian treats/foods that I can't miss.


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