If you actually hail from Canada, may just think of this meat as bacon. If you’re from other parts of the world, you may know it as Irish bacon, English bacon, or back bacon. No matter what you call it or where you’re from, I think we can all agree that thick slices of this bacon make a mighty fine addition to breakfast, especially in eggs Benedict, perhaps its most common use in the U.S. But what’s the difference between this good stuff and American bacon?
Americans have a vacation problem and here’s what it is: We can’t get to Xi’an to eat hand-slapped biang biang noodles for a week and eat cochinita pibil pulled from the ground on the Yucatan peninsula and enjoy an Argentine parillada feast with endless enormous steaks. Two weeks a year just isn’t enough time. Two weeks, if we can get it, is barely enough to visit one of these food paradises, not to mention all them.
As an avid traveler and eater, I’m always on the lookout for the next great food destination, big or small, domestic or international. Will Bloomington, Indiana be the next Austin, Texas? Is Madrid poised to steal the culinary crown from Barcelona? Toronto has been on my radar for some time now. Vogue called the Canadian city the world’s next culinary hotspot, and one of Montreal’s top chef’s said he thinks Toronto has the best food in Canada.
With all the bacon craziness going on these days, you’d think the Canadian version would get a little more attention! It’s classic in eggs benedict and some folks like it on pizza, but where else do you really come across it?Here in the United States, Canadian bacon is very similar to ham. It can either be a whole cut from the pork loin or it can be compressed from various different cuts. Check the labeling!
We received this lovely, light-filled kitchen from Julie Van Rosendaal, a food writer, researcher, cook, and mother in Calgary, and we are so happy to share it with you just before the weekend begins. Julie says, “I have a relatively small but long, sunny, charismatic kitchen. A lot goes on there.
Who cooks and eats here: Wendy Cracknell and friends Where: Lake of Bays, Ontario, Canada Rent or Own? Own I’ve known Wendy my whole life. My earliest memories of her include her curly red hair, glasses, truly gigantic pet cat Dudley, and her pink and orange tie-dye Prince t-shirt. She’s my next-door neighbor in my favorite place in the world, the Lake of Bays in Ontario, Canada. Our cottage on the Lake of Bays is a sacred spot for my family.
Who cooks and eats here: Michelle Marek, chef at Foodlab, and Anthony Kinik, film professor and food writer Where: Montreal, Quebec Rent or Own? Rent When I was in Montreal a few months ago I looked around, as I always do, for a cook to visit, someone willing to open up their own home kitchen to all of us. On this trip, I got a double pleasure: a visit with chef Michelle Marek both at home and at the restaurant, Foodlab, she runs with her partner Seth Gabrielse.
Who gardens here: Aimée Wimbush-Bourque of the blog Simple Bites. Danny, her husband, their children: Noah (8), Mateo (6), and Clara (2) Where: Outside Montreal, Quebec I have long admired Aimée, the blogger and voice behind Simple Bites. I love her writing and her warm photography, and the way that she talks about life in the kitchen with her family.
We are just back from a glorious vacation in Québec (Montreal and Québec City). While I would love to talk about the vibrant and historic old city quarters, the influence of explorer Jacques Cartier, the changing of the Guard at the famous Citadel in Québec City, or the 400-year dual culture and language struggle between French and English — I will leave all that for another day. Instead let me share my observations on the buying wine in these cities.
Family, friends and food make up much of our Christmas fête in Montreal. There’s a slow stream of guests who duck under the twinkling porch lights, stamp the snow from off their boots and step in from the cold. From the hot-spiced apple cider and shortbread at my annual cookie swap in early December to the tartines and bubbly in the wee hours of the morning on New Year’s Day, we celebrate a month of bringing people together over food and drink.
With a European small-town feel and menus peppered with French-Canadian classics like meat pie and poutine in their finest forms, Quebec City is a bit like Provence on a derailed diet. Spending a weekend here will fill you up on great food, litter your Instagram with enviable photos, and leave your hands just a little bit sticky with maple syrup. Poutine occupies an outsized reputation in the Canadian food world, having recently spread all over the U.S.
A few weeks ago we ran across a recipe for Nanaimo Bars. Our first thought was, how on earth do you pronounce that and where can we get some now! The pictures of these snacks were all we could think about for days and not ever having been to Canada (unless Niagara Fall counts), we were unfamiliar with what we now know to be quite the indulgent treat. Apparently Nanaimo bars are quite the thing in Canada.
Following our visit to the West End farmers’ market in Vancouver, British Columbia, we hopped on a ferry to Vancouver Island and the capital city of Victoria. Boasting the mildest climate in Canada, Vancouver Island is home to many food and wine producers, several of whom can be found at the vibrant Bastion Square market on Sundays.In addition to fresh produce vendors, the Bastion Square farmers’ market features many friendly and passionate food artisans.
Last weekend, I visited friends in Toronto. Lucky for me, they live just next door to St. Lawrence Market, hailed by National Geographic as the number one food market in the world. So imagine my surprise when I found it left a lot to be desired when it came to cheese.Except for one stand…I’m not sure if it was the market itself or whether the cheese stands were truly representative of Canadian cheese culture, but most storefronts selling cheese were stocked with mainstream varieties.
File this under Weird Food News of the Day: There’s been a major heist at the warehouse in Quebec that holds 80% (!!!) of the world’s maple syrup! Last week police in Quebec reported that thieves had stolen a “considerable” amount (i.e. millions of dollars worth) of maple syrup from a large warehouse in St-Louis-de-Blandford.
I live in South Carolina, and I’m okay with that. It wasn’t my plan, but what 21-year-old makes plans that actually materialize? After college in Montréal, I was happy to come home for what I thought would be a year or two, but it turned into nearly twenty. Things happen (hello there, husband and kids!).
A Canadian eatery is offering free meals to the hungry while also setting an example for how a gesture of generosity can make a difference. Marché Ferdous, a small Middle Eastern restaurant in downtown Montreal, implemented a new policy — those without money can dine for free — five months ago, reports CBC News. Restaurant co-owner Yahye Hashemi came up with the idea after he noticed how frequently people came in asking for spare change.
July 1st is Canada Day! It gives me great pleasure to share some reminiscences of my beautiful adopted country and celebrate the day with you. This year will be Canada’s 147th birthday. Having grown up in India and lived in England, I always forget how young Canada is. As an immigrant, its certainly been a struggle sometimes; however, my life in Canada has also been amazingly rewarding.
Everyone knows that New York bagels are a thing — but did you know that Montreal is also famous for its bagels? New Yorkers discovered the distinctive delights of Canadian-style bagels when Black Seed Bagels arrived on the scene in April 2014. In truth, their version is more of a cultural mash-up, a hybrid of New York and Montreal styles, but even die-hard New York bagel fans were smitten with this smaller, denser, sweeter option.