CBC Digital Archives

Quintessential Canadian cuisine

Is there such a thing as Canadian cuisine? The idea of ordering "Canadian" may have some scratching their heads. But Canada has given the world its share of gastronomic delights. From peameal bacon to poutine to pemmican, CBC Archives digs in to some distinctly homegrown fare.

media clip
Canadians have this to be thankful for: their food. On this Thanksgiving weekend, CBC's Ian Brown asks his panellists to pick one food to represent Canada. Food writer Marion Kane picks tourtière, a popular Quebec dish that's older than both the butter tart and the Nanaimo bar. Writer Bill Robertson suggests finishing a meal of tourtière with a slice of saskatoon berry pie. Alison Fryer of Toronto's Cookbook Store chooses another favourite, apple pie made with McIntosh apples accompanied by Canadian cheddar. 
• In 1811, John McIntosh discovered an abandoned stand of apple trees near Dundela, Ont. He transplanted some of the trees to his own land and discovered one particular tree produced what came to be known as the McIntosh apple.

• McIntosh are medium-sized red apples with a green undertone. They have a soft, fine textured flesh with a tangy flavour. According to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food, McIntosh makes up almost half of Canada's annual apple crop.

• Canada is also famous for peameal bacon, which is made from pork loins. The term peameal comes from the ground yellow peas which coated the bacon ensuring better curing and shelf life. Over the years this tradition was changed to cornmeal due to the availability of corn, but the name peameal has stuck.

• While ginger ale was first invented in Ireland, a Canadian gave us the modern-day ginger ale. John McLaughlin, a chemist and pharmacist, set up a soda pop bottling plant in Toronto in 1890 and began experimenting with different flavours. That resulted in the modern-day formula for ginger ale. In 1904 McLaughlin introduced "Pale Dry Ginger Ale" which was patented as "Canada Dry Ginger Ale" in 1907.

Medium: Radio
Program: Talking Books
Broadcast Date: Oct. 10, 2003
Guest(s): Alison Fryer, Marion Kane, Bill Robertson
Host: Ian Brown
Duration: 1:48

Last updated: October 15, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

John Diefenbaker: extra clips

His eyes blazing and his finger stabbing the air, John George Diefenbaker set 1950s Canada ali...

John Diefenbaker: Dief the Chief

His eyes blazing and his finger stabbing the air, John George Diefenbaker set 1950s Canada ali...

Leaders' Debates 1968-2011: Highlights

After months of anticipation and weeks of campaigning, it all comes down to one night. Televis...

Marc Garneau: Canadian Space Pioneer

His bravery is inspiring, his grace is charming and his credentials are out of this world. In ...

The Avro Arrow: Canada's Broken Dream

It's the closest thing Canadian industry has to a love story and a murder mystery. The Avro Ar...

1960: Canada celebrates two millionth immigra...

Annette Toft, formerly of Denmark, becomes Canada's two millionth immigrant since the Second W...