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10 Foods you didn’t know were Canadian


Photo by Chris Goldberg licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

What first comes to mind when you think of a Canadian food? Is it maple syrup, or is it poutine?

We all have a certain idea of what we believe is a Canadian food or dish, but your idea may be different from your friend's.

Take a look at this roundup, there are some foods that may surprise you!


Bannock bread
Photo by Alan Sim licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

We know it as bannock, but the Inuit call it palauga, in Mi'kmaq its luskinikn and it's known as ba ‵wezhiganag in Ojibway.

About every Indigenous nation across North America has their own version of this dense and delicious bread. It was originally made with a plant called camas in place of white flour.

Saskatoon Berry Pie

Saskatoon Berry Pie
Photo by Amy Thibodeau licensed CC BY 2.0

The Saskatoon berry is purplish-blue in colour and looks a lot like blueberries.

But if you don't live in the Prairies or British Columbia, chances are you haven't seen them. Indigenous people used to to dry the fruit and leaves to make tea.


Fiddleheads in a basket.
Photo by Megan Hansen licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

These are baby ferns! Fiddleheads are harvested in the early spring and are boiled, steamed and baked in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. 

And if they are left on the plant, they unroll a new frond (leaf) and grow into a fern.

Montreal bagels

Sesame seed bagels.
Photo by Chris Goldberg licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

What is so special about the Montreal-style bagel? Quite a bit!

The Montreal bagel is sweeter because the dough includes egg and honey. They are thinner and smaller than regular bagels. They have a larger hole in the middle and they are always baked in a wood-fired oven.

This style of bagel-making was brought to Montreal by the Jewish community who immigrated from Poland. In the city where the bagels first appeared, Montreal-style bagels are still made by hand and they come in two varieties: poppy seed and sesame seed. 

All-dressed, dill pickle and ketchup chips

All-dressed chips.
Photo via Pixabay.

These chip flavours are exclusively Canadian. And we love ketchup chips even more after our fingers and mouths are dyed red.

Kraft dinner

Kraft dinner.
Photo by stephen boisvert licensed CC BY 2.0

Ah, KD. The ye-ol' faithful, go-to meal that's in everyone's cupboard. This overprocessed Canadian staple tastes even better with ketchup!

You can get this delicious noodle meal in the U.S. but you'll have to ask for it by it's American name — Kraft Mac & Cheese!

Nanaimo bar

Nanaimo bar
Photo by Marissa Garza licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

This sweet, chocolate square with the butter-flavoured custard filling is named after Nanaimo, British Columbia. This is where the first-known recipe surfaced in 1952.

Not only is this bar delicious, it's also no-bake!! Let's all do handstands!!! 


plate of poutine
David Kadlec/123RF.

Squeaky cheese curds, french fries and gravy — that's all you need for a perfect poutine.

Many people and restaurants claim to have created this delicious dish. What is known is that it first showed up in snack bars in Quebec back in the 1950s. Since then, many other ingredients have been added — everything from hot dogs to lobster — but the original is still the best!

Coffee Crisp chocolate bar

Coffee Crisp chocolate bar.
Photo by Cacaobug licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Parents everywhere are guilty of raiding their kids' Halloween candy in search of this delicious, coffee-flavoured, wafer chocolate bar.

It's made in a Toronto chocolate factory and is only available in Canada — with the exception of some specialty candy shops around the world.

McIntosh apple

A McIntosh apple.
Photo by Lars Zapf licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

As the story has it, John McIntosh discovered the original McIntosh tree on his farm in Upper Canada in the early 1800s. He and his wife began to graft the tree (technique where you join plants together to help them continue to grow) and growing their crop.

This apple is an all-purpose apple and is usually blended to make apple juice!