British Columbia

Canada Day foods are all about home, columnist says

There's more to Canadian food than poutine and ketchup chips — not that those aren't delicious, though.

On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson has some restaurant highlights for Canada Day weekend

When you think of Canadian cuisine, poutine probably comes to mind. But there are a lot more things to try if your palate is feeling patriotic this weekend.

Hosers and hosettes throughout the Lower Mainland will be celebrating Canada Day this Friday with family, friends and fireworks.

And if you want to make Canadian food a part of your Canada Day weekend, On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson has some local picks.

"A couple of things tend to come up over and over when you ask people how they would define Canadian food," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn. "It's anything that reminds them of home. And it's almost always identified as 'comfort food.'"

For Johnson, a native Edmontonian, Saskatoon-berry pie immediately comes to mind.

For others, though, it might be bannock, tourtière, split-pea soup, or even B.C. salmon.

And of course, how can anyone talk about Canadian food without mentioning poutine?

Johnson has a few highlights for fans of that Canadian treat like Fritz European Fry House, The Spud Shack and Edible Canada Bistro.

"I love how so many places are putting their own twists on the French Canadian dish," Johnson said. "The version at Oakwood Canadian Bistro is something else. The chef there uses veal-bone gravy and puts house-smoked beef brisket on top of Kennebec potatoes. It's hearty stuff."

If you're looking for a restaurant so Canadian that your blood will turn to maple syrup, Timber on Robson is the place to be.

"Timber focuses on Canadian comfort food done right," Johnson said, mentioning their bison-and-elk tourtière, cheese-curd perogies and house-made ketchup chips.

And for your Canada Day beer needs, they'll even be loading up a Coleman cooler full of Old Style Pilsners.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast