Tag Archives: squash

The G20 Series: Canada!

14 Jun

By Chris Garbutt

How many times have you heard someone say that Canadians define themselves by what they’re not, that to be a Canadian is to be defiantly not American?

I’m not here to argue that this sentiment is wrong, but I do believe that we arrive at the conclusion as a (perhaps insecure) response to our perception that the world sees us as the same as the United States, only nicer, and more polite. We saw this at its worst during the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies in Vancouver this year. (Ugh, how is it that if you spout clichés in the form of slam poetry, we’re supposed to think it’s actually profound?)

Sure, we can conjure images when we think of other countries – Italy? Pasta! China? Dim sum! India? Curry! Middle East? Hummus!

Canada? Maple syrup and back bacon!

I’m here to argue that Canada actually is something, that it has a distinct cuisine, and it only has a little to do with our friends to the south. Herewith, I propose a number of statements to support my thesis.

1. Canada is a country of regional cuisines. From Newfoundland’s toutons, to Quebec’s tourtière, to Saskatchewan’s Saskatoon berry pie, what we eat is highly localized.

2. Canada is a country of international cuisines. Thanks to our embracing of immigration, our food is influenced by dishes that come from almost every country of the world.

3. Canada has a very deep culinary history. And if you haven’t looked, there are books that outline this history. It comes from long before the Europeans arrived on this continent. Aboriginal food, for example the “three sisters” – beans, corn and squash (check out the soup recipe on this page, by the way) – are staples that appear on almost every Canadian table during the late harvest.

4. Our national cuisine is a hybrid of regional, international and historical influences. It’s distinct, but it’s not in your face. Poutine may come from Quebec, but somehow, we think of it as belonging to all of us. (Sorry Quebec, but I promise it’s always best with chicken gravy from a truck somewhere at the side of the road on the Gaspé.)

5. Americans try, but they can’t steal our stuff. For example, in Vermont they claim to be so great at making maple syrup. Well, Canada makes 80 per cent of the world supply. And we also have way more hockey gold medals.

6. And, um, maple syrup is awesome. Seriously. I could drink the stuff out of a glass.

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Friday 5 – Squash

19 Sep

By Chris Garbutt

Stephanie and I liked the Fall Foods 5 post so much, I thought I’d offer some more, with a focus on squash. It’s not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

1. Butternut squash soup is so passé. Try Acorn Squash Soup with Cumin and Curry Leaf.

2. Slice up that butternut squash instead and make a pastry.

3. It’s a recipe for Sausage and Rapini Stew, but the squash pulls it all together.

4. Save the seeds and roast them. Or keep them for planting.

5. Pumpkin is a squash, and now it’s a flavour for a beer.

Photo by Flickr user x-eyedblonde, used under a Creative Commons licence.

Friday 5 – Fall Foods to Look Forward To

15 Aug

By Stephanie Dickison

It’s not that far away, people. We might as well start to get excited about all the squash, potatoes and stews.  And collecting recipes…

1.  Pumpkin and corn soup!  It doesn’t get much more fall than that.

2.  Well, when the cooler weather hits, fast and easy does sound rather appealing, doesn’t it?

3.  To our lovely vegetarian readers, you’ll want to skip over this one.

4.  But here, I’ll make it up to you with these squash side dishes!  I hope we’re okay now.

5.  Fall’s Most Fattening Foods.  ‘Nuff said.