Canada is a lot like the U.S., but it’s not nearly identical. Its culture and cuisine enjoy strong influences from England, Scotland, France, East Asia, and indigenous peoples…which makes for a number of unique food choices you’d scarcely find outside of the Great White North.
Montreal is a densely populated, cosmopolitan city on par with New York, and like the Big Apple, has its own distinctive style of bagels. Montreal bagels may look like their NYC counterparts, although the hole is much bigger. Also, they’re made with malt and without salt and before being baked in a wood oven, are boiled in a mixture of honey and water. The resulting bread is denser and sweeter than an American bagel.
Dating back to western Canada’s historically huge and important timber industry, “the Lumby” — short for “Lumberjack’s breakfast” can still be found on diner menus as a hearty way to start the day. It comes with three or more eggs, a big slice of ham, a few sausages, a few slices of bacon, and a stack of extra-large pancakes.
The “Hawaiian” pizza — a standard pie topped with ham and pineapple — was invented in Canada, and when it’s prepared in the U.S., the ham is often substituted for “Canadian bacon,” which is actually just ham. They don’t use the term “Canadian bacon” in Canada, but there is such a thing as a Canadian pizza, which doesn’t include Canadian bacon or ham, but does require traditional bacon. Canadian pizza: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and bacon.
Another only in Canada pizza variant: “pizza-ghetti.” Found almost solely in Quebec, it’s a fast food combo that consists of a slice of pizza served alongside spaghetti doused in marinara sauce.
All Dressed chips
Popular potato chip flavors in the U.S.: barbecue and sour cream & onion. Popular potato chip flavors in Canada: pickle, ketchup, and “All Dressed,” which combines barbecue, ketchup, and salt & vinegar seasonings.
The Caeser and the Shaft
Canada’s most famous homegrown cocktail is the Caesar, a Bloody Mary-like drink made with vodka, Worcestershire sauce, tobacco sauce, a stalk of celery…and clam-laced tomato juice. Another mildly adventurous Canadian cocktail is the Shaft. Reportedly originating in the province of British Columbia, it looks like an iced coffee, but is made with espresso, milk, vodka, and coffee-flavored liqueur. Then, once it’s all done, you’re supposed to drink it through a straw as quickly as possible, all at once.