11 Canadian Ingredients I Can’t Live Without!

my-nephew-loves-tomatoesFood Day Canada seems to kind of sneak up on me every year. While I was all set for Ontario Local Food Week and Ontario Craft Beer Week last month (they were back to back), I totally missed this one on the calendar. Save to say, I already wrote it in for 2017!

Food is among the many things that make this country so amazing. Our diversity coast to coast means you can visit most anywhere in the country and at every meal, enjoy a different dish, influenced by any number of cultures which shape our country.

cooking-chana-masalaThis cultural patchwork of flavours has made cooking an adventure for me. Never would curry even have been found in my mom’s pantry, let alone in different flavours and colours! While meat and potatoes were staples growing up, I am on a quest to create the perfect-tasting dahl and bolognese sauce in my kitchen.

At the heart of these dishes are Canadian ingredients. The dishes might not seem all that Canadian, however as I once heard Vikram Vij perfectly describe cooking – “it’s Canadian food in the Indian-style. The best food is always made with local ingredients, end of story.”

canned-beets-and-salsaIt’s why I try to buy local and why I make my own tomato sauce and salsa. It’s also why I’ve strived this year to “cook in season”. I haven’t got it down perfect and I admit, travel and cooking for one makes this easier to manage. (Leftovers usually last through to the next season!)

So, these are the 11 (I couldn’t stop at 10) Canadian staples I’ve come to rely on in my Ontario kitchen.

What about you? Leave a note in the comments with yours!

11 Food Day Canada Staples

  1. Maple syrup & honey – sweetener of choice for coffee, smoothies and salad dressings
  2. Butter
  3. Lentils
  4. Bacon (Stemmler’s Apple Cinnamon smells like an apple pie when you cook it!)
  5. MountainOak Gouda – Farmstead Gold and Cumin are my favourites!
  6. Peppers & Tomatoes – fresh from the garden, Elmira’s Own or Hot House
  7. Onions – available from the Holland Marsh year round!onion-harvest-in-the-marsh
  8. Pickled beets
  9. Cabbage
  10. Maria’s Homestyle Noodles– once I tried these Waterloo-made noodles, I’ll never buy anything else.
  11. Yogurt




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