I love travelling. That’s because one of the biggest parts of exploring a new country, along with seeing all the major sites of course, is experiencing (and hopefully enjoying) the local food. I’m a big believer in eating the dishes that a country is known for. I treat every meal as an opportunity to try something new and different – it’s so much more exciting. Why would you bother travelling half way around the world to eat the same things as you can eat at home?
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to break from this mentality. A notable exception in my recent travel history is when I went to India. Eating curries morning, noon and night was doing nothing for my digestive system. After a week and a half of lentils and lassis, which was resulting in an increased frequency of bathroom activity (I’ll say no more), I was craving something less spicy and I have to say, the most mediocre burger I’ve ever eaten- at that point in time- tasted like heaven!! As a general rule though, I like to eat local – firstly it’s delicious, secondly I usually can’t get it at home, and generally it’s safer. I will never forget on a trip to Spain when some of my travel buddies chose to visit Maccas for lunch instead of enjoying Granada’s ‘free tapas with drink’ offering. As they lifted their world standardised synthetic burgers to their mouths, they witnessed a spectacular episode of projectile vomiting that completely put them off their food.
I recently went on a fun filled holiday to Canada. I was so excited. Before I left I did my research (as any other ‘normal’ food obsessed person would do) and figured out exactly what I should be eating. Canada is one of the few countries other than Australia who have a beautifully balanced diet filled with lots of fresh produce and tasty treats. Most times I find a certain food group missing (in Israel its red meat, in France it’s veggies) but this time I was completely content.
Some of my favourites were:
Lays ketchup flavoured chips – event my dad who hates fast food and Americanised foods like ketchup liked these because of the quite strong tomato-ey flavour.
Salmon – let me just say Oh my G-d!! The salmon of British Colombia is just epic. Unlike the one type we get here, Canadians get to enjoy 5 different types, the most prevalent being sockeye. It’s darker and a richer flavour than our Atlantic and beautiful just roasted. In addition to the basic baked version, Salmon also comes in a multitude of other forms so that you can get sufficiently salmoned out. Smoked cold fillets for sandwiches and breakfast, salmon on a stick, dried salmon, cured in brown sugar jerky style, cured in spices, semi cured so it is a delicious chew candy like snack. There is no shortage of options! I now understand why the people from this part of the world call our smoked salmon lox. We only experience part of the great and glorious world that is salmon!
Alberta AAA beef – one of the nicest and juiciest steaks I’ve ever eaten! It is the top grade of Canadian beef and comparative to Australian meat prices, cheap!
Oysters – I got to have these in a delicious hot pot, fresh with just a little lemon juice and chipotle mayonnaise as well as crumbed as fried. Now that was different and delicious. Who could have imagined that something that is so expensive here could end up as a cheap bar snack somewhere else.
And there were many many others! I have to say I can’t wait to go back. If the food was anything to go by, Canada is definitely somewhere another country that I could call home.