Happy Canada Day everyone!
Canada has a long history and tradition of smoking food. Traditionally, as it was employed elsewhere too, it was used to preserve meat and fish prior to the advent of refrigeration. Smoking ensured that food would last over longer periods of time and over winter months when food was more scarce. Not only did smoking preserve food, but it gave it an amazing flavour.
Now with refrigerators in essentially all homes we don’t need to smoke food to preserve it, but so do for the flavour it imparts. Smoking food is still very common and a part of the modern day traditions in many northern countries such as Greenland, Russia, Siberia, Scandinavian and Canada!
Canadian cuisine is notoriously hard to define. Joe Clark, our 16th Prime Minister said that “Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord.” Our food is influenced by some many other countries that there are so few purely Canadian dishes. We many produce some of the best cold smoked salmon, but it is a dish that originated in Scandinavian countries. Nova Scotia may have they own style of donairs, but the dish originated in Turkey. The Canadian prairies make the best perogies, but that is a dish from Ukraine. So what is Canadian?
Some of our most famously Canadian foods are smoked such as…
Being the multicultural society that we are today, there are influences from around the globe, but most traditional smoked Canadian foods have been derived mainly from our First Nations roots. Some dishes such as Montreal-Style Smoked Meat (who’s true origin is fuzzy at best) and Canadian Bacon have a more European influence, but the several smoked Canadian foods are derived from our first people’s cuisine and are centuries old.
In honour of our amazing country, let’s fire up the smoker today and make some Canadian food!