Multinationality and the two opposite trends of Canadian culture have impacted on the absence of an original culinary tradition, but this fact doesn’t make it less interesting. Montreal is the gastronomic capital of the country, and Montreal locals are proud of their classic dishes and gladly advise them to all city visitors. These dishes are an amazing mixture of French and American cuisine, but they have their own unique northern touch. Well, what dishes to order in Montreal?
Probably, it’s impossible to imagine Montreal without smoked meat. It’s served both in prestigious restaurants and traditional snack bars. This dish shouldn’t be confused with analogues – Montreal meat is too original. Firstly, pork is marinated in herbs and left for a week to fully absorb all the flavors. Usually, it’s coriander, sugar, mustard seeds and garlic. Then the meat is smoked and, finally, steamed.
Montreal meat is so tender that it literally crumbles when you try to cut it into slices.
Most often, it’s served with white bread and mustard, French fries, but sometimes it’s also used as a feeling for pizza and even can be added to spaghetti sauce. It’s interesting to know that the authors of this method of smoking were Romanian Jews, and according to other sources – the descendants of Lithuanian farmers who have moved to Canada.
Cafes of Montreal compete for the right to call their bagels the most delicious. And it’s not simple bakery products, but typically Canadian bagels. Local bagels are baked in wood stoves and must be soaked into sweet honey syrup at the end of cooking. Then they should be strewn with sesame seeds or poppy seeds and cut in half. The locals usually put a variety of fillings inside of the bagels: smoked salmon, cream cheese, scrambled eggs, vegetables or bacon. Those who have sweet tooth prefer to eat bagels with jam or chocolate paste.
Foie gras pate
The French influence was not wasted – it inspired Canadian cooks. Montreal features the whole restaurants dedicated to foie gras. They can even be called ‘the temples of foie gras’. Moreover, this pate is eaten together with high-calorie multi-layer dishes from potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon and maple syrup.
Menus of such establishments are full of all kinds of hamburgers with foie gras, pies and even a pork leg stuffed with this pate. As a starter, you can choose croquettes filled with foie gras. Local cafes show ingenuity when serving this French delicacy, so you can definitely forget about the diet in Montreal.
Steamed hot dog
In the American continent, hot dogs are part of food that is criticized. In Montreal, this fast food is not just cooked but also steamed, and for this reason, you can forget about the calories. Such hot dogs are soft and sold in special eateries. Steamed hot dogs are usually served with crispy potatoes, filled with mustard, onion, sauerkraut and ketchup. Another version of the filling is spicy sauce, mustard and onion cubes. There’s also a variation with bacon and tender cheese.
Tourtiere St. Jean is a favorite dish of French-speaking Canadians. Tourtiere is a meat pie, which is cooked not only from pork or beef, but also wildfowl. There is also a variation with the fish – this is the preference of people from coastal areas. Tourtiere is usually served on Christmas, but in Montreal’s stores and restaurants it’s sold all year round. In addition to meat (cut into cubes or minced meat), tourtiere pie can be also stuffed with potatoes, cinnamon and cloves. By the way, only these spices make the tourtiere so unique. The pie is usually eaten with cranberry jam, maple syrup or ketchup.
Poutine is a national Quebec fast food dish, consisting of French fries strewn with cheese curds and lightly sweetened with garnish sauce. It appeared in Quebec in the 1950s, and nowadays it’s included into menus of many local restaurants, as well as Canadian branches of Burger King, McDonald’s, A&W and KFC. Often, it’s also served as an addition to breaded seafood dishes, and particularly it goes well with sturgeon fish, shrimps and crabs.
Essentially, ‘beaver tail’ is a flattened donut without a hole. It’s the most typical Canadian dish. The original recipe was invented by Graham Hooker, and it was passed for several generations, but only in 1978 it became available to a wider audience. A year later, Graham Hooker opened his first point of sale of Beaver Tails in Ottawa to distribute this unique dish that can be served with sugar, chocolate paste and lots of other sweets.
Thus, Canadian cuisine is an amazing mix of many traditions and culinary trends, and Montreal is an excellent spot to taste them! All above-mentioned dishes are incredibly tasty and you can enjoy them in local culinary establishments. So, want to find the desired restaurant quickly? Then rent a car in Montreal and find your favorite restaurant in a moment.