Canada is the birthplace of a ton of great stuff in the world. From IMAX theatres to the pacemaker to the famous Wonderbra, there’s no end to the contributions our fellow true northerners have come up with. When it comes to famous foods invented in Canada, it’s no different. That’s right! A ton of your favourite dishes were born right here at home.
So without further ado… here are 10 famous foods you probably didn’t know were invented in Canada.
This scrumptious dish was inspired by the flavours of Northern China, but was actually invented right here in Canada. Chef George Wong of Calgary, Alberta whipped up the sticky-sweet dish back in the 1970s.
The name of this iconic sushi roll is a touch misleading. Instead of being invented in California, this tasty bite was created in Vancouver, British Columbia. Japanese-born Chef Hidekazu Tojo put together the dish at his restaurant in the late 1970s. It gets the name “California roll” because of its use of avocado and crab.
We can thank the French Canadians for this iconic food spread. What would life be without peanut butter to reach for? The creation is said to have come from a man named Marcellus Edson, who lived in Montréal, Quebec in the 1880s.
Okay, so this pick’s not exactly a food item. But it is widely used for cooking some of our favourite dishes. The oil was created at the University of Manitoba in the early 1970s. In fact, the name “Canola” is said to come from the term “Canadian oil, low acid.”
The great pineapple-on-pizza debate began with this Canadian creation. We know, the name makes you think this dish comes from, well, Hawaii. But it was actually Sam Panopoulos of Ontario, Canada who came up with this creation.
Raise your hand if the Caesar is one of your favourite go-to cocktails. Everyone with their hand up right now has Walter Chell of Calgary, Alberta to thank. This restaurant manager put together the cocktail to celebrate the opening of a new resto in 1969. Clearly, people liked it, because the ‘Bloody’ Caesar became the Caesar and is a Canadian staple to this day.
You may know that Nanaimo bars were created here in Canada, but you may be surprised to find out that folks in many other countries haven’t even heard of these sweet delights. Go ahead, ask your American friends if they’ve ever tried the coconut-chocolate creation. We’ll wait. This uniquely Canadian treat was invented in Vancouver, B.C. back in the 1970s.
SPLIT PEA SOUP
Although the Ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to invent this dish, it was French-Canadian millworkers who popularized it in the 19th century. These Canadians brought a forgotten recipe to New England, U.S.A. and the rest is history.
INSTANT MASHED POTATOES
Some love the ease and convenience of instant mashed potatoes. Others call it astronaut food. But wherever you lie on the spectrum, you can appreciate the innovative Canadians who created the dish. This heavily processed box of flavour was invented by the Dutch-Canadian food chemist Edward Anton Maria Asselbergs after he fled to Canadian during the Second World War.
You may also know this last pick by its other name: Canadian bacon. So no surprise, it was invented here. The brined pork loin creation was cooked up in Toronto in the 1800s. It’s often the source of light controversy though, when visitors are surprised to find something other than the crunchy goodness they’re used to when they order bacon on the menu.
So there you have it! Discussing all these foods invented in Canada sure has made us hungry. Did any of the items on this list surprise you?