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So, our Canadian friends think they have all the best foods in the world, I must admit to being more that a tad skeptical. What foods from your region are incredible, mind blowingly, toe curlingly, near religious experiences. Bonus points if not widely known. The only rule I can think of is they must be connected in some way to your region, for instance there may be amazing lasagna in your region, but if that region isn't Italy there has to be something which uniquely ties it to your region.

In the southeast U.S food is a big part of cultural identity, and we have a fairly distinct diet from the rest of the U.S incorporating a number of foods not widely used or appreciated elsewhere. For this first offering I'll go with what is a basic staple in many southern households, grits.

Grits is a food made from a dish of boiled cornmeal. Hominy grits are a type of grits made from hominy – corn that has been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization with the pericarp removed. Grits are often served with other flavorings[1] as a breakfast dish, usually savory. The dish originated in the Southern United States but now is available nationwide, and is popular as the dinner entrée shrimp and grits, served primarily in the South. Grits should not be confused with boiled ground corn, which makes "hasty pudding" or "mush" or may be made into polenta using coarse ground corn, or with the "mush" made from more finely ground corn meal.

Often disdained and even mocked by people from elsewhere, this unassuming has an amazing culinary flexibility. Many people from elsewhere have tried grits and found them unpleasant, but when asked "what did you flavor them with?" they answer nothing. This is much like trying plain pasta, then deciding that all pasta dishes must suck. Grits MUST be flavored, salt being the most common "must add" ingredient, butter, cheese, pepper, jalapenos, bacon bits or crumbled sausage, and even gravy are pretty common. Some poor benighted souls even add sugar or other sweeteners, though this is widely seen as a minor form of insanity by the rest of the south. Though there are a great many ways to prepare them one very popular method is the above mentioned shrimp and grits, which again has a wide degree of variety.

The following is my basic recipe, though rarely followed to the letter it is a solid basis for experimentation.

Ingredients:
3 cups of broth or stock, tomato shrimp broth works but can be a tad overpowering so I usually go with chicken stock.
1 cup of grits, some use quick or instant grits, but the slow simmered grits work best imo.
about a half teaspoon of salt, seasalt is my preferred.
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoon of butter
1 cup of grated sharp cheddar, 1/2 cup each of grated pepper jack, smoky gouda, and havarti
6 slices of thick cut bacon, peppered not maple
2 lbs of peeled and deveined med or larger shrimp
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
a couple of tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
some chopped fresh parsley and dill
half a small onion finely chopped,
several chopped green onions
a couple of cloves of minced garlic
a pinch of cayenne pepper


cook the grits in the broth as directed until done
stir in salt, pepper,butter and cheese, cover and keep warm
cook bacon in a skillet until crisp, set aside
cook shrimp in same skillet until slightly pink,, about 3 minutes on med-hi heat usually
chop bacon while shrimp cooks
stir into skillet lemon juice, W sauce,parsley, dill, garlic, cayenne pepper and onions
cook 3ish minutes, then add chopped bacon

spoon grits onto plates or shallow bowls and top with shrimp mixture




Some successful variations have included adding andouille sausage, fish (though this is touchy, may have to experiment with cooking times depending on type or cut of fish), diced tomatoes, jalapenos, variations with the cheeses. It's a wide pallet, throw some color on it.
 

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I was just about to stomp in here and yell about Southern food, I should've known one of us would've made this thread to start. :laughing:

My father used to eat grits with grape jelly [shudder]. I'll eat them for breakfast with eggs and sausage [just some salt and butter], or for dinner with shrimp or salmon croquettes.

My friend calls me 'real country' because I enjoy a good cup of pig souse [pig ears], and pickled eggs!

Also can't go wrong with seafood gumbo and jambalaya. :tongue:
 

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Hmmm being a Canadian I’d have to disagree, Italians have the best food in the world :p

As for regional food... I don’t know of any from my particular region off hand. I live in the prairies of Canada, so because of the history of indigenous and metis people, and the free plots of land given away in the 1800s that drew every kind of European here, and Canada’s modern immigration and multiculturalism, the closest thing to regional cuisine in my area is just different kinds of food from all over the place. For some reason bannock and chili is a really common combination people like, which is really good. You don’t eat the chili on the bannock (at least that I’ve seen, lol) but they do go together really well.

Oh, also cottage cheese perogies with cream sauce. It’s a mennonite thing but there’s so many mennonites here it may as well be regional at this point, lol. I don’t know the recipe unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was just about to stomp in here and yell about Southern food, I should've known one of us would've made this thread to start. :laughing:

My father used to eat grits with grape jelly [shudder]. I'll eat them for breakfast with eggs and sausage [just some salt and butter], or for dinner with shrimp or salmon croquettes.

My friend calls me 'real country' because I enjoy a good cup of pig souse [pig ears], and pickled eggs!

Also can't go wrong with seafood gumbo and jambalaya. :tongue:
That is indeed real country, I'm more of a city boy, but I have to say some of the best food I've ever eaten was when I spent parts of my summers as a kid helping out on a farm in southern Alabama, granny Gardener would have a breakfast spread ready at dawn that was truly mindblowing. Nothing like that smoked ham, sliced fresh tomatoes fresh out of the field, eggs straight from the coop, and biscuits you'd knock over a kindergarden class to get to.

Also, yeah it's hard to top those cajuns in a food fight, gator tail soup is another incredible dish from there. I do a pretty badass jambalaya but I doubt it holds a candle to theirs.
 

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Hmmm being a Canadian I’d have to disagree, Italians have the best food in the world :p

As for regional food... I don’t know of any from my particular region off hand. I live in the prairies of Canada, so because of the history of indigenous and metis people, and the free plots of land given away in the 1800s that drew every kind of European here, and Canada’s modern immigration and multiculturalism, the closest thing to regional cuisine in my area is just different kinds of food from all over the place. For some reason bannock and chili is a really common combination people like, which is really good. You don’t eat the chili on the bannock (at least that I’ve seen, lol) but they do go together really well.

Oh, also cottage cheese perogies with cream sauce. It’s a mennonite thing but there’s so many mennonites here it may as well be regional at this point, lol. I don’t know the recipe unfortunately.
Sadly my experiences with italian food in Italy was a bit disappointing, but italian food in general is awesome. I suspect my experiences were an abberation. I never tried chili in Canada and I don't think I've ever had bannock bread, we do something similar but with corn bread. Those perogies do sound interesting though, will have to see if I can find a recipe for them.
 

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Hehe I do love how accepting a challenge that Canadians have wicked good food over Southeast U.S.A. food makes me believe we have better food than the world. Does that mean you consider yourself the world? ;)

Anyway, I’m about to go in for an appointment but I shall be back! Muhahahaha
 

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That is indeed real country, I'm more of a city boy, but I have to say some of the best food I've ever eaten was when I spent parts of my summers as a kid helping out on a farm in southern Alabama, granny Gardener would have a breakfast spread ready at dawn that was truly mindblowing. Nothing like that smoked ham, sliced fresh tomatoes fresh out of the field, eggs straight from the coop, and biscuits you'd knock over a kindergarden class to get to.

Also, yeah it's hard to top those cajuns in a food fight, gator tail soup is another incredible dish from there. I do a pretty badass jambalaya but I doubt it holds a candle to theirs.
An amen to that!
 
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Three out of four cities I lived in have a traditional pastry, which originated in this particulary city and is only available in the near surronding.

I moved to Hamburg, Germany some years ago although this city is to big for my favor. But they have this delicious pastry called "Franzbrötchen" (roughly translated "Franz buns"), which is basically puff pastry with LOTS of sugar, butter and cinammon. I love it.

In Leipzig, Saxony they sell "Lerchen" (like the bird, lark), but I never tried them. (Didn't look that good to me)

And in Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg they have Mutscheln (no translation here, it's a proper name). Mutscheln are made of yeast dough, pretty simple but tasty. They are sold on only one day in the year, the "Mutschel Day", where people play dice games and the one who wins gets the biggest Mutschel. They have sizes between 20cm and ~50cm (8"-20"). Most of the times people eat it with butter or sweet bread spread like jam or Nutella.

Sadly I can't post any images yet, so you have to search them on Google if you want to have an impression.
(I don't even know if you wanted some german bakery input here, I just love Franzbrötchen so much I have to tell everyone about them :blushed:)
 

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The region I live in is East Coast Seaboard. We make the best crab cakes and fried chicken and Thrasher’s French Fries or boardwalk fries, fried in peanut oil, soaked first, then fried twice. Chicken and dumplings and crab imperial are so good. Corn pone, wet, not dry, can’t be beat. Grits, I’m embarrassed to say what size bag I buy. Okay. 25 lbs of yellow grits, not white. Clams and fish and oysters are all to be found and are cooked so good. Peaches and blueberries so local to us. Tons of strawberries coming in soon and the best sweet corn locally.

EDIT: how in God's name could I ever forget Scrapple? Lovely, mysterious meat, greasy, crispy scrapple.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapple
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hehe I do love how accepting a challenge that Canadians have wicked good food over Southeast U.S.A. food makes me believe we have better food than the world. Does that mean you consider yourself the world? ;)

Anyway, I’m about to go in for an appointment but I shall be back! Muhahahaha
Actually the person I was responding to in the toughness thread made the claim that Canada has the best food in the world. Undoubtedly just smack talk, but I always enjoy learning about new cuisine so I was interested upon what such a claim could be based.

And no I don't consider myself too be the world, in fact I've been losing weight. But I don't have to be, if we can meet your challenge then claim is disproven and the rest of the world can sleep at night. That's right, I will save the world from from Canadian culinary aggression! Or maybe not, we'll see. Bring it snowbird, I've got lots of ammo. ; )
 

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I am in Canada myself and that is a weird thing to say? Canada with the best... what did they mean---the fusion fare on the west coast? None of it is really from or developed here, besides poutine and a bunch of other French things. Maybe what they meant is we have access to a lot. Surely i could find any ingredient from any country in my city. Or any kind of cuisine from almost any country as a restaurant.

The other thing I'd point out is unlike the States, the recipes have stayed the same. In the states, dishes seem to have been invented or the recipes had mutated.
French food here apparently is from medieval times. A certain way they make a pastry not like how they do it in France now.

What does alligator taste like?
@neutralchaotic Do you have a recipe for those pickled eggs? We sell pickled eggs and herring here.
Do you also eat/like pork rinds? They are sold as an Asian product, but i have heard they are eaten too in Europe. Don't know how.

I visited the South many years ago and remember being fascinated by the food. I would have grits for breakfast myself.
I went to a buffet and i saw a lot of fried things: fried chicken, green beans, potato pie? Clearly African influence--i read and watched a bit on it-- what they cooked (in the Caribbean) and what plants they brought with them.
We do not sell grits here, I think, unfortunately. Anyway I'd love to make Southern food. Or eat the southern way! With a pig's ear on my couscous! I have made jambalaya before. Would love to try more vegetable dishes. An if i could replace alligator with something else.

Martha Stewart had a season where she made recipes from all over the States and i have enjoyed following those! :tongues: Baltimore peach pie, Boston Brown bread..
 

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The thing is, Canada is so very multicultural that just about all foods can be found in one region of the nation or another, and excellently prepared. People from around the world have brought their best to Canada.
I absolutely get that, much the same applies to the U.S., I suspected that's what was implied. I was in no way taking this seriously, but thought it could segue into a broader conversation about regional cuisines.
 

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I am in Canada myself and that is a weird thing to say? Canada with the best... what did they mean---the fusion fare on the west coast? None of it is really from or developed here, besides poutine and a bunch of other French things. Maybe what they meant is we have access to a lot. Surely i could find any ingredient from any country in my city. Or any kind of cuisine from almost any country as a restaurant.

The other thing I'd point out is unlike the States, the recipes have stayed the same. In the states, dishes seem to have been invented or the recipes had mutated.
French food here apparently is from medieval times. A certain way they make a pastry not like how they do it in France now.

What does alligator taste like?
@neutralchaotic Do you have a recipe for those pickled eggs? We sell pickled eggs and herring here.
Do you also eat/like pork rinds? They are sold as an Asian product, but i have heard they are eaten too in Europe. Don't know how.

I visited the South many years ago and remember being fascinated by the food. I would have grits for breakfast myself.
I went to a buffet and i saw a lot of fried things: fried chicken, green beans, potato pie? Clearly African influence--i read and watched a bit on it-- what they cooked (in the Caribbean) and what plants they brought with them.
We do not sell grits here, I think, unfortunately. Anyway I'd love to make Southern food. Or eat the southern way! With a pig's ear on my couscous! I have made jambalaya before. Would love to try more vegetable dishes. An if i could replace alligator with something else.

Martha Stewart had a season where she made recipes from all over the States and i have enjoyed following those! :tongues: Baltimore peach pie, Boston Brown bread..
I also thought that's what was meant, but I was having a bit of fun. I agree that much of what has been brought here from other areas has evolved due to other influences into something new different. That's always been something I've admired about U.S. culture, our tendency to experiment with new possibilities, I love the idea of experimentation. Though if you want the original you can find that here as well, but you might have to search a bit.

I've only had alligator in the soup I mentioned, so it may vary widely depending on the cut and preparation. It had a delicate flavor, a bit tangy but not gamey, with a very subtle sweetness to it. I find it hard to find a meat to compare it to, it doesn't taste like chicken, and the texture is quite different, closer to fish, but also quite different from that too. I find it really hard to nail down, I'm not sure what would make a good substitute for it, it's quite it's own thing.

Yes a lot of what has become southern food has a huge influence from Africa and the Caribbean, but also has strong Spanish, French, and other influences. Okra and blackeye peas were largely African influences and barbecue originated in the Caribbean, though our method is very distinct from the original. It became quite popularized among the slaves and southern sharecroppers who were quite poor and had to make due with the toughest and least wanted cuts of meat and over time evolved into probably the most distinctive and popular southern foods. It was going to be my trump card. Not grilling stuff coated with sauce mind you, proper slow cooked barbecue.

Instead of grits consider substituting polenta, it's very similar in flavor profile though the texture is finer. I've done this to "fancy up" dishes or when people absolutely refused to eat grits. Though this question was directed to @neutralchaotic I'm going to respond to it. I love pork rinds, crunchy, salty awesomeness, usually in our case eaten on their own, though you could absolutely use them with a dip or sauce of some sort.

I think the potato pie you were referring to might have been sweet potato pie, though not a personal favorite it is a staple of southern food. It's hard to imagine a gathering down here where at least one person doesn't bring one. Sweet potatoes are used in all kinds of ways here, another african influence I believe, my favorite is when they're made just like french fries. My friend had to just about hold me down to get me to try them, but once I did I was hooked.

I love the shows that show favorites from different areas, they often provide me with inspiration for new variations as well as standing on their own right. Seeing what we do differently and what is help in common can be fascinating for me.
 

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The thing is, Canada is so very multicultural that just about all foods can be found in one region of the nation or another, and excellently prepared. People from around the world have brought their best to Canada.
I absolutely get that, much the same applies to the U.S., I suspected that's what was implied. I was in no way taking this seriously, but thought it could segue into a broader conversation about regional cuisines.
I currently live in South Korea where, as you might imagine, the Korean BBQ is absolutely delish. In my area, the seafood is especially good.
 
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Cooked food is OK at best. A properly ripe durian is a different realm entirely ... like being alive vs. being dead.

 
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Actually the person I was responding to in the toughness thread made the claim that Canada has the best food in the world. Undoubtedly just smack talk, but I always enjoy learning about new cuisine so I was interested upon what such a claim could be based.

And no I don't consider myself too be the world, in fact I've been losing weight. But I don't have to be, if we can meet your challenge then claim is disproven and the rest of the world can sleep at night. That's right, I will save the world from from Canadian culinary aggression! Or maybe not, we'll see. Bring it snowbird, I've got lots of ammo. ; )
Haha My apologies. I didn’t realize that person said it was the best, just super good. :)

Anyway, I shall ride in on my majestic moose with two polar bear guards beside me in a second with my maple syrup canons ready.
 

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So first I’ll cover the prairie provinces. We have bannock and pemmican (which comes from the First Nations and is an amazing jerky and berry mix).

We are really huge on deer sausage and buffalo sausage; bonus points if it is finely smoked. Moose steaks are amazing; especially when breaded with a cornflake mixture. Moose are big so you might assume they are tougher than deer, but really they are one of the most mild and tender meats I’ve ever eaten. Deer steak is also super good with a honey and garlic sauce. And don’t forgot the ribs broiled in the oven with salt and pepper! But you have to eat it quick because deer fat is really greasy when it hardens.

Saskatoon pie is pretty good. I won’t lie that I much prefer fresh blueberry pie,
but only because I grew up on wild blueberries from Ontario. But everyone else in the area will KILL for Saskatoon pie. You can also make Saskatoon anything; especially jams and jellies.

Alberta beef in particular is amazing. My sister recently travelled to another country, tried their beef, and said it tasted like crap. She didn’t realize until travelling how good our beef actually is.

We also eat really good and hearty meals in the prairies. There are less cities and more farmers or small towns folk. Our family hunts or raises all of our own meat and grows our own gardens. And my dad does a lot of smoking meat, and his fresh smoked fish is amazing! (With Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, we decided to smoke more things. ;) jk) We also BBQ an entire sheep every year and invite our social circle over. And the fresh vegetables!

There is a strong Ukrainian background in the prairies and all types of pierogis are a staple.

Obviously a national meal is poutine, which is fries, gravy, and cheese curds. But it is important to put the cheese curds after the fries and then the gravy on top so the cheese is all gooey and melted. Yum.

Maple syrup is a staple. You have never tried good maple syrup until you’ve tried fresh homemade maple syrup from Canada. It isn’t as thick but it is to die for. And it can be used with or in anything. And bacon and maple syrup is so great together. <3 Also, maple syrup and soya sauce goes amazing cooked with salmon. Let’s say our maple syrup is so good I think the store bought brands like “Aunt Jemima” or whatever it’s called, tastes like pure plastic and I would rather eat a meal without anything then taint my plate with that crap.

Canadian Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham is out of this world if cooked right.


Peameal bacon. I wasn’t raised on it myself as most of our food we ate was something we made ourselves. But when I did finally get an opportunity to try peameal bacon it is pretty good. Just don’t compare it with regular bacon because it tastes quite different. (Though is peameal what you guys consider Canadian bacon? My Texas friend always talks about Canadian bacon and I forget which one she is talking about) Also, side pork is to die for! Especially if it is marinated in BBQ sauce overnight and then barbecued. I am not sure where the origin of side pork is from though but I’ve known it all my life.

Bear meat balls are interesting. It’s hard to compare it to anything though. (And I’ve actually tried horse meat too...hehe Don’t kill me, vegetarians!)

As for desserts, Nanaimo bars and Butter Tarts are Canadian created I believe and you can find them all over Canada. I really suggest looking up both of these as they are sooo delish.

Anyway, that’s some of the more traditional foods. However my style of cooking is much like the U.S. in the sense that I know a little of this and that in most cultures since we are a melting pot. My specialty is to make rabbit fried rice with honey and garlic sauce. And my favourite food to go out to eat for? Either sushi or a giant rare steak. (And I heard the California roll was actually invented in Canada?)

Do we have any east or west coasters? Am I missing any amazing seafood recipes? I eat a lot of seafood but usually Asian made but I’m sure our Canadians who live on the coast have their own amazing recipes.

Also, this might not be a cultural thing, but has anyone tried head cheese, liver and onions, lamb brains, cow toungue, or prairie oysters? I’m someone who will literally eat everything from an animal, and the weird parts are actually the delicacies. :3

Now I’m so hungry! :rolleyes:
 

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@neutralchaotic Do you have a recipe for those pickled eggs? We sell pickled eggs and herring here.
Do you also eat/like pork rinds? They are sold as an Asian product, but i have heard they are eaten too in Europe. Don't know how.
There are probably different recipes that get more involved, but nothing beats buying a jar of pickles, eating all the pickles, and then letting hard-boiled eggs sit in there for 24 hours. :laughing:

I've actually never had pork rinds!
 
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There are probably different recipes that get more involved, but nothing beats buying a jar of pickles, eating all the pickles, and then letting hard-boiled eggs sit in there for 24 hours. :laughing:

I've actually never had pork rinds!
My Dad always makes pickled eggs and I always found them so gross. :frustrating: He opens the jar and I think someone had a big giant fart. Lol But he and most of my family seem to like them!
 
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