Poutine? Montreal-style bagels? Caribou? Tourtiere? Peameal bacon? Butter tarts? Maple syrup? Tim Horton’s? Beer? What would be the best choice of a meal to represent Canada in my month of cooking 30 countries? For me, what best describes Canadian cuisine is how eclectic it is. Indian and Thai food are mixed with Italian to create an interesting new dish. Restaurants have items inspired from an assortment of different countries on their menus.
What about the locavore movement – eating locally produced food? Where my parents live in southern Ontario you can stop at stands by the road and take local produce from farmers, leaving your money in a tin. Being so close to farms and having farmers markets located throughout the cities (see Farmers’ Markets Ontario website to find one near you), it’s not hard to eat food grown by your Ontario neighbours.
In honour of both of these ideas – the eclectic nature and the local food – my parents and I went for Spanish-style tapas and local wine at August Restaurant in Beamsville (I didn’t get a chance to make Spanish food this month, so this is also a tribute to Spain). August Restaurant is a “partnership between a chef and a gardener”, using almost all local ingredients and growing most of their own vegetables. All soups, sauces and breads are made in-house. The tapas menu (they also have lunch, brunch and dinner menus) has a wide variety of dishes, including Herb and Brie Pierogis with Double Smoked Bacon and Onions, Wee Little Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese (obviously not all ingredients are sourced locally, unless there are lobsters in Lake Ontario that I don’t know about), Sweet Potato Empanadas (which tasted a lot like pumpkin pie), Curried Lamb Meat Balls with a Sour Cream Dip and Crab Cake Po’ Boy with House Made Tartar Sauce. You can look at the full tapas menu here. Everything was delicious and reasonable priced. And the mini ice cream cake for dessert was divine!
For my final night of international cooking, my Indian friend’s mom’s butter chicken recipe.