Montreal Bagel: a thing of chewy beauty (Photo: Resident on Earth)
Montreal bagels get at the heart of civic pride in Quebec’s largest city. Like Montreal itself, these delicious treats are unique in the world, and locals identify not only with what flavour they prefer, but also which bake shops they frequent. Merely mentioning the word “bagel” can provoke an extreme reaction.
A quick tip to avoid conflict: don’t compare Montreal bagels to the New York version. The former is chewier than the latter, and is prepared differently. The process begins by kneading flour, malt and eggs (no yeast or salt here), forming a large ring out of the dough, and boiling it in honey water. They are then baked in a wood-fired brick oven on a long stick. The result is a bagel that is never perfectly circular or evenly browned. Compared to the New York version, Montreal bagels are thin, slightly crisp, and have a large hole. As a friend once explained, “It’s not a bun, it’s a bagel.” (more…)
By KAREN CLEVELAND
Photo: Alastair Macpherson
With the Pacific Ocean and Tofino to the west and the Atlantic and Halifax to the east, Canada is no stranger to great surf. But there is a lesser known third coast: the Great Lakes. With more than 10,000 kilometers of coastline that create a mix of beach and point breaks, the Great Lakes have plenty of spots where you can catch a freshwater wave. (more…)
By ALINA SEAGAL
Garrison Brewing Company in Halifax (Photo: Nicole Bratt)
Canada’s east coasters love their beer and it shows. The Martimes region is famous for its historic breweries and has been producing the delicious amber drink since the early 19th century. It has given the rest of Canada notable brands Alexander Keith’s and Moosehead. Jason Foster, a CBC beer columnist, insists that Atlantic Canada has developed a unique beer personality that is essentially British in balance and fruitiness, to reflect local history and culture. (more…)
by WAHEEDA HARRIS
Alberta beef: the food, the legend (Photo: Tourism Calgary)
Alberta may mean cowboys and mountains to many, but for carnivores it’s the centre of all things meat. As a popular bumpersticker says, “If it ain’t Alberta, it ain’t beef.” (more…)
By WAHEEDA HARRIS
Totem poles at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (Photo: Adam Jones)
The iconic Coastal Mountains may dominate the west coast skyline, but the landscape includes another native attraction: indigenous totem poles, original to this part of North America. (more…)
By WAHEEDA HARRIS
Photo: Tourism Saskatchewan
A favourite summer taste in Canada’s Prairie provinces, the Saskatoon berry is in season during July and August. Similar to a blueberry in size and colour, the wee berry was gathered by aboriginal people for medicinal purposes—the name comes from the Cree word mis-sask-quah-toomina—and became a staple of the diet of the early farm pioneers.
Modern science has found this purple fruit is high in antioxidants as well as vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium and that it has three times more iron than raisins. Once found only at farmers’ markets or in the wild, the berry it is now the second largest crop in the three Prairie provinces after strawberries, and can be found throughout the Prairies in jam, jelly, syrup and pies as well as in a wide variety of savoury recipes.
Where and how to try Saskatoon berries:
The Riverbend Plantation in Saskatoon offers an array of gourmet treats using Saskatoon berries from its farm—you can even order Saskatoon-berry-and-buffalo pemmican online and have it shipped. If you’re in the Prairies and want to pick your own, check with the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (Alberta), BuyFromtheFarm.ca (Saskatchewan) or the Prairie Fruit Growers Association (Manitoba).