Culinary quiz: Test your foodie patriotism
Most Canadians know BeaverTails from butter tarts, and that ‘double double’ doesn’t mean go faster, writes Laura Robin. But do you know which Canadian confection nearly caused a court battle three years ago? Try our quiz to find out if you’re a true patri
1 The Bloody Caesar ...
a. is a cocktail that’s popular across North America as a cure for hangovers
b. is virtually unknown outside of Canada
c. was invented in P.E.I. by Mott’s d. is traditionally made with Tabasco sauce
2 When it comes to lentils, Canada ...
a. grew none before the 1970s
b. is the world’s largest producer
c. exports to India, Turkey, Bangladesh and Egypt d. all of the above
3 The biggest cake (so far), on Parliament Hill was made by Ottawa’s Morrison Lamothe bakery for centennial celebrations on July 1, 1967. It was made from:
a. the bakery’s famous chocolate cake recipe b. dense fruitcake
c. plywood, nails and Styrofoam
d. Queen Elizabeth white cake
4 From the early 1960s to the mid-1980s, “the stubby” was synonymous with Canadian beer. It was almost brought back in 1992, but was ultimately passed over for the more American “long neck” because:
a. focus groups showed that women preferred the long neck to the stubby
b. the long neck can be washed and reused more times than the stubby
c. American brewers wielded their corporate power to demand uniform bottles across North America
d. you can fit more beer in a long neck, and charge a higher price
What Canadian treat has prompted scholarly journal articles on its origin and outrage in New York?
a. the butter tart b. the Timbit c. the Nanaimo bar d. Wendy’s chocolate Frosty
Which Canadian confection has inspired competing “taste trails” that nearly boiled over into a court battle?
a. the butter tart b. maple toffee made on the snow at sugar shacks c. the Nanaimo bar d. the Maritime blueberry grunt
Which Canadian food is included in former New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton’s 2015 book, 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die (Workman Publishing Company):
a. maple syrup b. Montreal bagels c. shritzlach d. Glengarry aged Lankaaster cheese
Poutine is a quintessentially Québécois dish that:
a. dates back to the coureurs des bois b. originated in rural Quebec in the late 1950s c. was imported from the British Isle of Man d. is the same as New Jersey’s Disco Fries
The phrase “Only in Canada, you say? Pity …” refers to the fact that:
a. Red Rose sells a different blend of tea in Canada than the U.S. b. Red Rose tea is available only in Canada c. Red Rose included figurines only in its tea sold in Canada d. Lipton tea is sold only in Canada
The best chef in Canada according to the annual Gold Medal Plates competition held in Kelowna, B.C. is:
a. Matthew Batey of Calgary’s The Nash Restaurant b. Alex Chen of Vancouver’s Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar c. Marc Lepine of Ottawa’s Atelier d. Ryan O’Flynn of Edmonton’s Westin Hotel
1. b. The Bloody Caesar is virtually unknown outside of Canada. Motts Inc. says the Caesar is the most popular mixed drink in Canada, but marketers talk of a “clam barrier” that keeps Americans from trying the drink, which includes clam juice. It was invented in Calgary in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell, who was tasked with making a signature cocktail for a new Italian restaurant and looked to spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with tomato and clam sauce), for inspiration. Chell, who says the drink “took off like a rocket,” did not use Tabasco, but it’s a frequent addition now. Motts holds an annual Caesar competition as part of the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival.
2. d. All of the above. Lentils were virtually unknown as a Canadian crop before Alfred Slinkard, from Washington State, was recruited by the University of Saskatchewan in 1972. He developed new lentil varieties ideally suited to Saskatchewan and, by 1990, Canada had overtaken Turkey and the United States as the major supplier of green lentils to Latin America and the Mediterranean. Now, 95 per cent of Canada’s lentils are grown in Saskatchewan. Alfred Slinkard, 85, still lives in Saskatoon, in a seniors’ home. 3. c. Plywood, nails and Styrofoam. But it had an insert of real cake in the front, for the Queen to cut, and was coated with real icing, made with 700 pounds (317 kg), of icing sugar. “They told me to use plaster of paris, but we used real icing,” recalls Grete Hale, who was head of the bakery at the time. “I’m so glad because the Duke of Edinburgh broke off a piece and ate it. Judy LaMarsh asked us to leave the cake in place after the ceremony. The next morning, there was a sudden downpour. You’ve never seen a more bedraggled cake.”
4. a. Focus groups showed that women preferred the long neck to the stubby, according to David Menzies in an article called Bring back the stubby! that was published in Food in Canada magazine. The slightly smaller stubby is actually sturdier than the long neck: it’s easier to handle, takes less storage space, has a lower centre of gravity and can be washed and reused an average of 20 times, compared to the long neck’s 16.
5. c. The Nanaimo Bar. The no-bake confection’s origins were traced to the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary and publication (and probably naming), in the Vancouver Sun in 1947, by Lenore Lauri Newman in an article published in the Canadian Food Studies journal in 2014. In 2009, several Canadians protested that a unique Canadian dessert was being Americanized when the hip New York vegetarian eatery called Dirt Candy put Nanaimo Bars on its menu.
6. a. The butter tart. In 2013, competing butter tart trails in Wellington North and the Kawartha Lakes, both in Ontario, nearly ended up in court before the two areas agreed that their trails could coexist if the names differentiated them sufficiently. The City of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, has put together a Nanaimo Bar Trail, but as far as we know, it’s the only one devoted to that dessert.
7. c. Just the shritzlach, a pastry filled with blueberries found in some of Toronto’s Jewish communities. Sheraton hates maple syrup and said Montreal-style bagels, with all their sesame seeds, are “like biting into glass.” She hadn’t heard of Glengarry aged Lankaaster, which was named best cheese in the world in 2013, but allowed that Quebec’s Oka is a good “all-around snacking cheese.”
8. b. Several communities, including Drummondville, Warwick, Saint-Jeansur-Richelieu and Victoriaville claim to be the birthplace of poutine — but most agree that it was somewhere in rural Quebec in the 1950s. The dish of fries, gravy and cheese curds is similar to the Isle of Man’s cheese, chips and gravy, but that combo, made with shredded cheddar rather than curds, is thought to have developed independently and has been around since 1901. The Disco Fries served in New Jersey and some New York City diners, are topped with mozzarella and brown gravy and are made with thicker “steak” fries.
9 a. Red Rose Tea, made by a company started by Theodore Harding Estabrooks in Saint John, N.B., in 1894, has been available in the United States since the 1920s, but in Canada, it’s exclusively orange pekoe (and said to be made from only the top two leaves of each tea plant, ensuring top quality), while in the U.S., it’s a blend of black pekoe and cut black teas. 10. c. Marc Lepine of Ottawa’s virtually unmarked Atelier restaurant is the reigning Gold Medal Plates champion, the only chef to win the crossCanada contest for a second time (he also won in 2012). Matthew Batey of Calgary won silver this year and Alex Chen of Vancouver won Bronze. Ryan O’Flynn of Edmonton was the gold medal winner last year.