Saturday, February 18, 2012

Culinary Ramblings from Canada

This week's post is coming to you from snowy Canada. I'm in and around Tornoto, so in a bit of a departure from the norm, I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce you to some Canadian culinary delights.
Well the only place to start is with Tim Hortons coffee shops, a true Canadian institution. Strangely, the chain was started by an ex-ice hockey player...Tim Horton!  

Everytime I come to Canada a trip to Tim's is a the unitiated this may seem a little unusual ...but 34 million Canadians can't be wrong...can they? My personal favourite...Tim Bits...these are the little balls of dough, supposedly the centres of ring doughnuts. They come in a variety of flavours which you can choose for your very own selction box!! :-)

So what else does Canada have to offer, obviously the obligatory maple syrup...I'm already planning a maple syrup recipe upon my return next week, however that shall remain under wraps for the minute. Canada produces 27 million litres of maple syrup a year and 75% of the world's maple syrup production comes from Quebec. That's a lot of sugar!

I had a delicious breakfast at Sunset Grill in Toronto, I had maple pancakes and an array of other breakfast goodies as you can see...

Another Canadian speciality...Butter Tarts. These aren't going to win any healthy eating awards but they are so tasty...although extremely sweet. You can get them in a variety of flavours, my favourite is the raisin. Butter tarts consist of butter, sugar, syrup and egg filled into a flaky pastry and baked until the filling is semi-solid with a crunchy top. They taste a bit like a butterscotch pastry. The tarts were common in Canadian pioneer cooking and are considered one of only a few recipes of genuinely Canadian origin.

Toronto also has a plethora of bakeries...sadly I only managed to visit a couple! My recommendation...The Wedding Cake Shoppe which is a pleasant stroll from downtown to Little Italy. The Wedding Cake Shoppe is a pretty little cakery where you can enjoy cupcakes and a drink, whilst admiring the beautiful wedding cakes they have on display. I enjoyed a vanilla cupcake with a passionfruit frosting, and I couldn't resist taking another one away...coconut! The cakes and frosting were really light and delicious, it was a meringue buttercream style frosting which contributed to the lightness!

I also went to a cupcake bakery called Dlish... the staff were very nice and I had a lemon cupcake. Again, the sponge was light but I wasn't so keen on the icing, a bit thicker, a bit more like traditional buttercream. The store was also rather sparse and the cupcakes lacking in the aesthetic appeal and girliness which is often part of the appeal. However, it was nice and I would certainly have eaten another one!

Does anyone remember Lucky Charms, these used to be my cereal of choice when I was younger but you can't seem to come by them anymore. So whilst in Canada I usually enjoy a bowl or two. They still taste the same as ever, although if possible the marshmallow bits seem even more flourescent than they were before!

In a mall about an hour north of Toronto I came across 'Old Time Confections', a store selling old fashioned candy of yesteryear from both the USA and Great Britain. It's an enormous store stocking every candy you can possibly think of, there were Sherbet Dip Dabs, Pez dispensers, fudge and much more! The picture below only shows a fraction of the size of the store.

Toronto also has loads of other great eateries. The chocolate apples below are from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, they offer a mind boggling number of chocolate apple flavours!

If you are ever in Toronto, the Richtree Market Restaurant in the Eaton Centre is worth a visit. Full of fresh food including fruit, bread, pastries, pizza and hot fresh meals, you can either eat there or take away...a little bit of light relief from the giant food court!

Well, I think I can safely say that this post is a bit of a culinary rambling but there were so many delights to try! And the culmination of my week of eating...a diet!!! If you ever visit Canada, I hope you get to try some of these favourites too!


  1. Lucky charms!! I haven't had those since I was about five! I hope you're sneaking a box into your luggage to take home.

    Those butter tarts sounds amazing. It's worth putting on a couple of extra pounds for a slice of that!

  2. Wow everything looks amazing!! Have a great time in Canada and I'm sure you will be bringing back some delightful goodies. I am impressed you have found the time to blog whilst away :)

  3. Tim Hortons...We do have one here in Dubai and I havent tried!Must definitely visit sometime!

  4. should give Tim Hortons a go...won't be winning any patisserie awards...just a very strange phenomenon that everyone loves it in Canada!

  5. Wow. All looks very interesting. Lucky you for being over there. I love the display of sweeties. Have fun!

  6. Love Canada!! :) great blog

  7. Dear Laura, What a nice blog you have. This is my first visit and hope that we can be blogging friends. I am following your blog now and hope that if you like my blog you will follow it too. Thank you and blessings, Catherine xo

  8. Wow I want to go there! The toffee apples looked amazing and the ring doughnuts OMG! What a wonderful place no wonder my friend who lives there loves it so much! Hope you have a fab holiday!

  9. Lucky Charms are a dime a dozen where I live, so if you ever need a hook-up just holler!!

  10. Some seriously tasty looking treats there - why am I always so drawn to doughnut holes?!

  11. Oh I love Toronto! Richtree is the best - such a selection of delicious food! And those pancakes look amazing! Love your blog, it's great!

  12. Love your post! Everything you mentioned is delicious! If you are ever in Ottawa around jan to feb, you have to try the BeaverTails sold on the Rideau canal, absolutely to die for! I find myself eating too many of those during my breaks at UOttawa, lol!

    From a proud Canadian! ;)


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