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How We Cook, Eat and Drink: The Canada Letter
How do you make a dosa in our climate? And with the rice that’s available here, with the potatoes that are available here, the chilies that are available? That’s a very different and new kind of dish. And there you have in some sense the making of what is now Canadian food.
Canadians cook food in ways that come from all over the world but they haven’t adopted much from the indigenous people who were first here. Why is that?
There was a long and aggressive campaign to deny that kind of cooking. I’ve been struck in recent years about the effort among indigenous chefs to not only think about ingredients and particular kinds of methods of preparation but also about how they would like to present that to the broader public.
I had a fantastic meal just a few weeks ago with my 8-year-old daughter at Ku-Kum Kitchen in Toronto. We ate just a truly memorable dish of roasted seal loin paired with two different kinds of beets.
It has been targeted by people who objected to them serving seal. That’s unfortunate and it really isn’t the story. I think Joseph Shawana is one of the chefs who really deserves an enormous amount of attention for finding ingredients that mean so much in his cultural and linguistic traditions and bringing them with such pride and pleasure to the table.
The articles about Canadian food have already started rolling out. Sara Bonisteel took on that modest icon of Canadian cooking, the butter tart, and also offered a butter tart recipe and one for butter tart squares.
Ms. Bonisteel also has a request. If your family has a favorite butter tart recipe or variation, please send it to email@example.com for a future article.
David Sax visited Toronto to report on the rise of Syrian restaurants there. Clay Risen put away some Canadian whisky and Robert Simonson downed a Caesar, Canada’s contribution to cocktails. (That article warns non-Canadian readers away from calling the drink a Bloody Caesar.)
More articles will appear next week leading up to Wednesday’s publication in the print editions of the special Canada Food section.
Tickets are still available to two events next week featuring Sam Sifton, The Times’s food editor.
On Tuesday he’ll be at the Corona Theater in Montreal’s Little Burgundy for a conversation with David McMillan, the chef and co-owner of Joe Beef. I’ve enjoyed separate conversations with both. Listening to them together should double the fun. Details, prices and a discount code for tickets are here.
The evening before, Monday, Mr. Sifton and Mr. Sax will speak with some of Toronto’s new Syrian restaurant owners and chefs. A reception featuring their food will follow. Head here for details and tickets.
I’ll also be at both events along with Times colleagues based in Canada and New York and I’m looking forward to meeting some of you there.
Seven years ago, I was in Vancouver reporting on the Winter Olympic Games. Much of my time was spent writing about the slightly desperate measures organizers took to bring snow to one of the skiing venues.
So it’s not altogether surprising that researchers led by Daniel Scott, a geography professor at the University of Waterloo, have concluded that Vancouver is among the many former host cities where climate change will make it impossible to stage the winter games again by the middle of this century. Calgary, the host city in 1988, will still be a contender.
It’s is so unlike other illnesses, some call it the “disease from outer space.” Chronic wasting disease, which has ravage deer herds in three provinces, particularly Alberta, continues to spread. There is no cure but there may be hope for a vaccine, and widespread culling has been successful at eliminating the disease in at least one area.
—Yukon agreed to test health warning labels on beer, wine and liquor. Then the global liquor industry started calling.
—The government of Canada telegraphed this week that it’s no longer playing the nice guy when it comes to dealing with the Trump administration on trade.
—A Canadian professor is enjoying a “Fire and Fury” windfall.
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