20 Descriptive Essay Topics: What to Write about Canadian Food?

Topics and ideas
Posted on December 9, 2015

Writing a descriptive essay about something you are not exactly an expert on is never easy. It becomes even more difficult when you are free to choose any topic within the confines of a general theme – your knowledge is insufficient to choose anything in particular as you simply have no idea what to choose from. So, if you have to write a descriptive essay about Canadian cuisine, feel free to use these topics we’ve prepared for you:

  1. Poutine – an Artery-Clogging Delight of Canadian Cuisine
  2. Maple Syrup as the Basic Symbol of Canadian Culture
  3. Canadian Ice Wine and Why It Is So Special
  4. BeaverTails – Pastry Celebrating Canadian National Animal
  5. Newfoundland Cod Tongues – Refuse Turned Delicacy
  6. Pemmican – the Precursor of Modern Protein Bars
  7. Butter Tart – the Most Canadian Dessert in Canada
  8. Ice Beer – the Canadian Contribution to the World of Brewing
  9. Tourtiere – Traditional French-Canadian Dish
  10. Donairs – Middle-Eastern Food Turned Canadian
  11. The Disputed Origins of Nanaimo Bar
  12. Bloody Caesar – Canada’s National Cocktail
  13. Traditional Cuisine of the First Nations
  14. Montreal-Style Bagel – Jewish Contribution to Canadian Cuisine
  15. Fiddleheads and The Ways They Are Prepared in Canada
  16. Acadian Rappie Pie and Its Origins
  17. Fish and Brewis – Traditional Newfoundland Delicacy
  18. Garlic Fingers as a Canadian Take on Pizza
  19. Tiger Tail Ice cream – Ubiquitous Canadian Licorice Dessert
  20. Flapper Pie as a Staple of Canadian Prairie Culture

A Sample Descriptive Essay on Poutine – an Artery-Clogging Delight of Canadian Cuisine

If you ask a resident of Canada which dish he or she considers the most iconic for the country’s cuisine, chances are that you will be sent to the closest poutine place to give a try to this peculiar dish, not very well known outside of Canada.

Poutine all by itself makes a meal that would horrify any advocate of healthy lifestyle – Canadians laughingly admit that it is a dish that is extremely prone to sticking to your ribs. Your basic poutine consists of French fries, fresh cheese curds and special, usually sweetened gravy-like sauce used to keep the rest of the dish hot longer.

This, however, is just a basic recipe – different regions, restaurants and communities have their own variants of poutine, ranging from fast-food to haute-cuisine variations introducing delicacies like merguez sausage, foie gras and sometimes even truffles and caviar. And even these don’t mark the limitations of culinary weirdness associated with poutine – some chefs are known to throw bacon, maple syrup, deep-fried Kit-Kat bars, marshmallows, chocolate ganache and/or ice-cream into the mix, producing a truly mind-boggling and bowel-curdling experience.

As is clearly seen, even without resorting to this kind of culinary atrocities poutine is an extremely versatile dish, capable of using many different ingredients in many different combinations.

There is no consensus on where poutine comes from, who its inventor was and what exactly its name means, despite the fact that the dish is a relatively young one – most food historians agree that it appeared around 1950s. The exact story of its appearance differs from account to account.

According to one version, the word ‘poutine’ derives from a Quebecois slang term meaning ‘mess’, and the dish itself appeared when a restaurateur from Warwick, Fernand Lachance, was asked by a café regular to put cheese curds on his French fries and exclaimed in exasperation that it will make a damn mess (poutine).

Another version of the word’s etymology claims that ‘poutine’ is a gallicization of the English word ‘pudding’, which supposedly was used in Canada to define a mixture (usually unappetizing) of different foods. However, it seems that too much times elapsed since then to make declare any of these theories true with any degree of certainty.
Despite its rather unassuming name, poutine is extremely popular throughout Canada, and at least three different regions of the country claim to be its birthplace: Drummondville, Victoriaville and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

However, there is still a possibility that this most Canadian of all Canadian dishes may be not entirely local in origin and was derived from or at least inspired by a remarkably similar dish popular in the north of England, Scotland and in the Isle of Man, called ‘chips, cheese and gravy’. It was well-known in the UK some fifty years before the emergence of poutine, although grated cheddar was used instead of cheese curds and gravy was sometimes replaced by curry sauce. Nevertheless, you should better keep this theory to yourself when discussing poutine with the Canadians, since they often find immense pride in their national dish despite good-humoredly acknowledging that it is probably not the healthiest of foods.

All in all, poutine is among those dishes that inexplicably rise from obscurity to become staples of national diet and produce horrified fascination in foreigners. It is equally widespread and accepted in fast food joints and upscale restaurants and, together with maple sauce, butter tarts and Nanaimo bars, has become an integral part of local food culture.

Albaba, Ken. Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. Santa-Barbara, California, 2011. Print
Cooke, Nathalie. What’s to Eat? Entrées in Canadian Food History. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009. Print
Dojny, Brooke. New England Home Cooking: 350 recipes from town and country, land and sea, hearth and home. Boston, Mass: Harvard Common Press, 1999. Print
Miller, Marissa. “In Montreal, A Week for Poutine”. The New York Times. Jan. 29 2015
Morton, Mark. Cupboard Love: A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities. Toronto, Canada: Insomniac Press, 2004. Print
Kittler, Pamela Goyan, Kathryn Sucker. Food and Culture. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning, 2007. Print
Sinclair, Charles G. International Dictionary of Food & Cooking. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn. Print

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