The 7 Best Food and Drink Options in Canada

*this is a guest post

Canada is perhaps best known for its mountains, waterfalls, vast open spaces, wildlife, and Justin Bieber. Hockey is also a national obsession with a chain of donut shops named after a famous hockey player. It is also a country of many contrasts. The French-speaking provinces are distinctly French whereas cities such as Calgary and Vancouver are very cosmopolitan in feel.

There is one thing Canada is not so famous for and that is its food and drink. Ask any traveler what their favorite cuisine is and they will probably reply Asian or Italian. Nobody ever says Canadian food, because it is not exactly a well-known global cuisine. Yet there are some amazing specialties in Canada.

Different regions have their own food and drink. Many are simply a unique way of serving up traditional ingredients, but if you look around you will find some wonderfully quirky dishes, great quality wines and awesome craft beers brewed in local microbreweries. Here is a quick guide to some of the best food and drink options you are likely to come across on your travels.

Poutine

Not a lot of people outside of Canada have heard in poutine, but this is the star attraction on any Canadian menu. Poutine is a simple dish. You take a plate of fries and cover them in gravy and cheese curd. The end result is very fattening and very delicious. Canadians love them and so will you.

Stew

Stew is a staple dish in Canada and Canadians consume more stew than any other nation in the world. This should come as no great surprise if you visit Canada in the winter, as nothing keeps the chill off better than a hearty plate of stew.

BeaverTails

No, this is not a real toasted beaver’s tail. There may well be beaver’s tails dished up in a restaurant way out in the middle of nowhere, but thankfully, this particular dish is a bit more appetizing.

BeaverTails pastries are a dessert fashioned to look like a beaver’s tail. The dough is stretched out and decorated with sweet treats such as ripe bananas, caramel, crushed Oreo biscuits and chocolate spread. It is delicious and a firm favorite with locals. Probably not the best choice for anyone on a diet, but hey, you only live once.

Montreal Bagels

Montreal is famous for its bagels. In Canada, bagels are served up as a breakfast treat. Montreal bagels are smaller than traditional French bagels, but the hole in the middle is larger. These bagels are super sweet, as they are soaked in honey water, baked in a wood-burning oven, and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

You will find Montreal bagels in coffee shops all over Montreal, so grab a coffee and a bagel, and watch the world go by as your taste buds blast into orbit.

Mini Donuts

Canadians love their sweet things. Maple syrup and waffles anyone?

Donuts are very popular in all parts of Canada and a trip to any branch of Tim Hortons will reveal a wealth of different donuts to tempt you. Timbits are a mini donut, which is best served with lashings of hot coffee. The fact a Timbit is so small means you can eat them with a clear conscience. Just remember that ten or more adds up to a lot of sugar. Tasty!

Montreal Smoked Meats

Montreal is also famous for its smoked meats. Smoked meat Montreal-style is brisket marinated for a long time, so you end up with a thinly sliced meat that is so tender it literally melts in the mouth. Unlike many smoked meats, Montreal meat is not as sweet. I would not go as far as to say it’s good for you, but if you like smoked meat, you could do a lot worse in terms of calorific damage.

Tourtiere Meat Pies

Tourtiere is a Canadian meat pie, but unlike a traditional meat pie served up in an English pub, this version contains spices and all kinds of different flavorings. There are no rules when it comes to making a Canadian Tourtiere. You can use any meat you like, although pork is the most common, and added vegetables are heartily recommended. As long as the filling is contained within a tasty pie crust, your meat pie is a winner.

Maple syrup is a staple ingredient in many Canadian dishes, even the savory ones. Expect to see Maple syrup everywhere, from coffee to tea and bacon. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be in seventh heaven.

*thank you for this guest post!

Real Reasons Why People Flock Towards Water on Vacations

*this is a guest post

Have you ever wondered why beaches and parks with gigantic waterfalls are so crowded during summer vacations? Even people who don’t swim, wouldn’t be caught dead in a bathing suit and have no great love for the outdoors seem to book lodgings as near as possible to ocean beaches, lakes and falls. While some vacationers like to get in a bit of fishing, others have no clue what is so appealing about water yet they just know that’s where they want to be. If you are seeking answers, you’ve come to the right place! There are real reasons why people flock towards water on vacation, some of which you might never have guessed.

Near the Hub of Activity

You would think that after working 48 to 50 weeks out of the year people would simply want to get away from the crowds, but when you do that, there are few places to go and things to do. Unless you are into nature and moments of tranquility, you will want to stay near the water which is where all the 4 star hotels are located. For example, when spending your vacation at Niagara Falls, you will find all the best full service luxury hotels on both sides of the border. The farther you get from the water, the lesser your chance will be to find luxury resorts complete with all the amenities you would expect in hotels of this caliber.

Water Soothes the Soul

There is just something about the sound of waves lapping up against the shore or water cascading over a giant waterfall. Have you ever noticed that a high percentage of guided imagery recordings and videos have the sound of water in the background? Many psychologists believe this is because we spent 9 months in the womb filled with water / amniotic fluid. What is more peaceful and secure than being a babe protected from a cold, cruel world by that place of comfort inside mom? For a number of reasons, the sound of water is soothing to the soul.

Pleasing to Other Members of the Family

Oddly, some families take vacations on or near the water because that is where some members of the family wish to be. Whether or not you want to be near water is of no consequence when there are others in your party who have been longing for the beach or to visit some of the nation’s tallest waterfalls. It only takes one family diehard to hold out for a vacation on the water and you are a goner. Unless you have more stamina, you can count on yet another holiday at the beach!

Sea Air Has Proven Health Benefits

For literally hundreds of years it has been thought that staying near salt water has healthful benefits. Modern science has proven this theory and now it is known that there are minerals in the air close to large bodies of salt water, which would be oceans and seas. Some of these minerals, such as salt in the water, help to preserve levels of certain stress-relieving chemicals in the brain. The most noted of such are serotonin, tryptamine and melatonin. Not only is depression reduced when these chemicals are present in adequate amounts but the sound of ocean waves, as mentioned above, has a soothing effect on the brain because it can work to alter wave patterns. Medical science believes it is this effect that creates a sense of wellness and relaxation.

Health Benefits of Cascading Waterfalls

Similar to being near an ocean, cascading waterfalls offer more benefits than just soothing sounds. Medical science has found that it is the negative ions released by cascading water that help to stabilize mood and offer an increased ability to focus, to concentrate. These negative ions are also proven to help the body eliminate free-radicals, which in turn, helps the body to heal from a number of illnesses and conditions. Removing free radicals from the body also helps to slow the aging process. Want to come back looking and feeling years younger? You can’t do better than to reserve a couple weeks’ vacation as close as possible to powerful waterfalls.

Of course there will be those water babies who love nothing better than to submerge themselves into the depths of crystal clear water, but even those of you who can’t for the life of you imagine why you want to vacation near water, there are plenty of reasons. Any vacation on or near the water is sure to be memorable, even if you don’t know why. These are just a few reasons why people flock towards water on vacations, but enough to let you know you are in good company.

*thank you for this guest post!