High Should-Attempt Canadian Meals for Foodies and Vacationers

Searching for the most effective Canadian meals to eat when visiting Canada? Whereas Canadian delicacies might not boast the speedy recognition of Italian, Moroccan, or Greek culinary traditions, it holds a allure and variety all its personal, reflective of the nation’s huge and various panorama. Through the years, Canada has steadily crafted a definite meals id that warmly embraces its multicultural roots and the considerable pure sources of the Nice White North. If there’s one time period that encapsulates the essence of Canadian delicacies, it’s ‘eclectic.’

From the sweetness of Quebec’s sugar pies to the savory delights of Nova Scotia’s seafood, the most effective conventional Canadian meals is about taking the acquainted and infusing it with a twist that’s as surprising as it’s pleasant. This culinary journey invitations meals fanatics and vacationers alike to find the quirky and modern flavors that outline Canadian delicacies, a celebration of creativity and cultural fusion in each chew.

What Is Canadian Delicacies

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No one says, “Let’s exit for Canadian meals tonight.” We, as Canadians, typically say, “Would you like Thai meals immediately?” What about Korean or Japanese meals? Different meals worldwide have a definite theme and taste, however not Canada. Conventional Canadian meals are a mishmash, and that’s how we prefer it!

Conventional Canadian Meals

Canadian dishes don’t have a lot that makes them stand out from the remainder of the world besides for his or her quirkiness and affect from different cultures. You title a rustic, we have now the meals. Even in small cities throughout Canada, you will see all kinds of worldwide delicacies. So, when you concentrate on it, that’s what makes Canadian meals distinctive. We’re numerous in each facet of life in Canada, and meals is not any exception.

We’ve got a number of favorites that folks might already know and love and a few conventional Canadian meals that the remainder of the world might or might not find out about, so I assumed I’d share a listing of meals distinctive to Canada.

1. Poutine – Quebec

best traditional canadian food poutine
Poutine – The quintessential Canadian meals

I feel the world is beginning to find out about, love, and undertake our little secret, Poutine. This easy but indulgent Canadian dish accommodates three key substances: crispy French fries, squeaky cheese curds, and a wealthy, savory gravy. It’s sinfully scrumptious. Poutine is the final word consolation meals and our go-to snack for a hangover.

  • French fries (ideally thick-cut)
  • Recent cheese curds
  • Brown gravy (generally a mixture of rooster, veal, and turkey inventory)

Poutine is our beloved Canadian dish, transcending its Quebecois origins to develop into a nationwide consolation meals staple. The guts of poutine lies in its unpretentious roots—a hearty, comforting dish typically loved in informal diners and pubs. It’s an emblem of Canadian culinary traditions, turning easy, available substances right into a dish that’s better than the sum of its elements.

We’ve got recipes for poutine throughout Canada with totally different toppings. The essential poutine recipe is cheese, gravy, and fries, however they love making Lobster poutine on the East Coast, and in Alberta, beef poutine is popularly made with Alberta beef. Pulled pork poutine is one other widespread choice. The extra you load it with, the tastier it will get! It may be discovered throughout the nation. As a matter of reality, Poutine is usually regarded as Canada’s nationwide dish!

2. Nanaimo Bars – British Columbia

traditional canadian food nanaimo bars
Nanaimo bars – conventional Canadian dessert

Nanaimo Bars are a traditional candy Canadian dish originating from town of Nanaimo in British Columbia. These wealthy, no-bake dessert bars include three scrumptious layers: a crumbly, nutty base, a creamy custard-flavored center, and a clean chocolate topping. They could be known as a unique title elsewhere, however relaxation assured, Nanaimo Bars have been invented in Canada. Take a look at extra about British Columbia The Greatest Locations to Go to in British Columbia


  • For the bottom layer: Graham cracker crumbs, coconut, almonds (or walnuts), cocoa, butter, sugar, and egg.
  • For the center layer: Custard powder, butter, heavy cream, and icing sugar.
  • For the highest layer: Semi-sweet chocolate and butter.

The Nanaimo Bar’s origins date again to the early Fifties and have since reached past British Columbia to develop into a nationwide favourite. This widespread Canadian meals is at all times featured in bakeries, cafes, and dessert menus throughout Canada. The mix of a crunchy base, a comfortable, candy center, and a chocolatey prime makes these bars a novel and indulgent deal with.

What units the Nanaimo Bar aside is its no-bake nature, making it a well-liked selection for residence bakers, particularly throughout the hotter months when turning on the oven is much less interesting. The bars are additionally a staple throughout the vacation season, typically featured in Christmas baking assortments.

3. Butter Tarts

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These are nonetheless my favourite desserts. If I am going to a buffet with butter tarts on the desk, you might be certain I’ll seize a pair.  Butter Tarts are a quintessential Canadian dessert, embodying the simplicity and richness of the nation’s baking traditions. These small, particular person tarts include a flaky pastry shell full of a gooey, buttery combination of sugar, eggs, and infrequently raisins or nuts.


  • Pastry dough (often a fundamental mixture of flour, butter, and water)
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Non-compulsory: Raisins, walnuts, or pecans

The origins of Butter Tarts are traced again to the early settlers of Canada, with roots in Scottish and French pastry traditions. Over time, they’ve develop into a beloved deal with nationwide, typically discovered at native bakeries, neighborhood gatherings, and household tables. Our hometown of Paris, Ontario, even has the annual butter tart competition.

The allure of the Butter Tart lies in its simplicity and the comforting, home made really feel it embodies. Every tart is a pleasant mixture of a crispy crust and a comfortable, sticky heart, providing a stability of textures and flavors which have made it a Canadian favourite. Regional variations of the tart exist, with debates over the inclusion of raisins or the specified consistency of the filling – runny or agency. My private favorite are pecan butter tarts.

4. Beaver Tails

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Head to any vacationer vacation spot, and you may remember to see folks munching on Beaver Tails. No, they aren’t what you assume they’re. Beaver Tails are delectable treats manufactured from fried dough formed like a beaver’s tail.

It may be topped with something, however we like the unique sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.  Different toppings embody ice cream, whipped cream, or jellies. Learn extra: High Issues to do in Ottawa

5. Maple Syrup

traditional canadian food boiling maple syrup in snow

What vacationer doesn’t depart Canada with out a bottle of Maple Syrup in tow? The maple tree is a nationwide image of Canada, and its syrup is delicious. 

Come to Canada within the lifeless of winter, and you may take a tour out to the woods and watch them faucet a Maple tree for recent syrup. When you go to Ottawa in Winterlude, Quebec, throughout Carnival or any Canadian winter competition,, you’ll at all times discover somebody rolling recent boiling maple syrup over snow to create a scrumptious maple lollipop. You gotta attempt it; it’s scrumptious. Deliver some maple syrup residence with you and smother it over pancakes, french toast, sausage, or bacon. Maple syrup makes something style higher.

6. Hawaiian Pizza

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Opposite to its title, Hawaiian Pizza is a Canadian creation. It’s well-known for its uncommon mixture of ham and pineapple toppings, creating an ideal mix of candy and savory flavors.


  • Pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce
  • Ham
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Mozzarella cheese

Invented in Ontario within the Nineteen Sixties, Hawaiian Pizza has sparked debates about pineapple on pizza however stays a well-liked selection worldwide. It was my favorite pizza and the one form I ordered from Pizza Pizza all via faculty.

7. The Bloody Caesar Cocktail

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The Caesar is certainly Canada’s nationwide drink. A Bloody Caesar is so much like America’s Bloody Mary, besides we use Clamato Juice over tomato juice. Clamato juice is a mixture of clam and tomato, however don’t let that flip you off. It’s scrumptious.

The Bloody Caesar is a beloved cocktail in Canada, and we have now adopted it as our nation’s nationwide drink. It’s a savory, spicy concoction with a novel Canadian twist: clamato juice which is a mix of clam juice, and tomato juice.


  • Vodka
  • Clamato juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Sizzling sauce (resembling Tabasco)
  • Lime juice
  • Celery salt
  • Floor black pepper
  • Garnishes: celery stick, lime wedge, pickled greens

The Bloody Caesar was invented in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell in Calgary, Alberta. He was impressed by the Italian dish Spaghetti alle Vongole and sought to seize its essence in a drink. Chell mashed clams to combine with tomato juice, creating the primary clamato juice, which turned the distinctive ingredient of the cocktail.

This drink is a favourite not solely in Calgary however in any respect Canadian bars and eating places and holds a particular place in our nation’s cultural panorama. It’s typically loved throughout brunches, on Canada Day, or my favourite, as a ‘hair of the canine’ treatment. The Bloody Caesar is customizable, with varied garnishes like celery stick, pickled beans or peppers and ranges of spiciness, making it a private expertise for every particular person.

Loads of work goes right into a Caesar made with vodka and clamato juice, from selecting the right glass, to the suitable Clamato juice, rimming the glass correctly and including simply the correct quantity of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Check our recipe here

8. Again Bacon

traditional canadian food back bacon

Talking of bacon, peameal bacon or again bacon is world-famous. Individuals wish to name it Canadian bacon, however we name it again bacon. Even Bob and Doug Mackenzie (aka Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) sang about again bacon for his or her 12 Days of Christmas spoof. 

Not like the streaky, fatty bacon typically seen in america, Canadian Bacon is created from pork loin reduce, giving it a extra ham-like texture and taste.


  • Pork loin
  • Brine (generally made with water, salt, and sugar)
  • Cornmeal (for peameal bacon)

The origin of Canadian Bacon is tied to Toronto, the place pork loins have been rolled in peameal (floor yellow peas) to protect them within the late nineteenth century. Whereas the peameal has since been changed by cornmeal, the title, and the custom proceed.

Canadian Bacon is often brined, smoked, and sliced into round medallions. It’s much less fatty than conventional bacon, making it a more healthy choice that doesn’t sacrifice taste. It’s a part of our nationwide id. Even when you don’t eat bacon (like me), Canadian Bacon remains to be an enormous a part of Canadian meals id.

9. Kraft Dinner

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The Barenaked Girls (a well-known Canadian rock band) even sang about certainly one of our favorite Canadian meals, Kraft Dinner. Of their music they talked about placing ketchup on Kraft Dinner. “a Little Dijon ketchup.” Whereas many locations worldwide have macaroni and cheese, solely Canada has KD. We Canadians love Kraft Dinner. When Covid-19 unfold, folks have been shopping for up these bins of goodness nearly as shortly as bathroom paper!

10. Tim Hortons Doughnuts

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I do know everybody loves doughnuts, and we’ve tried them worldwide, however nothing compares to Tim Horton’s doughnuts. (Donuts for our American associates.) In reality, consuming at Tim Hortons is usually a Canadian meals and cultural id submit all to itself. Persons are hooked on Tim Horton’s espresso. Lots of people order a double-double (double cream / double sugar) with an apple fritter or chocolate-dipped doughnut.

Tim Hortons has branched out and now provides oat milk, lattes, and cappuccinos. As Starbucks continues to shut across the nation, Tim Hortons remains to be going robust.

11. Smoked Salmon

traditional canadian food smoked salmon

Our airports are full of bins of the stuff, and we love the smoked sockeye salmon. Eat smoked salmon alone, or add some capers and goat’s cheese on some crackers. Oh, my mouth is watering as I write about it.

12. East Coast Lobster

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Different nations eat lobster, I do know, however within the Maritime Provinces on Canada’s East Coast, Lobster is a lifestyle.  And the lobster from the East Coast of Canada is among the many greatest on the planet. Take a look at Greatest Issues to Do in Nova Scotia – The Final Journey Information

13. Canadian Beer

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It’s a meal the place we come from! Canadians assume their beer is superior to their southern neighbour’s watery brew. As a matter of reality, we expect that their beer is superior to everybody’s. Canadians can’t determine why the remainder of the world doesn’t really feel the identical manner. Whereas many individuals assume we solely drink Molson Canadian or Labbatt’s, we have now a really massive microbrew scene. You’ll be able to drink beer from throughout Canada in small batches nationwide.

Regional Favourites – Conventional Canadian Delicacies

14. Montreal Bagels

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Montreal bagels are as widespread in Canada as New York Bagels are in America. What makes these bagels so particular? Not like different bagels, Montreal Bagals have a bigger gap, however the bagel itself is thinner, denser, and sweeter than common bagels. As a result of they’re baked in wooden fireplace ovens, the surface is crispier, too! Take a look at 29 Greatest Issues to Do in Montreal, Canada

15. Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich

Canadian dishes Schwartz's, Famous Montreal smoked meat restaurant

Talking of Montreal, Montreal Smoked Meat is one other quintessential Canadian meals. It’s a proper of passage to go to Schwartz’s Deli. They’ve been serving their well-known unique smoked meat for practically a century. A beef brisket is marinated for ten days utilizing a secret mix of herbs and spices. This place sees lineups out the door. So head on in and order a smoked meat sandwich on rye bread. Take a look at: The place to Keep in Montreal – A Information To The Greatest Locations and Neighborhoods

16. Saskatoon Berry Pie

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Saskatoon Berry Pie is a traditional Canadian dessert, significantly cherished within the Prairie provinces. It’s made with Saskatoon berries, a fruit native to North America, identified for his or her candy, nutty taste, paying homage to blueberries and almonds.


  • Saskatoon berries
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Flour or cornstarch (as a thickener)
  • Unbaked pie crusts
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon (elective)

Saskatoon Berry Pie has a deep cultural significance in Canadian prairies. Harvesting these berries is usually a household exercise, and the pie itself is a frequent function at neighborhood gatherings and household occasions. Its preparation and delight are interwoven with a way of native pleasure and custom.

The pie showcases the Saskatoon berry, a staple within the food regimen of Indigenous peoples and early settlers. These berries present a novel style and are full of vitamins. Learn extra: 23 Greatest Issues to Do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

17. Sugar Pie

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Sugar Pie, a pleasant dessert originating from Quebec, is a testomony to Canada’s French heritage. This candy pie is straightforward but indulgent, primarily made with brown sugar or maple syrup, making a wealthy, caramel-like filling encased in a flaky, buttery crust.


  • Brown sugar or maple syrup
  • Unbaked pie crust
  • Heavy cream or condensed milk
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Vanilla extract

Sugar Pie’s historical past dates again to when early settlers used native substances to create desserts. Right now, it’s a staple in Canadian celebrations, significantly throughout the holidays.

18. Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls

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Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls are a quintessential Canadian deal with, particularly widespread within the Maritime provinces. These rolls mix recent, succulent lobster meat with a lightweight dressing in a toasted bun. Learn extra: Greatest Issues to do in Nova Scotia


  • Recent lobster meat
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Recent dill or chives
  • Buttered and toasted sizzling canine buns

Lobster fishing is a major a part of Nova Scotia’s financial system, making these lobster rolls not only a culinary delight however a cultural expertise.

19. Halifax Donair

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Halifax Donair, a variation of the normal doner kebab, is a beloved road meals in Halifax. It options spiced floor meat, usually beef, roasted on a vertical spit and served in a pita with onions, tomatoes, and a signature candy garlic sauce.


  • Floor beef
  • Pita bread
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Vinegar

This dish displays the cultural range of Canada, showcasing how international cuisines have been embraced and tailored.

21. Cut up Pea Soup – A Comforting Canadian Traditional

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French Canadian Meals – Pea Soup

I ate a whole lot of pea soup as a child. I didn’t understand this was a “Canadian foodie factor” till researching this text. Maybe my French Canadian background influenced my household to eat a whole lot of cut up pea soup. However apparently, Cut up Pea Soup is a Canadian dish from French Canada. There you go. I simply discovered one thing about my nation that I had by no means identified till immediately!

Cut up Pea Soup is a hearty and nourishing staple in Canadian delicacies, significantly cherished throughout the chilly winter months. This conventional soup is created from dried cut up peas and infrequently consists of ham or bacon for added taste, together with greens like carrots, onions, and celery.


  • Dried cut up peas (inexperienced or yellow)
  • Ham bone or ham hock (or bacon)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Herbs (resembling thyme and bay leaves)
  • Salt and pepper

Tracing its roots again to Canadian fur buying and selling days, Cut up Pea Soup was a sensible selection for lengthy, harsh winters, because the substances have been simply saved, and the soup offered much-needed heat and diet.

The soup is thought for its thick, creamy texture and comforting, savory taste. It’s a typical home made meal, typically ready in massive batches to take pleasure in over a number of days because the flavors proceed to develop and improve with time.


traditional canadian foods banncok

Bannock is a straightforward and versatile bread deeply rooted in Canada’s Indigenous culinary traditions. This flatbread, which might be baked or fried, is created from a fundamental dough of flour, baking powder, water, and typically lard or oil.


  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Non-compulsory: Lard or vegetable oil

Bannock’s historical past in Canada dates again to the Indigenous peoples, who tailored it from Scottish fur merchants’ bread recipes. It has since develop into a staple in lots of Indigenous communities throughout Canada, every area including its personal variations and strategies.

The bread is loved in varied types – as a aspect for soups and stews, sweetened with jam or honey, and even used as the bottom for sandwiches. Its simplicity and ease of preparation make it a beloved meals amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Bannock has seen a resurgence in up to date Canadian delicacies, with cooks and bakers exploring its potential in conventional and fashionable dishes. It’s a testomony to the enduring nature of this meals and its significance within the tapestry of Canadian meals tradition.

Canadian Junk Meals Scene

We’ve got our personal Canadian junk meals scene and persons are typically shocked to search out that we have now a number of totally different sweet bars (chocolate bars right here in Canada) and potato chips than our American neighbors. That can assist you navigate the Canadian junk meals scene while you go to, listed below are a number of of our favourites.

22. Ketchup Chips

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We love our potato chips. Lays is a well-liked model for Ketchup chip lovers. Ruffles is our favourite ridged chip model right here in Canada. Whereas I don’t love Ketchup Chips and lean extra in the direction of salt and vinegar chips, I found that Ketchup Chips are a Canadian factor.

I imagine we pioneered the pattern of flavoring our chips right here in Canada. I’m in all probability flawed, however I’m going to go along with it. We actually do take all of it to a complete new stage from different nations. All-dressed chips or dill pickle chips, anybody? I bear in mind as soon as upon a time having a tough time discovering salt and vinegar chips whereas touring. We do love having selection right here in Canada.

23. Smarties

While you eat your Smarties do you eat the pink ones final? Smarties are just like M&Ms, solely higher. Hey I’m Canadian, I’ve to love Smarties extra; it’s my job! Made by Nestle, Smarties are slightly crunchier with a thicker shell.

24. Caramilk

Canada has a whole lot of totally different chocolate bars that you just can’t purchase in america. From The Crunchie Bar to the Espresso Crisp however I feel the Caramilk bar is the preferred. Nevertheless, I do love a espresso crisp. Caramilk is a chocolate bar full of creamy caramel. It’s produced in Toronto and once I want a chocolate repair, I get myself a Caramilk.

25. Chocolate Bars

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In Canada, we name them chocolate bars, not sweet bars. And I like different chocolate bars which are solely Canadian Huge Turk – a sweet twist on Turkish delight. Dave hates it, I adore it! Aerobar – a chocolate bar with bubbles. I discover it slightly too gentle. Mr. Huge, it’s massive, and I don’t prefer it, however once I was a child, I at all times requested for it as a result of it’s the biggest chocolate bar on the market. And eventually Wunderbar. That is Dave’s private favorite. While you come to Canada, do your self a favour, go right into a nook retailer and take a look at the chocolate bar choice.

Greatest Canadian Meals – FAQs

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What are conventional Canadian meals?

Conventional Canadian meals are a mosaic of dishes influenced by the nation’s numerous heritage, together with indigenous, French, British, and more moderen international influences. Staples like Poutine, a hearty dish of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy, and Tourtiere, a savory meat pie from Quebec, is quintessentially Canadian. Bannock, an indigenous flatbread, and Butter Tarts, a candy pastry full of butter, sugar, and egg filling, showcase Canada’s culinary heritage. These conventional meals provide a glimpse into Canada’s wealthy historical past and cultural range.

  1. Poutine: Originating from Quebec, this dish of fries, cheese curds, and gravy has develop into a nationwide favourite.
  2. Butter Tarts: A candy deal with that includes a flaky pastry shell full of a buttery, sugary filling.
  3. Maple Syrup: Canada, significantly Quebec, is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, a staple in Canadian kitchens.
  4. Saskatoon Berry Pie: A pleasant pie created from the native Saskatoon berries, discovered predominantly within the Prairie provinces.
  5. Caesar Cocktail: A singular Canadian twist on the Bloody Mary, that includes clamato juice and infrequently loved as a brunch cocktail.

What do Canadians eat at residence?

At residence, Canadians take pleasure in quite a lot of meals, reflecting the nation’s multicultural make-up. Consolation meals like macaroni and cheese, roast dinners, and home made soups are widespread for fast meals. Worldwide cuisines like Italian pasta dishes, Chinese language stir-fries, and Indian curries are additionally widespread, showcasing Canada’s numerous inhabitants. The main focus is usually on seasonal, domestically sourced substances, with a rising emphasis on wholesome, sustainable consuming. We cook dinner a whole lot of Thai meals in our home as properly. Nevertheless, my brother’s household is a giant meat and potatoes sort of family. In Canada, something goes in relation to meals.

What are the totally different meals cultures in Canada?

Canada’s meals tradition is as various as its panorama, encompassing French-Canadian, British, American, Asian and Center Jap pulse First Nations influences. Every area has its specialties – from the seafood of the Maritimes, the poutine of Quebec, to the wheat-based dishes of the Prairies. City facilities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal provide a wealthy tapestry of worldwide cuisines, reflecting the varied communities that decision Canada residence.

What are Canada’s most well-known meals?

Canada is known for a number of meals which have develop into symbols of its culinary id:

  • Poutine: A beloved dish nationwide, originating from Quebec.
  • Maple Syrup: Emblematic of Canadian delicacies and utilized in varied dishes.
  • Peameal or Again Bacon: Generally known as Canadian bacon outdoors the nation, it is a Toronto specialty.
  • Butter Tarts: A traditional Canadian dessert, easy but pleasant.
  • Ice Wine: An opulent dessert wine created from grapes frozen on the vine, primarily produced in Ontario.

And there you’ve gotten our distinctive meals to Canada.

Canada is a land made up of immigrants, and settlers of this nation make it a real melting pot of cultures and delicacies.  Similar to our nationwide id, Canadian meals can also be a mix of the most effective of each land on the planet.

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