Donair of Canada

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Canada has been a country of intrigue to me for a few years. Although it’s along the northern border of Minnesota, I have not explored it. Wild spaces, miles of quiet nothing, blue waters, and rugged landscapes call me north. The desert is lovely in its own way, but I feel its drought in my bones.

The only time I’ve been to Canada was the spring of 2015; Spencer and I drove from Toledo, Ohio to Niagara Falls. On the drive back, we took the Canadian way along the northern border of Lake Erie to Detroit, and then south to Toledo. We drove around the entirety of Lake Erie that weekend.

Researching the national dish(s) of Canada made me feel… puzzled. It’s hard to define Canadian cuisine in a concise sentence. The dishes have dashes of American, British, and French influences, plus blatantly Canadian recipes (i.e. the fried pastry, “beaver tail”). Poutine, undoubtedly, was the favorite dish. A mound of french fries, topped with cheese curds & gravy, Poutine reminds me of my Midwestern roots. Though the dish plucked some sentimental strings, I did not want to make Poutine. It is too heavy for my tastes. This was a dish where I simply said, No, it is not worth the time, money, or effort. I’ll wait for the real thing when I visit Canada someday. (It will happen.)

We opted for a dish known in Nova Scotia, the Donair. It is like a gyro, but its made with beef and has a different sauce than the traditional Tzatziki. Again, it wasn’t new, exciting, or scream, “Canada!” to me, but I was reminded of how a country varies across regions. Like the United States, whose national dish is a hamburger, there are other dishes that better represent each state or region than a quarter pounder with cheese.

Lastly, I tried to get Spencer to watch Anne of Green Gables with me in honor of Canada. Describing the fiery red head of Prince Edward Island, with her long soliloquies and budding romance with the dreamy Gilbert… well, it didn’t work, and he said no to a great Canadian treasure.

So for now, au revoir, Canada! Until we meet again.

Ingredient List

  • Pita
  • Beef
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper

For the Sauce

  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • White vinegar

Quick Quotes

S: “Tasty dish from our friends of the North. Not very new on the flavor front.”

T: “Pretty good, pretty familiar. Wish I used evaporated milk for sauce.”

Trivial Trifles

  • The capital of Canada is Ottawa
  • The official languages are English and French
  • Canada has one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world
  • Canada’s government officially acknowledged “Multiculturalism,” or celebrating and welcoming diversity, through policies like the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988
  • It’s border with the United States is the largest land border in the world

 

 

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