I had tried dill before we moved to Canada, but I’d never known that it was such a staple of Canadian cuisine. You get dill pickles, in the form of a very large slice of pickled cucumber, served with your sandwich, burger, or practically anything else.
Not enough dill for you? Well, there’s dill as a herb on your salmon, dill as a flavour in your chips (crisps to the English), and also in your pasta.
And dill is not the only food that is featured in Canada. Cinnamon is another. OK, it is a spice but especially around Halloween it gets everywhere. It is in your muffin, latte, pumpkin pie and even, most horribly, in your oatmeal (porridge).
There also seems to be a secret list of approved vegetables. These vegetables will be the only ones you find on the menu and are always available in the supermarket. Broccoli, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms make the list. Artichoke hearts make it, but the rest of the vegetable is rarely seen. I believe the list makers started out with good intentions: “these are all foods with health giving properties”. But now it is pretty hard for other veggies to gain a place on your plate, or a prominent place in the supermarket shelves.
There are other foods that you may find your kids eating. The top two are both known by their acronyms: PBJ and KD.
PBJ is a Peanut Butter and Jelly (Jam) sandwich. This is a taste that I acquired young, since my mother was Canadian. Now it is the sandwich that our kids go for whenever they’re in a hurry, or want a comforting meal. Often the PBJ is upgraded by adding a banana.
KD is arguably worse as it is used for Kraft Dinner. This is a meal that teenagers, particularly boys, favour. It is basically macaroni cheese from a box. It is easy to prepare and you can keep a case of them in the house ready for any hungry, roaming teenagers. They will devour the stuff.
One amusing sport to try is to see how many Canadians will eat Marmite. This peculiarly British spread is salty, dark and nutritious. It is also entirely repellent to all Canadians. Clearly they were not brought up on Marmite soldiers. I guess it just goes to show you what you eat is based on what you got to know as a kid.
I hope you all get to love Canadian cuisine and can forgive the Canadians for their quirks.