Most countries have a national dish, or at the very least, a desert. In Spain, I’ve been asked a couple times do to “cuisine culture exchange” in which we take turns making our national dishes. It’s fun when you’re in a hostel and you get tons of different food. I mean, I would imagine it would be fun. I’ve never taken part. Why, you ask? Well, I’m from Canada where we build snowforts and igloos, we can ride a quad or a snowmobile before we’re 5 years old and most of us are capable of skating, snowboarding, or skiing. Ask me to participate in a “winter sports culture exchange” and I’ll gladly teach y’all how to make the perfect snowball or see 9 degrees Celsius as t-shirt weather. However, ask me to make you my national cuisine and all I can do is say “here’s your pountine yup it looks nasty but its good just eat it it’s fine it won’t fill you up but it’s a great appetizer okay someone else can go now thanks.”
I have the red hair, so I’ve thought about pretending to be Irish and make lamb. But I hate lamb so that’s not gonna happen. Also, I am the worst at accents. (My friends think I’m okay and then the native speakers are like “what are you doing? Stop.”) I have ideas of Spanish recipes such as paella or my personal favourite, patatas bravas. But then again, I don’t really look Spanish and I can’t even pronounce the dishes correctly. Maybe I could be Chinese and make– nope. Not gonna work either. I’m not Native American but I think I could make bannock. Or, I just thought of this, I could stop hiding behind this world traveling persona and go back to my roots of a homeschooled farm girl. That national dish would be a sandwich with homemade bread, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers from the garden and bacon from old Jimmy the pig that I helped butcher two weeks earlier. Served with a big glass of milk, fresh from the cow.
I like that idea, but that’s a lot of time and preparation and ingredients I’d need to scour up here.
So tonight, I am making poutine in Valencia, Spain and I hope I can make my fellow canadian travellers proud. I also hope I can figure out something else to eat, like Spanish jamón and water. We’ll make it work.
If anyone has any “Canadian” dishes that would be enjoyable for foreigners, let me know. And no, Dad, I’m not going to serve them moose heart stew. Maybe another time. Probably not.
Anyway, this cooking adventure has shown me that Canadians have a lot of our own sports or activities and jokes, but we pretty much just eat everyone else’s food. Apple pie from the states, scones from Scotland, espresso from Italy, pancakes from every awesome household; and since Quebec doesn’t even want to be part of Canada, and the best poutine is in Montreal, there goes that dish too.
Since I woke up late today, that’s all my mind has had time to think about. Enjoy your afternoon world!