Celebrate Food Day Canada by enjoying the tastes and flavours of our great nation
Throwing a party during these extraordinary times may be considered difficult at best – but not impossible. So say the organizers of the iconic Food Day Canada, coming up this Saturday, Aug. 1, and an opportunity for everyone across the nation to unfurl the picnic blanket and set a feast to celebrate all the great foods of our country.
And, even though COVID-19 has impacted on the festivities, Food Day Canada at its core is a very simple concept: Just shop, cook and eat like a Canadian. And share your food stories with pride.
„Because the harvest is everywhere in our nation, Canadians are encouraged to be mindful of the local/regional/national ingredients and use them, not only at this time of year, but whenever they are available,“ says award-winning author and food activist Anita Stewart, who has been at the helm of this volunteer-driven event since its conception back in 2003.
Stewart says every year Food Day Canada gets bigger and better – and this year’s pandemic is certainly not stopping organizers from spreading the news that Canada is home to the most awesome food scene on the planet.
„When I began this event, the goal was to collectively support the foods of Canada – specifically beef, and the devastation in that industry at that time,“ says Stewart, adding that this year, the messaging is even stronger, more vibrant and one of gratitude in the bounty produced by Canadian farmers, fishers, processors, Indigenous foods, home cooks and chefs who make this „the most exciting time to be alive in the food life of Canada.“
Ultimately, it’s all about support for the food industry, especially during these trying times: „We’re aiming at a lot of agricultural engagement. COVID has shown us the holes in the system when we depend upon imports. It’s time to be way more self sufficient.“
The day is also about sharing: „We’re asking for Canadians to share their food stories with each other through social media while leading other nations in cultural diversity, food ethics, magnificent flavours – and fun!“ says Stewart. Part of the day will also see a special Canada-wide illumination map that includes the CN Tower in Toronto and the Yukon’s Air North illuminating one of its 737s on the tarmac with an array of foods.
So go ahead and plan a party this Saturday, be it in your kitchen or backyard, and with COVID-19 protocols in place. If ever we need a reason to celebrate it’s the fact that Canada’s a nation of magnificent mouthfuls of the best foods in the world.
DID YOU KNOW:
– Canada produces most of its own salt: sea salt (on both coasts) and mined (Goderich, Ont.).
– There are only two areas that harvest sugar beets for granulated sugar: south-west Ontario and Lethbridge, Alta.
– Canada’s G.S. Dunn dry mustard millers, is one of the the largest mustard companies on earth; Canadian mustard seeds are considered to be the finest on the globe.
– Dr. Al Slinkard, the father of the Canadian lentil industry (we grow more than any other nation), still lives in Saskatoon.
– New varieties of beans are being constantly cross-bred, selected and released by the University of Guelph breeding program.
– Seaweeds are becoming the hot new veggies on both coasts.
– When you pick up imported Italian pasta, it’s most often made with Canadian durum wheat.
– 90% of Canadian farms are family owned.
– Pawpaw trees grown in southern Ontario.
Pina Colada and Lentil Cream Pie
You always bring pie to the picnic! This one celebrates all good things in Canada courtesy of Canadian Lentils; Lentils.org.
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) graham crumbs
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) liquid honey
2 1/2 (625 mL) cups red split lentils, cooked
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup (75 mL) liquid honey
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) canola oil
1 tsp. (5 mL) cornstarch
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
14 oz (350 g) can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Combine graham crumbs, butter and honey. Mix well. Press into 22 cm (9 inch) pie plate. In a food processor, combine lentils, cream cheese, honey, oil, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Blend until pureed. Pour into mixing bowl. Stir in pineapple and coconut. Pour into pie shell. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Cut into 12 wedges.
— Toronto Sun