While I may live in Ontario, I am still a Québécoise at heart so it wouldn’t do for me not to acknowledge Québec’s National Holiday. I have many fond memories of celebrating the 24th of June over the years and today I’m going to raise a glass to toast la belle province. In honor of this glorious day, here are some of my favorite dishes from my home province and where to get them in Toronto.
Duh. This dish needs no introduction. And you know that’s true when it’s been added to McDonald’s menu. It’s so mainstream now that you can get it from almost any fast food place in Ontario. Smoke’s Poutinerie is great if you want to get crazy with toppings, but for the purist, go to Poutini’s.
2. Smoked Meat Sandwich
Yes, I am aware that Schwartz’s is six hours away. It’s pretty awful to tease you with something as amazing as the best smoked meat sandwich but then realize that you can’t get it. However, I do have something very close to the real deal. Some might even say it’s better (gasp!). Go to Caplansky’s to satisfy your craving and you won’t regret it.
If there’s one dish that makes me nostalgic and miss home the most, it’s this one. Having spent many Christmases in the region that does it the best, Lac-Saint-Jean, this dish will forever be special in my heart. I still remember peeling the dozens and dozens of potatoes and watching my grandmother make the dough that would become the amazing crust. While I can’t share her recipe, I can recommend this one, which is pretty close. Or if you don’t have the time to make your own, since let’s be honest, who does, then Bannock’s version is very, very good.
4. Tarte au sucre
Or sugar pie for those of anglophones out there. I have a pretty serious sweet tooth but thankfully Québec had the perfect answer. I don’t know how I ever lived without knowing this glorious dessert existed. And the best part? You don’t even need to find a bakery in Toronto to buy one since it’s super easy to make. This recipe only has three ingredients (yeah, that’s right, three!) and can be mixed with your finger.
Man, I miss Québec. While I do love living in Toronto, I wish I could celebrate La Saint-Jean back home. I’ll just have to make do with eating a poutine and having sugar pie for dessert. Bonne Saint-Jean everyone and happy Tuesday!