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The Fascinating World of Canadian Food Culture Overseas Pakistanis Need to Know

24 Aug 2023

Canada is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, friendly people, and varied culture. But the nation is also equally fascinating when it comes to a variety of food. Like expats from many other developing countries, more than 300,000 overseas Pakistanis live in Canada, out of which most are overseas workers who have to send money to Pakistan from Canada for financial support. Wouldn’t it be fascinating for these Pakistanis to learn about Canadian cuisine? 

Several factors impact Canadian food culture, including geography, climate, history, and immigration patterns. Canadian cuisine is a mash-up of various cultural traditions, and it's no surprise that it's become popular around the globe, including among the Pakistani diaspora. Although Canadian cuisine is less well-known than Italian or French cuisine, it is a blend of diverse cultural influences that make it both distinct and delicious. 

Canadian cuisine is renowned for its indigenous effects and various flavours and ingredients. Local dishes also highlight traditional British and French dishes dating back to colonial times, which is why you'll frequently see items like meatloaf or Ratatouille on the menu - all served with a Canadian twist.

For overseas Pakistanis interested in learning more about the intriguing world of Canadian food culture, here is a short overview of some dishes and flavours that distinguish Canadian cuisine.

Canada’s Geography and Climate

Canada's geography and climate are unique, and they significantly influence the country's food culture. Canada is the world's second-largest nation, with a diverse landscape ranging from Arctic tundra to fertile prairies. The nation can access a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, and game. Canada's climate is also diverse, varying from area to region. 

The nation experiences long, cold winters and brief, warm summers. This means that during the winter, Canadians depend on preserved foods and enjoy fresh produce during the summer. This has resulted in a tradition of food preservation, such as pickling, canning, and smoking.

Influence of Indigenous Cuisine

Indigenous cuisine has had a significant impact on Canadian food culture. Indigenous peoples have lived in Canada for thousands of years, developing their cooking methods and recipes. Bannock, pemmican, and wild game are among Canada's most famous Indigenous foods.
Bannock is a type of flatbread typically prepared over an open fire. It's prepared with flour, baking powder, and water and goes well with butter, jam, or honey. Pemmican was originally made from dried meat, fat, and berries and is a high-energy food. During the winter months, when fresh food was limited, it was a staple food for Indigenous peoples. Wild wildlife, such as moose, caribou, and bison, is also common.

As an overseas Pakistani, you may be thinking about how to manage to taste such a variety of foods when you have to essentially make money transfers to Pakistan from Canada regularly. Don’t worry; despite the challenging and expensive life overseas, with effective budgeting techniques, you can manage your finances efficiently so as to enjoy different foods in Canada.

Influence of European Cuisine

European cuisine has also had an impact on Canadian food culture. Various European nations, including the French, British, and Portuguese, colonised Canada. Each group brought its culinary traditions, which impacted the country's food culture.
French cuisine has had the most significant influence on Canadian culinary culture, particularly in Quebec. Tourtière (meat pie), poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds), and cretons are examples of hearty, rustic French-Canadian meals.

Do you want to learn about some effective budgeting techniques? Click Here.

Let’s learn about the variety of Canadian cuisine to let you taste different international foods and pick the top ones for your weekend meals and parties with colleagues.

Canadian Cuisine - A Blend of Taste, Variety, and Cultures



Poutine is a Canadian dish of French potatoes topped with cheese curds and gravy. The combo of crispy fries, creamy cheese, and savoury sauce may not sound like a culinary masterpiece, but it is both gratifying and addictive. Poutine is available in many quick food restaurants and casual restaurants across Canada.
Poutine is arguably Canada's most famous dish - that's a fact! Poutine may be the classic Canadian dish, but most locals have a love-hate connection with it. On the other hand, we cannot get enough of this sinfully decadent meal, which consists of a rich, peppery gravy generously ladled on hot fries and topped with squeaky cheese curds.

Maple Syrup

There's nothing more Canadian than maple syrup. A maple leaf is the centrepiece of the Canadian flag, so you know maple syrup must be a key ingredient in any national dish. You'll see maple syrup-flavoured food in Canada, from bacon to baked beans. Maple is the most delicious natural sweetener on earth.

Butter Tarts

Maple Syrup Pie accomplishes the magnificent accomplishment of turning syrup into custard. Maple syrup pie, a favourite Canada Day, Thanksgiving, or Easter dish, mixes eggs, heavy cream, flour, and maple syrup to make a fluffy custard set inside a buttery crust. This pie's wonderful texture reminds me of a buttermilk pie filling.

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars are a no-bake dessert developed in the British Columbia city of Nanaimo. The delicacy is divided into three layers: a crumbly chocolate and coconut foundation, a creamy custard filling, and a chocolate layer. Many Canadians enjoy Nanaimo bars, which can be found in most bakeries and cafes across the nation.


Beaver Tails is a modern dessert version of Bannock made of fried pastry dough in the form of a beaver tail. They have yeast, milk, sugar, and a lot of butter, unlike Bannock, for a doughnut-like consistency. Beaver Tails can be dusted with conventional sugar and cinnamon. Most people like to get inventive with the toppings, such as melted chocolate or lemon vanilla glaze.

When you read about such a delicious and unique variety of foods available around you, you can’t resist trying a few of them out. But how to buy these foods when you’re living on a tight budget in a foreign country? Besides other strategies to make savings, you can save enough while transferring funds through a trusted service like ACE Money Transfer. Making an online money transfer from Canada to Pakistan via ACE’s services lets you benefit from competitive exchange rates and low transfer costs along with several chances to win enticing rewards. It can be the best solution for you to save money and taste a variety of Canadian cuisine.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons has been a Canadian institution offering Canadians coffee and doughnuts since 1964. The global chain now has over 4,000 locations, and its menu has grown to include sandwiches, soups, and other baked goods. Tim Hortons is a Canadian food culture institution and a must-see for anyone interested in tasting Canadian cuisine.

Wild Pacific Salmon

Wild Pacific Salmon, which is sourced from the abundant waters around British Columbia, is highly valued all over the globe. The Sandbar Restaurant in Vancouver, known for its Cedar Plank Salmon served with creamy dill sauce, is the best spot to enjoy this gloriously fresh delicacy.

Arctic Char

Few freshwater fish choose to live in the far north, which is why Arctic Char is so highly valued throughout Canada. This fish tastes like a delectable cross between trout and salmon, with pink-hued flesh and paper-thin edible skin. If you ever find yourself in Yellowknife, you should stop by Bullock's Bistro, which specialises in this highly flavorful fish.

Nova Scotia Lobster

This region's lobster, known as "the lifeblood of Nova Scotia," has an exceptionally fresh taste that attracts tourists from all over the globe. Most Halifax waterfront restaurants serve them straight from the tank or, in some cases, directly from the ocean. This is best done with a warm buttered roll.

Canadian Salad

Canadian Salad is a famous Canada Day Summer recipe that includes ingredients from every province in Canada. It's loaded with kale, peaches, bacon, cheese, nuts, and barley tossed in a maple and apple cider-infused oil dressing. It's a side dish salad for a Canada Day cookout, but it's filling enough to serve as the main course.

Saskatoon Berry Pie

The Saskatoon berry is frequently described as sweet and almondy in flavour, making it an ideal choice for the perfect pie. A slice of this will truly change your existence. It's no surprise that Saskatoon was called after it rather than the other way around.

Pictou Country Pizza’s

Pictou Country Pizza originated in northern Canada and is distinguished by its thick, chewy crust, Halifax pepperoni, and spicy brown sauce.

It's so famous in Canada that the country holds an annual Pictou Country Pizza contest in which Canadians pick the best pizza restaurant. Any native will tell you it goes best with a chilled Pale Ale.

Pouding Chomeur 

This famous dessert translates as 'unemployment pudding'. The Pouding Chomeur was first prepared in Quebec during the Great Depression and consisted of stale bread and caramel made from melting either brown or white sugar. On the other hand, modern variations are prepared with sponge cake batter and Canadian maple syrup.

Wrap Up

Finally, Canadian cuisine is a varied and exciting fusion of cultural influences that is both delicious and distinctive. There is something for everyone, from poutine to butter pastries to Tim Hortons. These dishes are a great spot to start for expat Pakistanis who want to learn more about the fascinating world of Canadian food culture.

Pro tip: Take a little extra away from this blog for expat Pakistanis living in Canada. They can send money to Pakistan online from Canada using ACE Money Transfer online within seconds. ACE offers fee-free, instant, and secure transfers to all parts of Pakistan.


What defines Canadian food culture?

Canadian food culture is an eclectic mix of Indigenous, British, French, and recent immigrant influences. Staples like poutine, butter tarts, and tourtière are iconic, but Canada's diverse culinary landscape also features dishes inspired by global cultures, making it a rich and varied cuisine.

How have overseas Pakistanis influenced Canadian food culture?

Over the years, the Pakistani diaspora has brought rich flavours and dishes like biryani, nihari, and kebabs to Canada. These dishes have been integrated and sometimes fused with Canadian ingredients, leading to unique culinary creations that represent the blending of both cultures.

Are there any notable Pakistani-Canadian fusion dishes?

Absolutely! There are innovations like maple-infused chapli kebabs or poutine with spicy chicken curry as toppings. These fusion dishes reflect the harmony of Pakistani flavours with Canadian classics.

Where can one find authentic Canadian and Pakistani-Canadian fusion food?

Major Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have a plethora of restaurants offering both authentic Canadian dishes and Pakistani-Canadian fusion cuisine. These cities have diverse populations that drive the demand for such innovative culinary experiences.

Why is understanding Canadian food culture important for overseas Pakistanis?

Familiarity with Canadian food culture allows overseas Pakistanis to better integrate and connect with the local community. Moreover, understanding the culinary landscape offers opportunities for business, collaboration, and cultural exchange, bridging gaps and fostering a sense of unity among diverse populations.

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