Seriously, what is Canadian food? Canada is a huge country with an incredibly diverse population. Our First Peoples relied on the regional plants and animals long, long before other people arrived. Their diets were as varied as the regions they lived in. People from every part of the world have since added their ingredients, flavours, and traditions to the mix.
As Canadians, we each have our own idea of comfort food, flavoured by family traditions, where we were raised, and where we’ve travelled.
Karen is a relative newcomer to the prairies (she’s only lived here for 29 years, after all). Even so, she hasn’t escaped the influence of one of our major cultural groups: Ukrainians. Enter one of our comfort foods: the Pyryshky.
For over 25 years, Karen has been making pyryshky or pyrizhky: light, flaky buns filled with cheese and sauerkraut.
The recipe card also lists a meat filling, and there are other versions including potato, cabbage, & even fruit. Polish and Russian versions of the stuffed bun add to the diversity, with their own twists.
Don’t hand-written recipes add to the nostalgia of our favourite recipes? They bring to mind the mom, sister, or friend who shared them with us. This is, perhaps, the epitome, of comfort food for me; food with the memory of shared meals and experiences.
The recipe is written on a postcard featuring another Ukrainian classic, Holubtsi (holopchi or cabbage rolls). Growing up in small prairie towns, you’d be hard pressed to attend a wedding or pot luck dinner that didn’t include holopchi (cabbage rolls) and perogies (dumplings).
In the fall and winter, countless variations of borscht (ruby red beet soup) grace many Canadian tables. Mine is vegetarian, but there are people who couldn’t imagine borscht without bacon, beef, or keilbasa (garlic sausage). Any way you do it, don’t forget the fresh dill weed!
For supper tonight, we’ll be making our version of poutine, that French Canadian favourite of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Tomorrow, I’ll whip up something inspired by Asian flavours. That’s Canadian food.
Oh, yeah! This traditional Ukrainian recipe for pyryshky? It was shared by a woman of Icelandic decent. That’s Canadian food on the prairies for you!
I’ve sort of fallen off my schedule of posting this tasty little feature on a weekly basis. The transition from winter travels to home life threw me for a loop, but I think I’m back on track now. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
The original blogging challenge of keeping this feature limited to 300 words and 2 pictures has ended, so I’m feeling free to expand a bit. I’ll still try to keep the word count down, but I may just play fast and loose with the picture count. Woo hoo! I’m a wild child!