Making sure classic Canadian dishes don’t get lost in translation

A stack of flapjacks drizzled in maple syrup with a side of bacon and sausage: all part of a complete and scrumptious breakfast.

At least in Canada.

While restaurateurs say most Canadian culinary exports are successful, sometimes things can get lost in translation.

Here are some international takes on Canadian classics:


Paryse Lambert, owner of the Stuffed Beaver in Jacksonville, Fla., says she has a “no-brainer” pitch for the poutine-uninitiated: think mashed potatoes and gravy, but indescribably better.

The French-Canadian eatery serves an American-inflected iteration of the dish called “The Michigan” with a heap of Lambert’s signature chili.

If that doesn’t satisfy, there’s also ”The Hangover,” which comes with barbecued hamburger, hotdog slices, crumbled sausage and bacon, drenched in a melange of gravy, hot sauce and maple syrup.

Whatever poutine option they pick, Lambert said first-timers always come back with the same review.

“They’ll try it and they’ll fall in love.”


BJ’s Canadian Bar in Albufeira, Portugal, offers an array of Canadian cocktails. But owner Pat Ferreira says there’s one drink that outdoes them all: the caesar.

In Canada, a celery-garnished glass of red-hued booze is a standard brunch feature. But abroad, Ferreira said one crucial ingredient is hard to come by: Clamato juice.

The bar imports the clam-broth beverage by the gallon, and once, Ferreira said he had to resort to asking his wife to bring back the powder-based version back from Canada.

Pancakes, bacon and sausage

“They’re not on the same plate are they?”

This question stumped Mike Vandenbrink, the Canadian co-owner of Mollydookers in Apple Tree Creek, Australia, when he first heard locals express discomfort about their pancakes touching a side of bacon or sausage.

“(Australians) are just so weirded out by it,” Vandenbrink said.

He’ll offer to separate the breakfast components onto individual dishes. But the accommodation comes with a warning: “The best bite is when you’ve got a little pancake left and maple and bacon, and then you realize you made a mistake by not starting like that.”

This proved to be true in the case of a 10-year-old boy who was initially appalled by the breakfast platter, but came back to the restaurant the next day screaming, “I want bacon and pancakes!”

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