Canadian cuisine?

Amongst all the things that struck me in Vancouver, the first one is the fact that there isn’t a legitimate Canadian cuisine.

By Fernando de Paulo / Vancouver


Before going to Vancouver, I researched and read a lot about its way of life, its social and cultural habits, and its passion for hockey. I also learned about, the economic characteristics of the city, and the massive presence of foreigners in the city, which makes Vancouver one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. I was prepared for almost everything, except for the simple but no less shocking surprise I was to have: the fact that there isn’t something that can be called the cuisine of Vancouver.

I landed in the city and experienced my first meal in the homestay, which to me was somewhat strange food. Simply put, I was not really into what I was eating. Steamed rice, no salt, no oil, no spice. No taste, life was absent, completely bland. As a follow up, boiled vegetables, hard, also with no seasoning. And the main course? Uh, a spicy meat, terribly heavy, and with all the spices and seasonings that humans have created and more plus. About five new species were discovered that day. My stomach was unable to take anymore, but I continued, firmly determined to try everything. The days of sandwiches, pizzas, ready meals and semi instant staples remain forever as memories of my university days, in Bauru. New country, new language, new life and new food.

Unfortunately the cuisine of the city was unable to absorb the different nationalities living here, to create a “cosmopolitan cuisine in Vancouver.” A great opportunity gone to waste.”

Although there is a huge list of excellent restaurants in Vancouver, none of them is dedicated to making the simple but essential for those like me who like to try the typical local: a food born and created here. Of course I like to encounter many dishes from around the world, with particular attention to thousands of small restaurants of Japanese food, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and so on. The maturity and experience acquired over the years convinced me that eating is one of the pleasures which cannot be compromised. There is much to appreciate in a good meal. It’s easy to find a meal comprised of a lot of oil, fat and preservatives, including hamburgers and pizzas. Without speaking further ill about the average hamburger and pizza, there is not much else I can say.

Meanwhile, I continue to attend numerous Asian restaurants, wondering where I can find some remnant of real Canadian food.