Local "ethnic" foods

ChemGal

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Curious about what foods are considered to be local, especially if they are associated with a particular culture - this tends to be seen with Canadian-Chinese food especially. Include some of the foods that were local to you too.

For the Chinese stuff it was ginger beef that started in Calgary. Here while not officially started it's green onion cakes. Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants both tend to serve them.
 

Jae

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Curious about what foods are considered to be local, especially if they are associated with a particular culture - this tends to be seen with Canadian-Chinese food especially. Include some of the foods that were local to you too.

For the Chinese stuff it was ginger beef that started in Calgary. Here while not officially started it's green onion cakes. Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants both tend to serve them.
Ginger beef started in Calgary? I had no idea. I'm unaware of any such foods that started in Toronto. I felt most westernized Chinese food started in America.
 

ChemGal

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Ginger beef started in Calgary? I had no idea. I'm unaware of any such foods that started in Toronto. I felt most westernized Chinese food started in America.
I think this article is interesting and explains the reason for all the local options. Read it a while ago, today came across an article about green onion cakes and Edmonton (although I already knew they were a local thing here).
Chop Suey Nation: A road trip uncovers the lives behind small-town Chinese-Canadian food
 

Jae

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I think this article is interesting and explains the reason for all the local options. Read it a while ago, today came across an article about green onion cakes and Edmonton (although I already knew they were a local thing here).
Chop Suey Nation: A road trip uncovers the lives behind small-town Chinese-Canadian food
Interesting article ChemGal. We go to a number of ethnic restaurants here in Toronto. There used to be a great Chinese-Canadian restaurant in the small town of Elk Point, AB (north of Edmonton) when we lived there about 10 years ago.
 

BetteTheRed

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I've always loved the generous portions of the local Chinese-Canadian takeouts. Get a "dinner for one", add an egg roll/spring roll and you have a meal for two plus lunch the next day...
 

BetteTheRed

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Also, deep fried wontons with cream cheese in the middle, served with the ubiquitous "sweet and sour"/pink sauce, might be a "local" (Central Ontario) specialty?
 

Jae

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I've always loved the generous portions of the local Chinese-Canadian takeouts. Get a "dinner for one", add an egg roll/spring roll and you have a meal for two plus lunch the next day...
My friends and I used to do that back in radio college. There was a great Chinese food place. We'd buy a dinner like that (it came with entree, egg roll, and a chicken soup). In the winter, we'd eat about half of it for one meal, then hang the rest out the window to preserve it for the next.
 

ChemGal

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Interesting article ChemGal. We go to a number of ethnic restaurants here in Toronto. There used to be a great Chinese-Canadian restaurant in the small town of Elk Point, AB (north of Edmonton) when we lived there about 10 years ago.
Took a look on a map, quite a bit East, so probably too far to make a trip for dinner unfortunately.
 
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ChemGal

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Also, deep fried wontons with cream cheese in the middle, served with the ubiquitous "sweet and sour"/pink sauce, might be a "local" (Central Ontario) specialty?
Panda Hut used to do them with a bit of crab as well. I don't know if they originated in Ontario.
 

Mendalla

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The interesting thing is, when you know how Chinese cooking works, this is all quite in character. They don't have fixed recipes, but learn what goes with what and how to mix this and that and so on. So you have regional cuisines (Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, Shanghai, etc.), but those are largely defined by ingredients, not dishes. Coastal cuisines like Cantonese and Shanghainese tend to have more seafood, interior cuisines like Szechuan and Hunan more beef, mutton, etc. (even yak in parts of Szechuan). The coastal cuisines tend to be milder, the interior cuisines spicier (I have eaten real Szechuan cooking in Szechuan province and my mouth hated me even as my tastebuds loved me). But then you have variations within regions and then you have every cook seasoning and mixing things to their own taste.

So having regional dishes and favorites in Chinese cooking in North America is just replicating that pattern from their homeland. It is literally in the nature of how the Chinese cook.

And I, for one, am thankful for that.:cool:

BTW, "The Search for General Tso" is a great documentary to watch if you love Chinese food. Unfortunately, Netflix seems to have lost it but if I find another source, I'll post it.
 

crazyheart

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I hope this isn't too off track. Several years ago,I think it was the MacKensie Art Gallery in Regina.
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had an exhibition of paintings of Chinese Restaurants on the Prairies. Every town big enough had

one. The paintings that I remember had the table that a couple sat at ,looking out on the

very unbusy street. The stools with the few sitting eating. The table at the back where

the grandfather sat eating rice. On and on down the wall, a story about the Chinese

and their restaurants that framed the history of small towns on the prairies. I don't recall the artist.
 
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I think "Pot Stickers" originated at Hon's in Vancouver - though, the dumplings themselves were probably not their invention.
 
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Vancouver has a Korean fried chicken place with their own special house variety (they have a few options) that blends brown sugar with Kimchi spice - sweet, salty, spicey - addictive and awesome! Goes great with Korean beer. It's also way too expensive. I really miss Vancouver for ethnic food. For the most part, though, it was easy to find cheap, family owned restaurants that served all kinds of really good food. Here, those exist but they are not cheap. The prices are comparative - because it's so touristy, I think - with prices of places like Earls or Moxies. No decent interesting meals under $10 here. In Van, I could always count on a Falafel/ Shawarma place to fill me up, with tasty and fairly nutritious food, for about $6. It was good for 2 meals if I wasn't super hungry.
 
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Jae

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Vancouver has a Korean fried chicken place with their own special house variety (they have a few options) that blends brown sugar with Kimchi spice - sweet, salty, spicey - addictive and awesome! Goes great with Korean beer. It's also way too expensive. I really miss Vancouver for ethnic food. For the most part, though, it was easy to find cheap, family owned restaurants that served all kinds of really good food. Here, those exist but they are not cheap. The prices are comparative - because it's so touristy, I think - with prices of places like Earls or Moxies. No decent interesting meals under $10 here.
Love Korean fried chicken. We have some great places for it here in Toronto too. Course, the best KFC I've had was in Korea.
 
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There are several Vietnamese places here. I like Vietnamese BBQ sub sandwiches. The flavour is unique. They are twice the price, here, though, as they were in Vancouver.
 

Jae

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I was thinking the name "Pot Stickers" originated at at Chinese restaurant called Hon's in Vancouver. Though, I am not sure.
It's possible that the name comes from Vancouver. I really don't sense that it came from elsewhere.

Toronto being Canada's most multicultural city, we have plenty of great ethnic restaurants here.
 
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