Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mmmmmm Canada

At the beginning of June Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Jennifer The Domestic Goddess asked us Canadians and wanna-be's: What foods do you think make Canada, Canada?

This was a real head scratcher for me. Canada is such a melting pot of countries and traditions. Should I write about a food I remember my Mom making when I was little? Maybe something from England, in honor of my relatives who emigrated to Canada? Or an ingredient grown locally? I have spent weeks thinking about this. To the point I almost gave up. Should I write about salmon? Scallops? Berries? Rhubarb again? Kraft Dinner? Argh.

So I approached it from a different angle. What's my favorite thing about Canada in the summer? Going to the farmers markets. And what do I buy every week at the market? Bannock.

Bannock was adopted by the North American Aboriginal people from recipes brought over from Scotland. Originally bannock was made from oatmeal; in North America it was made from corn meal, nut meal and flour from ground bulbs. Today bannock is made with white or wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt as the main ingredients. Some recipes call for eggs or lard. Others use milk instead of water. Some nuts or berries too. These days there are 3 main cooking methods of bannock - oven baking, pan frying and deep frying. The bannock we buy for our breakfast every Saturday morning is deep fried. I found a fantastic recipe, plus the above information here.

After frying and draining the puffy bread we had to decide how to top it. At the market you have two choices - with jam or with cheese. We always go with jam, so we shredded some of the smoked Gouda cheese we bought from Gort's Gouda Cheese. It was delicious.

For the next piece I borrowed from Jasmine and made a fast version of her blueberry maple syrup. Bannock, blueberries, and maple syrup are truly made for each other.
And lastly I couldn't resist trying out some of my homemade bannock with raspberry jam, just like I have every Saturday morning. Not quite as wonderful as theirs, but pretty darn fine.

Thanks to Jasmine and Jennifer for putting on Mmmmm Canada! Have a happy and safe Canada Day!


sleepingbearinthekitchen said...

Oh the things one learns around these parts.... I have never heard tell of Bannock but I am heading of to the kitchen shortly. This sounds wonderful!!!!

reenie said...

Oooh... I remember making bannok over the fire at camp, back in Canada. Great memories and great post!

Peabody said...

Ha...I considered making Kraft Dinner. :)
You Bannock looks good. Being Scottish Canadian I think it was a great choice.

ejm said...

Excellent post!! While I've HEARD of bannock, I've never tried it. I had always thought it was basically baking powder biscuit dough that was wrapped around a stick and cooked over an open fire.

I didn't know bannock could be deep fried! Wow. I really love the sound of bannock with the melted cheese.


jasmine said...

What a fabulous contribution! So glad you chose this and showed its versatility. I've never seen it at our FMs--it's usually something sausagey, pierogy-y, or apple frittery.

Thanks for participating.


fruttodellapassione said...

Bannock!! I remember having to make this as an assignment in elementary school! I loved it! How great to find it here, and how great to have a recipe for it again!

madcapcupcake said...

I grew up on this stuff, but you know what - I never once had a sweet version, so THANKS for opening my eyes to that awesome possibility. We just sprinkled ours with salt and ate it like that :)

Christine said...

I havent had bannock since summer camp - at least 15 years ago! I wish my farmers market had a bannock seller! Happy Canada Day!