Experiential travel is all about experiencing – mindfully engaging and learning about new places, new cultures, new communities. Our conceptions of travel have changed since the discovery of the airplane and the perceived decreasing size of the globe. Indeed, globalization has created a world where thousands more of us are travelling annually to different countries and different cultures.
Travel used to be simply moving next door, or down the road, or to the city centre.
My Oma actually made her local newspaper for being the first person in town to make an international call when she called home to the Netherlands after first emigrating to Canada.
Times have changed!
But how we experience has not. We still experience with our senses. And one of our greatest senses is our sense of taste (and with that, of course, our sense of smell).
I am blessed to be in a position to travel across continents so often. But you don’t have to travel as I do to experience. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your kitchen!
WELCOME TO FOODIE FRIDAY!!!!! Every Friday I am going to present to you a new dish from a different country of the world. Why? So that regardless of your ability to travel beyond your kitchen, you can practice experiential travel within it.
So stay tuned every week for a new recipe idea and the pictures of my own creations. For copyright reasons, exact recipes will not be provided (I’m a travel blogger not a recipe developer) but I will give you plenty of ideas to go out and find your own recipe that suits! (if you’re unsure, http://www.allrecipes.com is a great start! or message me :))
And what better place to start for FOODIE FRIDAY #1 than my own home and native land, Canada!!!!!
FOODIE FRIDAY #1: CANADA’S MAPLE SEARED SALMON
Geography lesson: Canada is surrounded by 3 oceans and the United States. Canada also holds over 20% of the world’s fresh water (ref: ec.gc.ca). So fish and seafood is a pretty common staple. If you’re from one of the coastal regions, food of the sea will probably shine in your diet. If you’re from the mainland, you’re still more than likely to be close to a lake and/or river and eat what lives within. And we don’t let the seasons stop us either – ice fishing is a prevalent activity wherever there’s a lake that can freeze over (which includes my hometown, the beautiful Orillia).
Suffice it to say, salmon is plentiful in Canada and it certainly is a star of a few quintessential Canadian dishes.
You know what else is even MORE quintessentially Canadian? Let me give you a hint: its leaf stars on our flag…it’s also part of the name of Toronto’s hockey team…
yep – the maple tree!
Out of which comes the beautiful, natural, flowing natural gold – MAPLE SYRUP! How much is maple syrup worth, you ask?! In 2013, the world’s largest agricultural heist occurred – $18 million worth of maple syrup was discovered (read more here!)
Maple syrup is a very big thing. I have friends who tap it. I have a husband whose family is in the business. It is loved by the English and the French alike – indeed, sirop d’érable is exquisite!
Anything with maple syrup is going to be delicious. But salmon seared with a maple syrup glaze…so good! And quintessentially Canadian! Let this be your next fishy meal and let the sights and sounds of the Great White North waft in your kitchen!
Alright, so there are oodles of recipes that you can find online about maple syrup and salmon. With this I’m not really a recipe follower per se: basically, the more maple syrup, the better! But maple syrup IS sweet, so you DO want to balance it with some acidity (totally using words that I learned watching Master Chef!!!) Basically, get a bowl, and throw in some garlic, onion (minced) and then some maple syrup and maybe some soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce (which ANY Canadian will have in their home as it is a KEY ingredient to our signature drink the Caesar – our take on the bloody mary!) Make sure your soy sauce is GF if you are like me 🙂
Then some sort of mustard (Dijon or regular are great too). And some salt and pepper. And then stir, stir, stir….
So now you’ll want to marinate for at least an hour. But if you ran out of time because you JUST decided to make this, have no fear! I’ve done the same and it still turns out delicious because, well, anything with maple syrup will always turn out delicious…it’s a Canadian truth and when have we ever lied to you!?!??!!?
And now you cook…stove top first just to sear..then 20 minutes or so, 350 or so…
And at the same time, be steaming up your veggies or roasting them. What you’ll see is that I did broccoli and sweet potato. Yes, if you want to be authentic find something Canadian as a veggie, but anything is great. But make sure you have some veggies cooking (you’ll see why in a minute!)
VOILA! So with the extra juices that you’ll have from the salmon pan, put them over the vegetables you just cooked and you get lightly flavoured vegetables. And enjoy your dinner a la Canadiana 🙂