Canada has an essential list of inventions and inventors who produced a large number of significant discoveries that revolutionized the way we live today. Among all of the beneficial designs, I am going to target one specific category – the one with the most flavour – that is vital to the human body, FOOD! You can probably think of a couple right off the bat and if you’re stumped, let me refresh your memory while shedding some light on some of the Canadian food ideas you might not have been aware of.
Let’s begin with one of the most popular – if not the most popular – food invention discovered in Canada, the poutine. The original poutine came out of rural Quebec in the late1950s and consists of three core ingredients; fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Throughout the year’s poutine has gone through a series of makeovers, and replacing some of the core ingredients has become more popular among Canadians. Although, not one person has been defined as the solidified poutine inventor. However, there have been a few names thrown into the conversation. The most widespread story is that poutine originates from a restaurant in Warwick, formerly called Le Lutin qui rit. In 1957, a customer named Eddy Lainesse would have asked the owner Fernand Lachance to mix up the fries with cheese curds and gravy!
Another food invention discovered in Canada comes from Nanaimo, British Columbia. The Nanaimo Bar has a layer of coconut and graham crust on the bottom, a layer of soft, yellow custard in the middle, and on top is a layer of chocolate ganache. The first known recipe of the Nanaimo Bar emerged in the 1952 edition of the Women’s Auxiliary Nanaimo Hospital Cookbook, labelled as a chocolate square. One year later, a comparable recipe was published in the Edit Adam’s cookbook, and it would be the first time the chocolate bar would appear with the name we call it today, the Nanaimo Bar.
Let’s go back to the eastern part of Canada where another famous food invention was produced. In 1884, Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec patented peanut paste, the final product resulting from milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, George Washington Carver was not the inventor of peanut butter. However, Carver was one of the first pioneers to work on peanut butter and discovered over 300 ways to use peanuts including shampoo, chili sauce and glue.
That wraps it up for the first part of the Canadian inventors and inventions: Food article.
In the next post, Vanessa will dive into the life of John Ware, a heroic man who made his mark right here at SAIT.