When we talk about Alberta Cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is rich and scrumptious red meat – specifically beef. That’s for good reason too, given that this is a province with more cattle than there are citizens in it. It also holds bearing that Alberta is among the top producers of high-quality beef in the whole world. So yes, we got beef, but is that all there is? Apparently not.
You see, the traditional cuisine of Alberta is as diverse as the people are multi-cultural. So we can expect these staples to be reflective of the culture and character. But, for now, let’s lay off on the beef, and let’s discuss the 5 main staples of the cuisine.
If you find these in almost every restaurant, and a hundred different varieties, that’s because every chef or cook has mastered a way to modify it. That’s because a perogy is among the simplest, yet versatile food materials made prominent in Alberta. In other words, you can put anything in it, and the best ones? Those made by the elderly locals. You’d be surprised how authentic perogies are made by the same hands that lift the highest during Sunday service. Now, the perogies find their place in every menu list, of every restaurant. It shouldn’t even come as a wonder if you find every home having it on a daily.
Yes, we did say we take a break from including beef, but let’s just clarify: Bison meat is not beef. It is leaner, richer in iron, and should be cooked slowly in low heat. This is an ideal substitute for beef, especially in braises and stews. It is healthier to consume if ever you’re looking to shed off a few pounds. The best thing about Bison is its fine fat marbling and its tender meat. That said, we shouldn’t wonder why the locale of Alberta wants this on the menu.
Green Onion Cakes
Influenced by Chinese – Mandarin cuisine, this finger food is among the bestselling appetizers in every restaurant in Alberta. Green Onion Cakes are generally just sambal oelek pepper sauce sandwiched by flatbread, which is then deep-fried or cooked on a griddle. While these remain as the unofficial food of Edmonton, one of the main foodie cities, it still finds its way to join every meal.
Puffed Wheat Squares
This confection may not seem at all enticing or grand, but these blocks of puffed wheat have been a part of daily life in Alberta. While it isn’t a marvel, it sure reminds us of home. This easily qualifies as among the top comfort foods in Alberta, and it won’t even cost you a pretty penny. It consists of puffed cereal sealed into a layer of brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweet cocoa. Together, these are baked into a chewy morsel of goodness that after the first one, you’ll come looking for more.
Sunny Alberta is also considered the “Corn Capital” of the country, so you can expect a lot of corn ears to find their way into the plates. Bright yellow and flavorful, these crops are locally and organically grown, and this is how the province sets the standard. Even so, tourists are warned to always check if the Taber corn they purchased is organic and local. If they are not, then they may be a fraud, and may not live up to the standard.