Canada, the second largest country in the world after Russia is made up of ten provinces. It’s border with the US is the world’s longest land border and it has the longest coastline in the world. There are over 2,000,000 lakes in Canada, which is more than the rest of the world’s lakes combined. Alert, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world, which takes its name from HMS Alert, which wintered 10 km east of the present station, off what is now Cape Sheridan, in 1875–1876. The annual mean temperature in Alert is -17.7c.

A few interesting facts
Yonge Street in Canada is the longest street in the world at 1,896 km (1,178 mi)
Police Departments in Canada give out “positive tickets” when they see people doing something positive
Canada has the third largest oil reserves of any country in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela
There are more people living in the Tokyo metropolitan area than in the whole of Canada
Canadian born Sarwan Singh is the proud holder of the world record for the longest beard measuring 2.495 m (8 ft 2.5 in)

According to former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark, ‘Canadian cuisine is a collage of dishes from the cuisines of other cultures’. It varies depending on the region with influences from Britain, Scotland and France.

A few food facts:
Canada produces 1.6% of the world’s food but consumes only 0.6%
77% of the world’s maple syrup is made in Quebec
80% of the alcohol consumed in Canada is beer.

Popular dishes include Poutine (chips with cheese curd and gravy, Butter tart, Montreal-style bagels, Rappie pie (grated potato and meat casserole) and Kraft dinner (macaroni cheese). I made maple beer baked ham which we were a little disappointed with. Despite the name, the recipe called for pork which didn’t really absorb the lovely flavour of maple syrup. I think it would have been far better if I’d used ham.

Rating: 6/10

Serves: 4 – 5
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Approx 3 hours

600g pork shoulder (bone in)
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped finely
1 1/3 cups strong beer
1 cup chicken or beef stock
3/4 cup pure maple syrup from Canada, divided
3 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander seeds
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt butter
Add onions and garlic, fry until soft, about 5 minutes
Add beer, chicken or beef broth, 1/2 cup maple syrup, mustard, cloves, cinnamon, coriander and pepper, whisking until well-combined
Bring to a boil and then add pork to pot and bring back to the boil
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours
Preheat oven to 400ºF
Carefully remove pork from pot and transfer to a baking dish
Continue cooking liquid until reduced by half
Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup
Baste meat with maple glaze. Transfer to oven and bake until ham begins to crisp, about 20 minutes, basting with maple glaze every 5 minutes
Carve ham and serve

Ingredients for Maple beer baked ham
Maple beer baked ham
Maple beer baked ham
Yonge Street
Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada
Banff National Park, Canada
Banff, Canada
Grizzly bear
Grizzly bear

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