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The pierogi isn't the only worthy competitor for the title of National Dish.

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Ketchup chips: As iconically Canadian as milk-in-a-bag, they’re an underrated staple of summer backyard barbecues and winter Hockey Night in Canada-viewing. Crispy, tangy, salty and sweet, they stimulate all the senses – and stain your fingers a patriotic bright red. - Wency Leung

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The California roll: Chef Hidekazu Tojo, who migrated to Vancouver to escape the conventions of Japanese cuisine, debuted the crab-and-avocado “Tojo-maki” roll in the 1970s. It embodies the culinary creativity of our Pacific coast, where East meets West on the dinner plate. The name may mislead you into thinking it’s an American creation, but what’s more Canadian than that? - Wency Leung

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Montreal-style bagel: No food item better encapsulates the Canada-U.S. rivalry. Unlike its flabby New York cousin, the Montreal bagel is boiled in sweetened water before it’s baked in a wood-fire oven, which gives it that unmistakable crunchy outer crust and, some argue, hews closer to its artisanal European roots. In 2008, Montreal-born astronaut Gregory Chamitoff took some into space, cementing their standing as the best in the world, and beyond. - Wency Leung

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Poutine: Fernand Lachance, a cafe owner in Warwick, Que., assembled its foundation in 1957 for a trucker craving both French fries and curds. Jean-Paul Roy, a restaurateur in Drummondville, Que., added gravy to complete the dish. Poutine has since sneakily cropped up in eateries across the country and past our borders, inspiring such (questionable) variations on the classic toppings as bacon, peas and barbecue sauce. - Wency Leung

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

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Salmon jerky: Older than Canada itself, the smoked and dried salmon strips are as ubiquitous in souvenir shops as maple syrup. Some variations even combine the two in the form of maple-coated salmon candy. The First Nations peoples of coastal British Columbia mastered fish preservation for survival, but elevated the process to a near art form. - Wency Leung

SIMON HAYTER/simon hayter The Globe and Mail

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Pierogies: Mark Schatzker defends his pick by writing about a friend who started selling pierogies across North America. 'Here in Canada, he can hardly keep them in stock,' Schatzker writes. 'South of the border, not so much. There are, he told me, regions of American pierogi consumption nestled tightly against the Canadian border. The geography of the pierogi, in other words, is nearly identical to NHL ratings and Tim Hortons franchise density. It’s what separates us from them. In other words, it’s a Canadian Studies thesis waiting to be written.'

GEOFF ROBINS/geoff robins The Globe and Mail

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