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Food and Drink

Canadian chefs prepare meal fit for a prince

It's a menu meant to give the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a sampling of distinctly Canadian delicacies and regional specialties.

With Quebec foie gras, Atlantic smoked salmon, yak from Alberta and raspberry cordial - a version of the beverage, anyway, from Catherine's favorite childhood story and heroine, Anne of Green Gables - the royal couple will be fed dishes that are supposed to represent the Commonwealth country from coast to coast.

But aside from the iconic maple syrup and poutine - a greasy heap of fries, cheese curds and gravy from Quebec - what constitutes Canadian cuisine?

As a country built on the strength of immigrants with a spotty gastronomical history, which also lies in the shadow of their American neighbors' hamburgers and pizza, what does Canada define as its epicurean heritage?

Freshly caught seafood, local cheeses and locally raised meats.

When the couple arrives in Montreal on Saturday, for instance, they will be put to work in the kitchens of the Quebec Tourism and Hotel Institute, where they will don aprons and help cook their own meals. Dishes were chosen to highlight regional specialties, fresh local ingredients and wines.

To start the meal: an amuse-bouche of local foie gras on brioche toast and apple cider jelly; goat cheese from the Cantons-de-l'Est; duck confit, and mini bagels with smoked Atlantic salmon.

The second course will feature lobster from the Iles-de-la Madeleine prepared two ways: as a soufflé, and served with a red pepper coulis or sauce.

The main course will be a herb and cranberry-crusted lamb, with seasonal vegetables.

And to cap off the meal, the couple will be presented with a cheesecake made from fromage blanc, a maple syrup caramel sauce, meringue and a light cookie crust.

When they hit Prince Edward Island on Sunday for two days, the Duke and Duchess will be fed dishes that showcase that province's local agriculture, heavy on potatoes, and its fresh, local seafood.

Chefs from the Culinary Institute of Canada will prepare a menu that includes new potato chowder, steamed island mussels, barbecue pork belly with homemade mustard, barbecue beef rib-eye with onion marmalade, an oyster shucking station and strawberry shortcake.

Meanwhile, Catherine reportedly made a special request to visit Summerside, Prince Edward Island to see the setting of her favorite childhood book series Anne of Green Gables.

As a tribute to her favorite heroine, Cows ice cream company in Charlottetown will serve a bottled raspberry cordial drink. In the series, Anne accidentally gets her best friend drunk when she mistakes red currant wine for raspberry cordial, one of many shenanigans the fiery redhead gets into.

On their first day in Canada, the couple were also fed a meal prepared by culinary students that included sea urchin harvested by a scuba diver, spotted prawns from off the Queen Charlotte Islands, yak from Alberta, fruit wines from Saskatchewan and cheese from PEI.

To follow the royal couple's itinerary, visit http://www.royaltour.gc.ca/index-eng.cfm.