Donair Sauce & Pepperoni: Nova Scotia Exports

16 08 2011

My husband is from Nova Scotia, Pictou County to be exact, and every year we shun the pull to head to Northern Ontario cottage country in lieu of heading back to the North Shore and a cottage on the ocean.

Most years the weather co-operates and we have a lovely time, with views of the ocean, swimming, and sunning. Unfortunately this year the weather was wet.. VERY wet. While I was slightly bummed by this, it has been a pattern in the East Coast all summer. They have had record rainfalls, like 1200mm of rain which is double last year. These numbers make me feel better as it shows that the Weather Gods didnt have it out for me.
This was a good evening after a day of rain!

Nova Scotia is indeed part of Canada, it is the birth place of New Scotland, so there are loads of ginger kids, tartans and weird foods. We have gone every year since 2007 back to Nova Scotia, but there are many many things we haven’t actually done given our priority is plunking our butts on the beach. The inclement weather this year gave us an opportunity to tick some things off our “to do” list.

Brother’s Pepperoni
Pepperoni is a big thing out east. I am not entirely sure where this comes from, as it doesn’t seem to be part of the Scottish-Irish heritage. There are quite a few hunters in Nova Scotia, so maybe they needed a venue for the meat that they hunted ? So GOOGLE to the rescue:

“Established in 1951, the Original Brothers Meats is a family run business that has been a Halifax tradition for over 50 years. The Old World recipes were brought to Halifax from Poland by Maximillian Kielbratowski for all Canadians and visitors to enjoy. Brothers Meats is especially famous for its world renowned pepperoni which is available in a variety of flavours. Brothers produces over 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of pepperoni a day!”

I am somewhat of a smoked meat snob, and I will say, Brothers pepperoni has a unique flavour I have never had anywhere else. We loaded up on a bunch of it to bring home for friends, and for snacking. I made this pizza soup with the pepperoni, and will say it is delicious ! Smoked meat isn’t exactly primal, but it IS meaty. On every menu you can get deep fried pepperoni with a side of mustard. My heart aches a bit just thinking about this.

Donair Sauce
Donair sauce was a mystery to me as that white sauce looked like a garlic sauce but it is surprising that it was this weird sweet sauce. There are rules for Donair eating, and I needed to go to Donair school before I realized what the heck this was all about.

There are basically two strains of Donair, the Canadian East Coast strain & the Lebanese strain. The EC strain has a different meat seasoning than the Lebanese and relies heavily on its magical sweet sauce. The Lebanese strain usually has a good stout seasoning and a gnarly hot sauce. Shops usually only specialize in one….they are too powerful and majestic to be housed in the same location.
Ken at the mecca of Donairs, King of Donair @ pizza corner in Halifax

No two Donairs are equal….there are more bad Donair shops than good. The good ones are usually located in small hole of the wall type locales. If you are questioning if they have passed a health inspection you are usually in a quality Donair vendors dojo. Another good sign is if they make their own sauces. If they do not carve the meat off the slab in front of you it’s no fucken bueno.

When you get your Donair do not under any circumstances take it out of the bag they wrap it in and start eating…….unwrap it as you go and keep that bag on there until you get down the roach or nub end, at that point shit gets complicated so good luck. The first sign of a Donair noob is they unwrap the whole thing and a terrible shit show begins. Once you unleash it there is no turning back.
Amateur !

A good Donair session will most likely require a shower immediately after or at the very least, a Tide pen, and some sort of pre-wash stain removal spray.

Donair Sauce

(adapted from King of Donair, on `Pizza Corner’, Halifax)

2/3 cup canned evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Stir canned milk, sugar and garlic powder until sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar and continue mixing. The quicker you add the vinegar and the less you mix (I usually give the spoon 3 or 4 turns around the bowl), the thicker the sauce will be. Let sauce sit for at least one hour in refrigerator before using. Eventually (hours to days later), the sauce may start to separate. DO NOT STIR IT. Simply skim the thick sauce off the top. It tastes fine, despite the appearance that all the vinegar has seeped out of it.

—-
Just grossness… but I havent grown up on the stuff. We have east coast friends here in Toronto area that place orders with us for bottles of the stuff. I say make it and be happy, just leave me out of it.

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6 responses

16 08 2011
lynn

hahahaha – loved the description of eating a donair. On my last trip I brought back a full donair roast from Bash Toulany’s, but I’ve had some success with the DIY version from Alton…http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/gyro-meat-with-tzatziki-sauce-recipe/index.html I do 1/2 beef 1/2 lamb. The trick for the right texture is to puree the shit out of the meet, and really squish it well after. I betcha we could de carb that donair sauce….

16 08 2011
geokatgirl

I dont really love donairs… the forced meat thing is okay, but so odd and homogeneous. I liken it to a hotdog.. a once a year thing if that and the sweet sauce… i thought it was a garlic sauce that had “gone off” the first time I tried it. Not a fan at all.. it is one of those things that if you were brought up on it, you like it, but I am an Ontario girl who expects a Lebanese based donair.

16 08 2011
Kelly

I love Donairs. Yum! The small was too big for me before….now I can’t even imagine!! Great post.

16 08 2011
geokatgirl

i ate the meat out of mine.. the pita part would be killer for me now.. the carbs would stick like a dough ball in my new stomach.

16 08 2011
lovelylici1986

I lived in Halifax for 5 years, and never managed to bring myself to eat a donair. It just seemed way too weird. And the sauce… Even weirder. Just like the Nova Scotian need to have sauces with EVERYthing. Hahahaha. Pizza corner holds some pretty great memories for me though. Pizza Cornerrrrr! 🙂

16 08 2011
geokatgirl

the shards o meat is way weird.

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