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Travel Guide 2   >   Canada   >   Recipes


Canadian Recipes

Canada is a country of many regions, and the cuisine of Canada very much reflects this fact. Each region of the country has its own unique dishes and flavors.

As might expected, given the country's history, Canadian cuisine has been greatly influenced by both British cuisine and French cuisine. Canada has a long southern border with the United States, so it should be no surprise to find influences from United States cuisine too. Additionally, there are dishes inspired by German cuisine, as well as eastern European and Scandinavian influences, especially in the West of the country, and Canada's Chinese community have brought their own dishes too. Finally, Canada's earliest inhabitants, Inuit and First Nations people, also have their own dishes and culinary traditions.

Some popular Canadian foods include:
  • Poutine - One of Canada's most famous dishes. Poutine originated in the French Canadian kitchens of from Québec, but has become popular throughout the country. Poutine is simply French fries topped with cheese curds and covered with gravy.

  • Lumberjack's breakfast - A traditional Canadian breakfast containing eggs, ham, bacon, sausage and pancakes.

  • Pâté chinois - A French Canadian dish somewhat similar to Cottage pie: a layer of ground beef (usually mixed with chopped onions and peppers), covered with a layer of corn (a mix of whole kernel and creamed corn is usually used) and then covered with a layer of mashed potatoes. The dish may be sprinkled with paprika, and is often served accompanied with pickled beets. The name of the dish means "Chinese pie", and there are various as to the origin of this name, the most common being that Chinese cooks serving railroad workers were taught how to make the dish.

  • Montreal bagels - Montreal bagels are the Canadian version of bagels. These bagels are prepared by boiling in honey-sweetened water and then cooked in a wood-fired oven. The bagels commonly come into two varieties: black-seed (sprinkled with poppy seeds) or white-seed (sprinkled with sesame seeds).

    Montreal bagels

  • TourtiLiègere - A traditional meat pie from Québec made using ground pork, beef, veal or even game, and sometimes also containing potatoes. These pies are particular popular during the Christmas season.

  • Oreilles de crisse - Deep-fried pork jowls served with maple syrup.

  • Fish and brewis - A traditional meal from Newfoundland, made using salted cod and hardtack (a savory cracker-like biscuit). Both the main ingredients are soaked over night (to remove salt from the cod, and soften both cod and hardtack) and then boiled separately before being put together. Scrunchions (pork rind) or butter with chopped onions and flower, is then drizzled over the mixture.

  • Jigg's dinner - Another traditional meal of Newfoundland: salt beef, cabbage, and potatoes, as well as, optionally carrots and turnips. Traditionally jigg's dinner is served with pease pudding (a paste made from peas).

  • Toutin - A Newfoundland pancake-like dish. dough fried in fat.

  • Flipper pie - Seal flipper in a pie.

  • Ginger beef - This Chinese-inspired dish has become popular in western Canada. Strips of beef are deep-fried and coated with a sweet sauce (ginger is one of the ingredients in the sauce).

  • Nanaimo bar - A traditional Canadian dessert consisting of three layers, from bottom to top: a crumb layer (made using coconut, nut and wafer crumbs), a layer of vanilla custard, and a layer of chocolate.

  • Butter tarts - A dessert made from butter, sugar and eggs in a pastry shell. Butterscotch, chocolate chips, coconut or dates may optionally be added.

  • Figgy duff - A boiled dessert from Newfoundland. Figgy duff is a mixture o of butter, sugar, eggs and raisins, all boiled togetherin a bag.
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Canadian food:

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Books about Canadian Cooking and Recipes

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Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip

By Lindsay Anderson

Released: 2017-03-07
Hardcover (304 pages)

Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip
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Two friends. Five months. One car. Ten provinces. Three territories. Seven islands. Eight ferries. Two flights. One 48-hour train ride. And only one call to CAA. The result: over 100 incredible Canadian recipes from coast to coast and the Great White North.

In the midst of a camping trip in Squamish, British Columbia, Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller decided that the summer of 2013 might be the right time for an adventure. And they knew what they wanted that adventure to be: a road trip across the entire country, with the purpose of writing about Canada's food, culture, and wealth of compelling characters and their stories.
     37,000 kilometres later, and toting a "Best Culinary Travel Blog" award from Saveur magazine, Lindsay and Dana have brought together stories, photographs and recipes from across Canada in Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip. The authors write about their experiences of trying whale blubber in Nunavut, tying a GoPro to a fishing line in Newfoundland to get a shot of the Atlantic Ocean's "cod highway," and much more.
     More than 80 contributors--including farmers, grandmothers, First Nations elders, and acclaimed chefs--have shared over 90 of their most beloved regional recipes, with Lindsay and Dana contributing some of their own favourites too. You'll find recipes for all courses from Barley Pancakes, Yukon Cinnamon Buns, and Bannock to Spot Prawn Ceviche, Bison Sausage Rolls, Haida Gwaii Halibut and Maritime Lobster Rolls; and also recipes for preserves, pickles and sauces, and a whole chapter devoted to drinks.
     Feast is a stunning representation of the diversity and complexity of Canada through its many favourite foods. The combination of Lindsay and Dana's capitivating journey with easy-to-follow recipes makes the book just as pleasurable to read as it is to cook from.

The All New Purity Cook Book (Classic Canadian Cookbook Series)

Whitecap Books
Paperback (224 pages)

The All New Purity Cook Book (Classic Canadian Cookbook Series)
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The Purity Cookbook has long been part of family traditions in many homes, and rare first editions are collector's items. Carefully reproduced from the original 1967 edition, this cookbook contains the recipes for an incredible variety of dishes, as well as tiny gems of kitchen wisdom that have been passed on from generation to generation. Handy charts detail the times for cooking vegetables, roasting turkeys, and cooking meat. With the Purity Cookbook, you can create an era of good, wholesome food just like your grandmother used to make.

Canadian Living: The Ultimate Cookbook

By Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Juniper Publishing
Released: 2015-10-06
Hardcover (448 pages)

Canadian Living: The Ultimate Cookbook
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To celebrate 40 years of culinary creativity and recipe precision, the Canadian Living Test Kitchen have brought together 300+ of their must-have, must-cook recipes. From appetizers to desserts—and everything in between—this is the ultimate Canadian Living cookbook, celebrating the modern, fresh and healthy way Canadians like to eat.

Winner of the Taste Canada Gold, general cookbooks

In this book, you will find 300+ recipes for dishes of all kinds, from appetizers to desserts; helpful resource section, with lists of substitutions, temperature and doneness charts, and cooking reference information; 100+ colour photographs;  helpful cooking, shopping and preparing tips scattered throughout; complete index that groups all recipes into helpful categories, search by type of recipe (such as soup or frittata), ingredient (such as turkey or cherries) or recipe name and full nutrient analysis of each recipe.

Chapters include:
• Appetizers, Dips and Spreads
• Soups
• Salads
• Side Dishes
• Poultry Mains
• Beef & Lamb Mains
• Pork Mains
• Fish & Seafood Mains
• Pasta, Noodles and Dumplings
• Eggs & Breakfast
• Quick Breads
• Yeast Breads
• Sauces & Preserves
• Pies & Tarts
• Cakes
• Desserts

The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book (Classic Canadian Cookbook)

Whitecap Books
Paperback (200 pages)

The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book (Classic Canadian Cookbook)
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Canadian cuisine is recognized the world over as combining a unique array of fresh ingredients and a variety of cultural influences tempered by tradition. This third title in the Classic Canadian Cookbook series includes Canada's most beloved recipes - think Nanaimo bars, matrimonial cake, maple fudge, tourtiere, fish cakes, bannock, and wild blueberry jam. Known as the first truly Canadian cookbook, this faithful replica of the original edition is essential for cooks anywhere.

The plucky spirit of 19th-century Canadian heroine Laura Secord permeates this collection, which was sponsored by the Laura Secord Candy Shops and created by the Canadian Home Economics Association to commemorate the Canadian centennial in 1967. Inspired by our national history and identity, it was destined to become an instant classic.

The regional and cultural diversity of Canadian cooking in the '60s is wonderfully captured in these recipes:

Fricandeau (a veal and pork loaf)
Malpeque Oyster Stew
Holubtse (Ukrainian stuffed cabbage rolls)
Glazed Back Bacon
Hot Cross Buns
Blueberry Grunt
Maplewood Doughnuts
Quebec Sugar Pie
Grape Jelly

Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking (Classic Canadian Cookbook Series)

Whitecap Books
Released: 2009-05-01
Paperback (224 pages)

Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking (Classic Canadian Cookbook Series)
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Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking is published by Whitecap Books.

Matty Matheson: A Cookbook

By Matty Matheson

Harry N. Abrams
Released: 2018-10-09
Hardcover (288 pages)

Matty Matheson: A Cookbook
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Matty Matheson, star of Viceland’s It’s Suppertime and Dead Set On Life, reveals his favorite recipes and stories in a cookbook that his devoted fans have been waiting for.
Matty Matheson is known as much for his amazing food as his love for life, positive mental attitude, and epic Instagram account. This debut cookbook is about Matty’s memories of the foods that have defined who he is. With a drive to share his zest for life, he creates dishes within these pages that reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Canada, as well as the restaurant fare for which he has become so well-known. Interpretations of classics like Seafood Chowder, Scumbo: Dad’s Gumbo, and Rappie Pie appear alongside restaurant recipes like Bavette, Pigtail Tacos, and his infamous P&L Burger. This is a very personal cookbook, full of essays and headnotes that share Matty’s life—from growing up in Fort Erie, exploring the wonders of Prince Edward Island, struggling and learning as a young chef in Toronto, and, eventually, his rise to popularity as one of the world’s most recognizable food personalities. His no-nonsense approach to food makes these recipes practical enough for all, while his creativity will entice seasoned cooks. This book is like cooking alongside Matty, sharing stories that are equal parts heartwarming and inappropriate while helping you cook dishes that are full of love. Matty Matheson: A Cookbook is a new collection of recipes from one of today’s most beloved chefs.

Made In Quebec

By Julian Armstrong

HarperCollins Publishers
Released: 2014-10-14
Hardcover (416 pages)

Made In Quebec
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Canada’s culinary treasure revealed in recipes, stories and photographs.

Canada has a culinary treasure in Quebec, one that is not perhaps as celebrated as it could be, at least outside of that distinct and gloriously food-obsessed region. Julian Armstrong, longtime food writer for The Gazette of Montreal, has spent her career eating, cooking, thinking and writing about Quebecois food. Made in Quebec: A Culinary Journey is the result of those years of delicious effort. Quebec has a cuisine firmly based on French foundations, but blended and enriched over the years by the cooking styles of a variety of immigrant groups, initially British and American, more recently Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Asian. More than in any other province or region in Canada, people in Quebec are passionate and knowledgeable about their food. The restaurant scene is robust, not just in Montreal and Quebec City—you can go to just about any small town in la belle province and have a splendid meal. Farmers, purveyors, chefs, casual and dedicated home cooks - all are poised in every season to produce or procure the perfect, seasonal ingredient. Not for them the out-of-season asparagus from Peru. Quebec is where you can truly experience what food tasted like before the industrial food complex. Here unpasteurized milk and cheese is commonplace; indeed there is a herd of cattle descended from cows brought from France by Samuel de Champlain producing milk just for this purpose. Imagine that in the rest of Canada! Of course, Quebec is big news in the global foodie world these days, with Martin Picard (Au Pied de Cochon), David McMillan and Fred Morin (The Art of Living According to Joe Beef), and Chuck Hughes (Garde Manger and Chuck’s Day Off) showing off the joys of dining in this great province. But there is much more still to discover about Quebec, from restaurateurs certainly, but also from farmers, foragers, artisanal cheese and bread makers, home cooks, and so many more. These people, their stories and recipes, comprise Made in Quebec. It is high time for a comprehensive celebration of Quebecois cuisine.


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