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Canadian cuisine varies widely from region to region. Generally, the traditional cuisine of English Canada is closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of Québec and French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders.

The basis of both groups is traditionally on seasonal, fresh ingredients, and preserves. The cusine includes a lot of baked foods, wild


game, and gathered foods. Prepared foods were still a novelty for recent rural generations, so there are some that are well-loved to the point of obsession -- and which have come to dominate suburban diets. However, home-made, warming, and wholesome remain key adjectives in what Canadians consider their cuisine.

The cuisine of the western provinces is heavily influenced by German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Scandinavian cuisine. Noteworthy is the cuisine of the Doukhobors: Russian-descended vegetarians.

Canadian Chinese cuisine is widespread across the country, with variation from place to place. The Chinese smorgasbord, although found in the U.S. and other parts of Canada, had its origins in early Gastown, Vancouver c.1870 and resulted from the many Scandinavians working in the woods and mills around the shantytown getting the Chinese cook to put out a steam table on a sideboard, so they could "load up" and leave room on the dining table (presumably for "drink").

The traditional cuisine of The Arctic and the Canadian Territories is based on wild game and Inuit and First Nations cooking methods. The cuisines of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces derive mainly from British and Irish cooking, with a preference for salt-cured fish, beef, and pork. British Columbia also maintains British cuisine traditions.

Today many Canadians will identify foods as being uniquely "Canadian" largely on the basis of such items being uncommon in the United States. Foods enjoyed in both countries, such as fast food and popular restaurant cuisine, will often be described as simply "North American" dining.

Modern Adaptations


Modern Canadian cooking represents these diverse origins, as well as the many other immigrant cultures that have made the country their home. As such, most home cooks in Canada have assimilated new ingredients and recipes from around the world into the more traditional favorites.

At the forefront of Canadian cuisine is the fusion of modern culinary techniques and uniquely  Canadian  ingredients,  such as  wild


blueberries and Saskatoon berries, fiddleheads, mussels, caribou, bison, salmon, wild rice, maple syrup and locally produced wine, beer, ice wine and cheeses.

List of Canadian Foods

Savoury Foods

  • Wild Chanterelle, Pine, Morel, Lobster, Puffball, and other mushrooms
  • Ginger beef, candied and deep fried, with sweet ginger sauce.
  • Back or pea meal bacon (called Canadian bacon in the US)
  • Courtiers & pate a la rapure ( Quebec meat pies).
  • Montreal smoked meat sandwich, served with coleslaw, potato chips and half a pickle Montréal smoked meat
  • Hearty breads (known as brown and white)
  • Pâté chinois (Quebecois shepherd's pie)
  • Bannock, fry bread, and dough goods
  • Bouilli, Quebecois ham and vegetable harvest meal.
  • Baked cream corn and peas
  • Habitant yellow pea soup
  • Roasted root vegetables
  • Sauteed winter greens
  • Oreilles de Christ
  • Fiddlehead ferns
  • Montreal-style bagels
  • Sea vegetables
  • Feves au Lard
  • Pemmican
  • Force meat
  • Wild yams
  • Wild rice
  • Cheese curds
  • Oka cheese

Wild Game

  • Caribou
  • Moose
  • Venison
  • Bear
  • Ptarmigan
  • Partridge

Sea Food

  • Salmon (especially Sockeye)
  • Lobster
  • Winnipeg gold-eye
  • Arctic char
  • Mussels
  • Eulachon ( Pacific Coast)
  • Geoduck ( Pacific Coast)
  • Smelt ( Great Lakes)
  • Walleye


  • Blueberries, Blackberries, Saskatoonberries, Gooseberries, Salmonberries, and Strawberries
  • Whipped Soapberry "Indian ice cream", known as xoosum (HOO-shum) in the Interior of British Columbia in most of the Interior Salish languages, whether in ice cream form or as a cranberry-cocktail like drink; known for being a kidney tonic. Called Agutak in Alaska (with animal/fish fat)
  • Pets de soeurs (lit. "nuns' farts")
  • Matrimonial cake and pork pies (date filled desserts)
  • Maple syrup, especially tire d'érable sur la neige
  • Jam busters (prairie jelly doughnuts)
  • Apple pie with Cheddar cheese
  • Various black licorices
  • Bumbleberry pie
  • Bakeapple Pie
  • Salmon candy
  • Nanaimo bars
  • Butter tarts - said to be invented in northern Ontario around 1915 . The main ingredients for the filling includes, butter, sugar and eggs, but raisins and pecans are often added for additional flavour.
  • Beaver tails, also known as Elephant Ears or Moose Antlers.
  • Sugar pie
  • Persians -- somewhat like a cross between a large cinnamon bun and a doughnut, topped with strawberry icing, unique to Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Sucre à la Crème -- Quebecois sweet milk squares.
  • Nougabricot, a Quebecois preserve consisting of apricots, almonds, and pistachios.

Prepared Food & Beverages

  • Chocolate Bars: Coffee Crisp, Mr. Big, Caramilk, Aero, Crunchie, Bounty, Big Turk, Cherry Blossom (chocolate bars)
  • Other candy: Smarties, Mackintosh's Toffee
  • Kraft Dinner (many purchase store brand mac & cheese, but still call it this)
  • Tim Horton's (doughnuts and coffee chain)
  • All-dressed pizza
  • Shreddies cereal
  • Red River cereal
  • Ketchup Potato Chips
  • Red Rose tea
  • Nabob coffee
  • Hawkin's Cheezies
  • Canada Dry


  • Canadian beer
  • Canadian whisky
  • Canadian wine
  • The Caesar, sometimes called the Bloody Caesar, is a cocktail made from vodka, clamato juice (clam-tomato juice), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, in a salt-rimmed glass, and garnished with a stalk of celery, or more adventurously with a spoonful of horseradish, or a shot of beef bouillon. The Caesar was invented in 1969 in Calgary, Alberta, by bartender Walter Chell to mark the opening of a new restaurant "Marco's."

Street Food

  • donairs (orig. Nova Scotia)
  • Shish taouk ( Montreal)
  • Poutine ( Quebec, Ontario), a French-Canadian fast-food dish consisting of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy.
  • Montreal hot dog
  • Dollar falafel ( Montreal)
  • 99 cent pizza (BC, Montreal)


  • Chinese Smorgasbord - though found in the U.S. and other parts of Canada, this term and concept had its origins in early Gastown, Vancouver, c.1870 and resulted from the many Scandinavians working in the woods and mills around the shantytown getting the Chinese cook to put out a steam table on a sideboard, so they could "load up" and leave room on the dining table (presumably for "drink").
  • Lumberjack's Breakfast, aka Logger's Breakfast, a gargantuan breakfast of three-plus eggs; rations of ham, bacon and sausages; plus several large pancakes. Invented by hotelier J. Houston c 1870, at his Granville Hotel on Water Street in old pre-railway Gastown, Vancouver, in response to requests from his clientele for a better "feed" at the start of a long, hard day of work.

See Also

  • Atlantic Canada
  • Canadian Chinese
  • Fast food
  • First Nations
  • Fusion
  • Québécois
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Vegetarian

External Links
CBC Digital Archives - A Taste of Canada: Our Homegrown Cuisine




This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)

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