Canadian Food: A Sneak Peak On Its Influences And Cultural Origins

A cuisine is a style of cooking described by distinct ingredients and practices. These dishes are associated with a specific geographical region or tradition. As the second-largest country in the world, Canada’s cuisine is unique and diverse in so many ways! In this article, you are going to have a taste and discover the origins of Canadian cuisine. So, go and get your Canada ETA now to have a glimpse of what Canadian food has to offer.

Canadian Cuisine: a Sneak Peak

Modern Canadian food came from the influences of local folks and immigrants who brought their food from different locations all over the world. Here are the major ethnic groups that influenced Canadian cuisine.

  • Indigenous People

These comprise the native people that populate the land, namely the Inuits and the Metis. Their cuisine is composed of wild game, foraged food, and farmed produce. They used local resources to prepare their food. Below are the local foods that originated from the natives:

  1. Maple Syrup
  2. Pânsâwân and Pemmican (dried meat products that resemble beef jerky)
  3. Pacific Salmon (fresh or smoked)
  4. Sxusem (whipped soapberry, also known as Indian ice cream)
  5. Igunaq or Kiviak (fermented meats)
  6. Muktuk (whale skin and blubber)
  7. Oatkuk (Eskimo potato)
  8. Bannock (a flat quickbread)
  • Europeans

These are the settlers and traders from different parts of Europe that came to Canada and made contact with the natives. These include the British, French, Dutch, and Scandanavians.  After the First World War, Ukrainians, Germans, and Polish people emigrated to Canada and heavily influenced the cuisine in Canada’s Prairie provinces. The Irish influenced Canadian cooking by introducing salt-cured meats. Jewish immigrants created Canadian delights such as the Schmoo Torte, Co-op Style rye bread and cream cheese, and smoked goldeye. They also introduced the famous Montreal-Style bagels and smoked meats. 

  • Asians

The Chinese are one of the first Asians to introduce their food through restaurants in the 17th century. Some came from the US to work in the woods and the mills. It gave rise to Chinese-Canadian treats like the Ginger Beef and Peanut Butter Dumplings. Indians who emigrated to Canada gave way for people to enjoy Indian cuisine. It makes use of bread, yogurt, curry, and cream for meat dishes, as well as introducing sour and spicy cuisine to the Canadians.

These are the influences that helped shape Canada’s taste for diverse cultures. Perhaps there are other influences on what makes up Canada’s taste buds. So far, these are the major cultures that help shape modern Canadian cuisine.