What Are Traditional Foods in Canada?

What Are Traditional Foods in Canada?
What Are Traditional Foods in Canada?
Traditional foods in Canada vary as much as the people that populate the country. The traditional foods differ depending on location and where that area's residents originated from. Only one food seems to be traditional across the whole of Canada, and that is poutine, a mix of french fried potatoes, cheese curds and chicken gravy.

Vancouver is the birthplace of a traditional Canadian breakfast called the Logger's Breakfast. The dish is also known as "the Lumberjack Breakfast" or "the Lumby." In 1870, a hotelier named J. Houston came up with the breakfast after requests from his clientele for a better breakfast to start off the day. Included is a stack of pancakes, at least three eggs and a ration of ham, sausage and bacon.


Traditional dishes served in Quebec are variants of foods from France and Ireland. Many of the foods served in Quebec have common ingredients, including maple syrup, pork and root vegetables. Maple syrup is used in many of the sweet treats that are traditional in Canada. Tarte au Sucre is a traditional sugar-and-maple pie. A recipe for this dish can be found in the Resources section.

Nova Scotia

If you are heading to Nova Scotia, you may have some traditional Rappie Pie. This dish came with the people of Acadia when they moved to Nova Scotia. Rappie Pie is a casserole made with grated potatoes. Potatoes are grated with the water removed, making them dry, then chicken or pork broth is used to add moisture back into the potatoes. The potatoes are layered with meat that has been cooked with salt, pepper and onions. The dish is topped off with cubed and salted pork rind and cooked until golden brown.

Fonquebure/Wikimedia Commons
Fonquebure/Wikimedia Commons

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, in Quebec, is known for a traditional pie served at holidays. The dish is known as tourtiere, or "meat pie," and is served traditionally for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. The ingredients include wild game meat and cubed potatoes. However, each French-Canadian family that serves this dish will have its own recipe that was passed down from generation to generation. One family might include pork, and another might include bison. Tourtiere served in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area are often deep-dish pies that are slow cooked.


A traditional dinner found in Newfoundland and Labrador is Jigg's Dinner. This dinner was derived from a popular comic strip character's favorite meal. The character of Jigg appeared in "Bringing Up Father" by George McManus, and his dinner was a hit. Jigg's Dinner is salted beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, turnips and Pease pudding. Pease pudding is split yellow peas or Carlin peas mixed with water, salt, pepper and other spices cooked with bacon or a ham joint until it is the consistency of hummus. It is light yellow in color and is served like a gravy.

Linda St.Cyr is a published author and freelance Web writer. Samples of her work can be found at Demand Media, Examiner, Associated Content and Helium. Her short stories will be appearing in anthology collections including Elements of Time, Relationships: Good, Bad and Funny, and a Halloween anthology collection.
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