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Canadian Gastronomy: Traditional Dishes and Desserts

Canadian Gastronomy: Traditional Dishes and Desserts

. 6 min read

Canada’s gastronomy owes its origin to the indigenous cultures that inhabited the country throughout the centuries. This is why today’s Canadian food is so varied and includes all kinds of ingredients and flavors. Apart from this ethnic origin, it is also under the influence of two great gastronomies: French cuisine and English cuisine.

Below you have an index with all the points we will deal with this article.

Main dishes

Canadian cuisine has come to be described as a collage made from taking parts of other kitchens, namely the English, Scottish, and French, mainly.

Asian and Caribbean influences are also found due to the immigrants from these parts of the planet who have lived together in Canada since the 19th and 20th centuries.

Thus, most traditional dishes have a bit of each culture and are usually taken to go. We show you the highlights below.


These are fern leaves when they are yet to mature and are rolled up. They are cooked with chicken, potatoes and other vegetables. This dish is very typical of New Brunswick (Canada). It is also a very healthy dish, as the fern leaves are a source of omega 3 and omega 6, as well as iron and fiber.

Macaroni and cheese

Also known as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese or Kraft Mac and Cheese is a food marketed by Kraft Foods in Canada and the United States since 1937.

In fact, it’s an extremely simple dish, since it’s nothing more than macaroni and cheese. Its popularity in Canada is such that it is considered a national dish. In addition, it is very cheap and remains edible for up to a year.

Montreal bagels

A bagel or beigel is a type of traditional bread made from wheat flour that resembles a doughnut to a great extent, as it is characterized by a hole in the center. However, the difference is that the bagels are salty and on the outside have a crunchy texture thanks to being cooked in water for a short period of time before baking.

Thus, Montreal bagels are characteristic because they are handmade and baked in a wood-fired oven. They taste slightly sweet, unlike the larger New York bagel.


This dish is originally from Quebec (Canada) and consists of French fries smeared with uncured cheddar cheese and meat sauce. The cheese is added when the potatoes are freshly made and coated with very hot meat sauce, so that the cheese is melted and the chips are softened.

Poutine is considered fast food in Canadian gastronomy and can be found in restaurants, street stalls, and even school canteens, as well as in major fast-food chains (e.g. Burger King, KFC or McDonald’s).


In Canada, meats are often characterized by high quality and good price. In all supermarkets, the meat section is very wide and includes a wide variety.

In addition, organic beef can be found, i.e., farms where cows have been raised with maximum care for their welfare and fed without chemicals. With this, here are four dishes that include meat and are especially typical of Canada.

Sandwich boeuf smoked

Boeuf fumé is French and literally means smoked veal. Thus, this dish is nothing more than a sandwich of wholemeal bread or rye filled with smoked veal, mustard, and pickles. It can be accompanied with coleslaw. It is a dish that can be ordered in any restaurant as a snack.

Calgary beef hash

Calgary is located in the central part of the country and is one of the regions where greater meat production exists. It is typically eaten roasted and steak or hamburger and accompanied by chips or a salad. Thus, Calgary beef hash is one of the most typical dishes of the central area of the country, which is characterized by also include beans.

Peameal bacon

Also called cornmeal bacon, consists of bacon loins made from pork loin cut into thin slices, pickled and rolled in cornmeal flour (hence the name cornmeal bacon).

Its origin is due to the William Davies Company, a pork processor from Toronto. This type of meat is eaten on a sandwich and is commonly found in St. Lawrence Market, one of Toronto’s main markets.

The first idea for the elaboration of peameal bacon was taken from the emigrants who settled in Canada from Wiltshire (England).


Commonly called meatloaf, it is a dish originally from Quebec, Montreal (Canada), where it is actually referred to in French as pâté à la viande, which literally means meatloaf.

It consists of bread dough stuffed with minced meat, which can be pork, venison or beef. Traditionally, this kind of salty cake is served at special events, such as New Year’s Eve or Christmas, although today its popularity is such that it can be found in the country throughout the year.

Fish and shellfish

The Canadian territory is delimited by three oceans: the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific. Therefore, it is not surprising that it has a great gastronomic richness in terms of a variety of fish and seafood.

Canada’s cold waters contain more than 160 different marine species, of which tons are exported every day either fresh, frozen, canned or smoked. In what follows, we list a series of dishes that contain seafood or fish and are most typical in the country.


Herring is especially popular in New Scotland, where the dish known as Solomon Grundy is prepared, consisting of herring served with onion, aria cream and crackers (small, crunchy breads made from unleavened cereal flour).

Arctic Char

The Arctic Char can be found in the province of British Columbia on the Pacific coast. Its texture and taste are reminiscent of salmon. It is a very healthy fish and rich in omega 3.

It can be included in sautéed, baked or grilled, etc.. In addition, it is usually accompanied by different spices or sauces to taste, including fine herb butter or spicy sauce or citrus.


Lobster boiled with corn is Canada’s most popular recipe and is traditional to the maritime province of Prince Edward Island. In English, it is called steamed lobster with corn.


Canadian salmon is famous for its high quality and is eaten regularly in the country’s maritime provinces. It is either farmed on fish farms or fished in the wild.

Like the Arctic Char, salmon’s versatility allows for a wide variety of recipes and is prepared fresh, frozen, smoked or canned. Canada is one of the world’s largest producers and therefore exporters of salmon. Many indigenous communities in Canada make their living from salmon fishing.

Oysters, clams and scallops

Oysters are a mollusk that can be found in all restaurants on the coast of the country, as well as other seafood such as clams or scallops. They are usually taken boiled and with a little lemon juice, so that they acquire an acidic touch.