Food / General

Signature Canadian Dishes You Must Taste


The much acclaimed French Canadian cuisine is really an integral part of Canadian heritage.

When the French first arrived in Canada, they brought along with them a distinct culinary

tradition that has since been turned and twisted by French Canadians to create a truly unique

culinary art form.

Today, there are loads of delicious dishes inspired by the French Canadian cuisine all over the

country. Below are some of the signature dishes you must taste as part of your appreciation for

culture, tradition, and history of this cuisine.



This is arguably one of the most defining and outlandish dishes in Canada. It is actually a

culinary gem that was drawn from French Canada. It is said to be more than a half a century old

and it carries with it all the nuances of history and culture. The real poutine utilizes squeaky cuds

and meat-based gravy on fries.

If you are a party person, there are annual poutine festivals that are held in cities all over the

country just to celebrate this important dish. Because poutine is such a calorie-heavy meal, it was

at one time known as lumberjack food. You can find it anywhere from fast food joints to upscale

restaurants and street carts.



This is such a deep-rooted French Canadian dish that can be traced back to the 1600s. According

to history, tourtiere, a flakey pie received its name from the vessel in which it was baked.

Typically, this pie is filled with ground beef, pork, game, or veal and sprinkled with spices and

herbs. When you go to some of the coastal towns, you will find ground fish being used instead.

Tourtiere is a hearty meal perfect to be enjoyed on a cold winter night.

Split Pea Soup


This is a classic French Canadian dish whose invention is credited to Ottawa chef Mark Miron.

Miron was inspired to conduct a research of the foods that Samuel de Champlain, a French

explorer, together with the other inhabitants ate over 400 years ago as they were settling in their

new land.

According to the findings, the explorers ate dried pea and cured meats which were intended to

last them the entire journey. They also included vegetables in their meals. Up until today, pea

soup is a favorite of the residents in New Found Land especially for lunch or dinner on


Butter Tarts


This is an indisputably-rich and delectable treat which is largely considered a staple in many

Canadian homes. Those keen on history and culinary evolution trace butter tarts to the turn of the

century. It consists of a crumbly, delicate crust and a creamy center that is made of sugar, butter

and egg mixture. Some of the butter tarts recipes include raisins while others do not. You will

find this treat in many coffee shops, but if you want butter tart in its natural setting, consider

making a trip to rural Ontario.

Canadian Bacon


Unlike the traditional bacon which most of us can identify with and which comes from the belly

of the pig, Canadian bacon is different. It is lean pork loin, brined and carefully rolled in

cornmeal. When England was facing pork shortage, Canada used to export there. During the

time, the pork was rolled in yellow peas as a preservation measure, but this has changed over the

years to cornmeal. A visit to St. Lawrence market in Toronto will certainly bring you up close to

Canadian bacons.

As the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, Quebecois are serious about maple syrup and a

visit to one of their sugar houses particularly in early spring, will give you an opportunity to

partake in their delicious maple treats. As part of the Canadian tradition, hot syrup is usually

poured over snow and as it cools, it creates a sticky substance just like toffee which is absolutely


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