Gastronomy of Canada: traditional dishes and desserts

The cuisine of Canada owes its origin to the indigenous cultures that inhabited the country over the centuries. This is why Canada’s food is so varied today 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 that we are going to deal with in this article.

Main courses

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

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

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


It is fern leaves when they are still to mature and are rolled. They are cooked with chicken, potatoes and other vegetables. This dish is very typical of New Brunswick (Canada). In addition, it is a very healthy dish, since fern leaves are a source of omega 3 and omega 6, in addition to iron and fiber.

Fiddleheads or fern leaves

Macaroni and cheese

Also know as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese or Kraft Mac and Cheese It is a meal marketed by the company Kraft Foods in Canada and the United States since 1937.

Actually, it is an extremely simple dish, since they are 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 until after one year.

Kraft dinner

Montreal bagels

A bagel or beige It is a type of traditional bread made from wheat flour and reminiscent of a donut, as it is characterized by having a hole in the center. However, the difference is that the bagels are salty and on the outside they have a crunchy texture thanks to the fact that they cook in water for a short period of time before baking.

Thus, Montreal bagels are characteristic because they are made by hand and baked in a wood oven. Its flavor is slightly sweet, unlike the New York bagel, whose size is larger.

Montreal Bagels


This dish is originally from Quebec (Canada) and consists of fries spread with little cured cheddar cheese and meat sauce. The cheese is added when the potatoes are freshly made and coated with the very hot meat sauce, so that the cheese is melted and the fries soften.

Poutine is considered a fast food or fast food within Canadian cuisine and can be found in restaurants, street stalls and even school canteens, as well as in the main fast food chains (for example: Burger King, KFC or McDonald’s).


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

In addition, you can find organic cow meat, that is, farms where cows have been raised taking care of their well-being and have been fed without chemicals. With this, here are four dishes that include meat and are especially typical of Canada.

Boeuf smoked sandwich

Boeuf smoked it’s french and literally means smoked veal. In this way, this dish is nothing more than a sandwich of whole wheat or rye bread that is filled with smoked veal, mustard and pickles. It can be accompanied by coleslaw. It is a dish that can be ordered at any restaurant as a snack.

Boeuf smoked sandwich

Calgary beef hash

Calgary is located in the central part of the country and is one of the regions where the highest meat production exists. The typical thing is to take it roasted and in steaks or hamburger and accompanied by fried potatoes or some salad. Thus, the Calgary beef hash It is one of the most typical dishes of the central area of ​​the country, which is characterized by also including beans.

Calgary Beef Hash

Peameal Bacon

Also called cornmeal bacon, consists of bacon loins made from thinly sliced ​​pork loin, pickled and rolled in cornmeal (hence the name of cornmeal bacon).

Its origin is due to the company William Davies Company, a pork meat processor originally from Toronto. This type of meat is taken in a sandwich and it is usual to find this dish in St. Lawrence Market, one of the main markets in Toronto.

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

Peameal Bacon


Commonly called meatloaf, is a dish originally from Quebec, Montreal (Canada), where in fact it is 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 cow. Traditionally, this kind of savory cake is served at special events, such as New Year or Christmas, although today its popularity is such that it can be found throughout the country throughout the year.

Quebec tourtiere

Fish and seafood

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

The cold waters of Canada contain more than 160 different marine species, of which tons of fresh, frozen, canned or smoked products are exported every day. With this, in the following we list a series of dishes that contain seafood or fish and are the most typical in the country.


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

Canada herring

Arctic Char

The Arctic Char can be found in the province of British Columbia, on the Pacific Ocean coast. Because of its texture and flavor, it is reminiscent of salmon. It is a very healthy fish and rich in omega 3.

It can be included in sauteed, roasted in the oven or on the grill, etc. In addition, it is usually accompanied by different spices or sauces to taste, including fine herb butter or spicy or citrus sauce.

Arctic Char


Boiled lobster with corn is the most popular recipe in Canada and is traditional from the maritime province of Prince Edward Island. In English, it is called steamed lobster with corn.

Boiled lobster with corn


Canadian salmon is famous for its high quality and is usually eaten in the maritime provinces of the country. It grows well in fish farms or is fished in the wild.

As with the Arctic Char, the versatility of salmon admits a wide variety of recipes and is prepared fresh, frozen, smoked or canned. Canada is one of the largest producers and, therefore, salmon exporters worldwide. Many indigenous communities in Canada live 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.


Canadian cuisine includes a huge variety of desserts, among which its cakes stand out. Canada’s desserts and sweets vary from end to end of the country, so that in each region a different dessert is considered traditional.

Thus, in the east the sugar piein Ontario, the butter tarts and the west, the Nanaimo bars. These are just some of the typical desserts that we will list below.

Berry cream pie

This forest fruit cake is homemade and is made with a biscuit base spread in cream cheese and with a topping of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. It is a calorie cake, as it includes a wide variety of ingredients and sugar confectionery.

Berry cream pie


Actually, this is the name of a very popular bakery chain in Canada alongside Queues de Castor. Its star product is the beavertails, a kind of sweet made with fried dough which is given an elongated and flattened shape reminiscent of a beaver’s tail, hence the name of this candy, which literally translates by Beaver tail.

They are taken smeared with different ingredients, such as cocoa cream, apple pie, cinnamon … The BeaverTails chain was established in 1978 in Killaloe, Ontario for the first time and is currently a franchise that can also be found in the United States, South Korea and Japan .


Butter tarts

This dessert is one of the most popular in Canada. It is a small sweet paste made from butter, sugar, maple syrup and eggs, all baked until the filling is semi-solid and the top is crispy.

Traditionally, the butter tarts They have a rounded shape, with a wider diameter in the upper layer than in the base, but the recipe may vary according to the family tradition of each house where they are cooked. The most popular variant are the butter tart squares, which are the same but their shape is square.

Butter tarts


Although cupcakes can be found anywhere in the world today, they are a very traditional Canadian dessert. There are many flavors, colors and shapes, but the base is always the same: a small piece of cake designed for a single person covered with a cream, which can be chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, custard, cream …

This top layer is known as frosting. As modern as they may seem, cupcakes were already taken in the 19th century because there were no molds to make cakes and, therefore, cups or small clay pots were used as molds. Hence the name cupcake, which literally translates by cup cake.

Maple syrup

Maple Syrup (in English, maple syrup and, in French, sirop d’érable) also called maple syrup or Maple syrup, this last name as a traced translation from English, is possibly the best known product worldwide and from Canada.

Usually, it is taken accompanying pancakes or trempettes, but also as a condiment in a wide variety of desserts. It is made from the sap of the sugar maple, red or black maple.

Maple syrup

Mint cookies

The mint cookies, literally mint cookies They are made with chocolate, peanut butter and chopped mint. They stand out for their flavor, in which the freshness of the mint contrasts with the sweetness of chocolate, and therefore they are popular. They can be found with or without dark chocolate coating, although they are more common coated. They are usually taken with tea.

Mint cookies

Nanaimo bars

The Nanaimo bars or bars of Nanaimo are originals from Canada, but today they have become popular throughout North America. They are square, chocolate and not cooked in the oven. As the name implies, they come from the city of Nanaimo, located in British Columbia, on the west coast of the country.

Its ingredients are: crumbed wafer (base layer), custard-flavored butter or butter glaze (center layer) and melted chocolate (top layer). Of course, there are several variants of this popular dessert, such as the one that adds mint glaze, for example.

Nanaimo Bars


The name of this dessert comes from French, since it is originally from Quebec and literally means pudding for unemployed, since it was created during the 1929 crisis known as crac from 29 (name adapted to Spanish).

The name of this dessert comes from the fact of its elaboration was very economical and was prepared by working women during the period of mass layoffs of the industries of Montreal. Actually, it is a variant of the bread pudding pudding popular in England, where it is known as bread crumbs pudding.

Red Velvet Cake

The name of this cake is literally translated by red velvet cake and it is due to its color, which is dark red, sometimes reddish brown. To obtain this color, beet dye is traditionally used, although a red dye can also be used.

It is prepared in layers and tastes like vanilla or chocolate. Each layer is covered with a creamy white glaze that is usually cheese or buttercream.

Red Velvet Cake

Raspberry layer cake

This cake is usually taken during the celebration of Canada Day or Canada Day and in Spanish it is known by the name of three layer raspberry pie. The manufacturing process is long and can be extended up to 4 hours.

Various ingredients are needed, including unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, sifted common flour, yeast, salt, milk, raspberry jam and wild raspberries, as well as cream cheese and icing sugar for the intermediate layers (the White color).

Three layers raspberry or raspberry layer cake

Tres leches cake

The three milk cake, three milk bread or three milk cake is a cake whose base is a sponge cake soaked in three different types of milk: evaporated, condensed and thick cream.

To prevent too many bubbles remaining in the cake, butter is used, so that it acquires a more consistent texture. This cake or cake is not only popular in Canada, but in North America in general, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cake three milks or three milks cake


The trempettes They are pancakes similar to Pancakes but they are fried in oil, so that its texture is more crunchy. They are served soaked in maple syrup and usually covered in cream or with a little butter.

Canadian Trempettes

Native Products

Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of wild blueberries, which also receive in English the name of lowbush blueberries. They are grown mainly in Quebec, Nova Scotia and also in the provinces of the Atlantic coast.

Saskatoon or blueberries are also very popular Saskatoon Berries, which are grown in Canadian meadows (Canadian Prairies), British Columbia and northern Canada.

On the other hand, although white garlic is also grown in Canada, it is the most popular purple variant, since it is not popular around the world. It is grown especially in Ontario and British Columbia. The cultivation of purple garlic takes place in autumn and is not collected until the following summer.

The virgin cherries (in English, chokecherries or wild black cherries) are also an original product of Canada. They are grown in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec and Newfoundland. They are used to make juices, jams, jellies and even wines.

Virginia Cherries

The McIntosh apple variety, known simply as Mac It is traditionally grown in eastern Canada, as well as the Cortland, Gala, Fuji or Golden Delicious varieties are of Canadian origin. Apples were imported to Canada during the 17th century by European colonizers.

Finally, Canada is the world’s largest exporter of mustard (mustard in English) and the second in production level story. It is estimated that between 75 and 80% of mustard exports come from Canada.

This high level in terms of mustard production is largely due to the favorable climatic conditions in the country, which favor the cultivation of seeds of this plant.

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