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A Celebration of Canadian Cookbooks

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History of Canadian Cookbooks

The Pioneer Kitchen

Central Canada: Quebec

Samuel de Champlain. The Works of Samuel de Champlain. Vol. III (1615-1618). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971. Facsim. of: The Works of Samuel de Champlain. Vol. III (1615-1618). Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1922-1936

Louis Hébert, the first farmer in New France, planted familiar European food crops as soon as he could clear the land. His success was recorded by Champlain: "[T]he gardens [are] full of all kinds of plants, such as cabbages, radishes, lettuce, purslain, sorrel, parsley and other plants, squash, cucumbers, melons, peas, beans and other vegetables as fine and as well forward as in France…" (p. 205).

A cookbook from France, widely available in 19th-century Quebec.

La cuisinière canadienne, contenant tout ce qu'il est nécessaire de savoir dans un ménage, pour préparer les diverses…. Montréal: L. Perrault, 1840

One of the earliest -- perhaps the earliest -- cookbook written and published in Canada; it was intended for both professionals and the general public. This marked the beginning of French-Canadian cooking as a distinct cuisine.

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