Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - Bon appétit!
A Celebration of Canadian Cookbooks

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

History of Canadian Cookbooks

The Culture of Cooking

The Multicultural Kitchen


Canada is often spoken of as a country of immigrants, and we take pride in our multicultural heritage. As each ethnic group settled here, its particular foods and special ways of cooking became a part of the way we cook and eat. Today we are able to enjoy an international cuisine that includes a wide range of styles and flavours: pea soup and tourtières, oatmeal and shortbread, borscht and perogies, kugel and knishes, cabbage soup and cheese dumplings, dim sum, pastas and frittatas, jerk chicken and rotis, lemon grass and peanut dipping sauce, and curries of all kinds. As immigrants continue to arrive from different cultures and regions of the world, new and delicious tastes continue to be added, making all our kitchens multicultural.

A Treasure for My Daughter: A Reference Book of Jewish Festivals with Menus and Recipes. Edited by Bessie W. Batist; recipe section edited by Sarah Ein, Ann Warshaw and Mary Davids. Montréal: Ethel Epstein Ein Chapter of Hadassah, 1950

"This volume has been written for the purpose of answering the questions of our young Jewish homemakers who, in their desire to observe the Jewish traditions, often find themselves uncertain of the details in carrying out these practices" (p. xi).

"Ukrainian Canadians have brought with them from their native land a wealth of their culture with truly priceless treasures of a tangible character as well as intangible spiritual values.... their enthusiasm for their own native dishes never wanes" (p. 9). In addition to the recipes, the cultural significance of Ukrainian food and ceremonies is described.

Recipe books for and about different cultural groups in Canada vary from the full-colour, expensively produced titles to the simplest, such as this one, which is full of mouth-watering recipes.

Many Canadians were first introduced to the intricacies of Chinese cooking through Stephen Yan's popular television programs.