Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada Canada
Home > Literature > Bon appétit! Français

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.

Banner: Bon Appétit! - A Celebration of Canadian Cookbooks
Banner: Bon Appétit!
IntroductionSearch CookbooksEducational Resources
Canada's First CooksThe Pioneer KitchenRevolutions In The KitchenThe Culture Of Cooking

The Pioneer Kitchen

It is difficult for us to grasp just how labour intensive preparing food was in the primitive kitchens of Canada's early settlers. Cooks throughout most of the 18th and 19th centuries had to do everything by hand. Trees had to be cut down, firewood cut and split and then carried to the kitchen wood box. Fireplaces, and later wood stoves, required constant attention. Refrigeration was provided by cool running springs or a cold box buried in the ground. Bread was made at home. Butter was churned by hand. Food was either eaten fresh or dried: commercial canned goods and home-canning methods were not yet available.

The foods available to Canada's pioneers depended largely on what region of the country they settled in. In recent years, continuity between past and present Canadian kitchens has been encouraged by cookbooks featuring regional traditions and pioneer recipes.


Photograph of a man washing dishes inside a tent at a railway camp, 1905
Food preparation for survey party no. 8, National Transcontinental Railway, Whitemouth, Manitoba, January 1905

IntroductionCanada's First CooksThe Pioneer KitchenRevolutions In The KitchenThe Culture Of Cooking
Search CookbooksRelated SitesEducational ResourcesAbout Bon appétitSourcesComments