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azurenath

What are the best Canadian cookbooks?

31 posts in this topic

Hi, I work for a bookstore that specializes in cookbooks and we are looking to expand our Canadian section, which at the moment is pretty pathetic (other than the Au Pied de Cochon book, which we have been selling very enthusiastically). Does anyone have recommendations for Canadian cookbooks that that fall into one or the other of the following categories? They can be in any language, but preferably they should still be in print.

--traditional Canadian cooking (old-school Quebecois, whatever)

--new Canadian cooking (a la Normand Laprise). It can involve outside influences but must nonetheless retain certain essentially Canadian elements

Thanks guys! I recently had the privilege of visiting your beautiful country and loved it!


--------------------------------------------

Nathalie Jordi

nathalie.jordi@nealsyarddairy.co.uk

http://www.nathaliebouffe.com

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I'm extremely fond of Re-Bar: Modern Food Cookbook (from the predominantly vegetarian restaurant of the same name in Victoria, BC), but would have to read through its ingredients lists to see whether it "retains essentially Canadian elements". Can you define what these are? Maple syrup, poutine, fiddleheads...?


Edited by chamekke (log)

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I sometimes use the Complete Canadian Living Cookbook. It has quite a few Canadian recipes such as Nanaimo bars, tourtiere, Saskatoon berry pie and bannock. There are some french recipes but I would say most are just ordinary everyday recipes. The direction are very clear and its easy to use. From Random House Canada.

Bonnie Stern is a well respected Canadian chef who has quite a few books out.


Edited by demiglace (log)

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I've enjoyed Best Summer Weekends Cookbook by Jane Rodmell. It's a collection of recipes from Cottage Life and most are well-adapted to summer weekend living in the backyard or at the cottage. I don't think there is much that is uniquely Canadian but then not many recipes are!

Edited because I can't type this early in the morning.


Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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What about cookbooks like Susur Lee's "Susur: A Culinary Life, Books 1-2"? (I'd link to it, but I can't remember how to do an eGullet link offhand.

There's also the Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook, if it's still available.

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You could include everything by Mme. Benoit and some by Edna Staebler. The Schmecks books by Staebler are perhaps not truly based on Canadian cooking but I think by this time many of the recipes could be called Canadian. There are a ton of great food ideas in the Best Of Bridge line as well, these were put out by a group of ladies from Calgary.

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Rob Feenie has at least two books that would fall in the new Canadian cooking category. Lucy Waverman's books might fit in Canadian home cooking.

You could look at The Cookbook Store's list too.

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In terms of traditional cooking, you could add Kate Aitken's Canadian Cook Book and Julian Armstrong's A Taste of Quebec. Also, Anita Stewart's The Flavours of Canada is a good bet.

If you're willing to include cookbooks that are Canadian simply by virtue of being produced by Canadian restaurants, I'd also add The Inn on the Twenty Cookbook by Anna and Michael Olson and The Chez Piggy Cookbook, compiled by Victoria Newbury. The former is without a doubt a Canadian cookbook, but the latter includes recipes for an incredibly diverse array of foods, including Thai curry pastes, Jamaican jerk chicken, and French classics like duck confit.

Ultimately, the problems with identifying "Canadian" cookbooks are the same as those with identifying "Canadian" cuisine...


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Daniel Vezina from the Laurie Raphael in Quebec city has a few excellent cookbooks. Quite similar to the kind of cuisine Normand Laprise does at the Toque! He focuses on local ingredients and producers. As far as I know, they are the best recent canadian cookbooks.

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My personal favourite book on Canadian cookery is "Across the Table, an Indulgent Look at Food in Canada" by Cynthia Wine. Now out of print, but I've found copies here and there (try abebooks.com or Barbara Joe's bookstocooks.com). It's pan-Canadian look at regional cooking, beautifully illustrated by Mary Pratt.

Not Canadian perhaps, but the "Ukrainian Daughter's Cookbook" takes me back to my Prairie childhood :-)

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I agree the Canadian Living cookbooks are excellent, particularly The Canadian Living Entertaining Cookbook ISBN 0-394-22153-2.

I would also include something from Madame Benoit as well, she was a pioneer. Maybe The Canadiana Cookbook: A Complete Heritage of Canadian Cooking


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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The Looney Spoons series has been great for my neices to begin cooking. I believe Garnet Publishing puts them out.

They have cute silly names for the recipes, with ingredients you can find in almost any grocery store (something that is very important to us in small town Northern Ontario!)

They are simple recipes and I haven't been disappointed with any of them. My neice started cooking some of the recipes when she was 8 and couldn't wait to try something new when the latest Eat, Shrink and be Merry came out.

Anything that can get kids and new cooks into the kitchen is always a great place to start! :biggrin:

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Another few I would recommend would be:

"The Great Canadian Food Show's cookbook" by Chris Knight

http://www.knight-tv.com/shopping2003.htm (from the show's producers' website)

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Great-...ris+Knight'

"Great Canadian Cookies, Bars & Squares" by Sheila Peacock and Jennifer Abrams

http://www.douglas-mcintyre.com/book_details.asp?b=796

The latter is filled with recipes for Canadian classics like Nanaimo bars, Hellow Dollies and Butter Tart squares.

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Guys, thanks so much for all the suggestions! We will be looking into many of them.

Appreciatively,

Nathalie


--------------------------------------------

Nathalie Jordi

nathalie.jordi@nealsyarddairy.co.uk

http://www.nathaliebouffe.com

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I think at one point I started a thread trying to assemble a list of all the Toronto and area food-related stuff in print. There may be a few ideas there, but of course only dealing with the Toronto area.

I also second the Anita Stewart book if you're looking for something that covers the whole country, is new and in print (can't remember if it examines the far north though). There's also a newish (last year I think) book on Canadian artisinal cheeses by Gurth Pretty that might be worth checking out.

I also just picked up A Century of Canadian Home Cooking by Carol Ferguson and Margaret Fraser. It's out of print (it was published in the early 90s). What may be of interest is a list at that back of the book of literally hundreds of Canadian cookbooks, sorted by decade. While I suspect that few of the books listed are still in print, and therefore doesn't really help you with your particular need, it does give some indication of what was historically available here.

There's also a few cookbook shops that might be worth contacting. There's the Cookbook store on Yonge St. in Toronto. I know they have a website. (Here's a link to part of the Canadian stuff they carry: Cookbook Store, Toronto There's a store in Vancouver, but I can't remember the name of it. Books for Cooks maybe? I also seem to recall hearing about a place in Alberta (Calgary? Edmonton?) and possibly Montreal as well, although I'm not entirely sure about those. I know the Toronto store has a Canadian section. They could tell you what actually sells the best.

Try the Food Network Canada website as well. Some of the shows that were made for the Canadian market have spinoff books.

Good luck.

Geoff Ruby

Edited to add link


Edited by rgruby (log)

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Gastronomie et forêt by Christiane Gauthier, Jean-François Lacroix and Paul-E.Lambert (en Francais)

An Edible Journey : Exploring the islands' fine food, farms and vineyards-Vancouver Island with Elizabeth Levinson

Chow: from China to Canada: memories of food + family-Janice Wong

You can't go wrong with any of these plus anything by Karen Barnaby


Edited by truenorthern (log)

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There's a store in Vancouver, but I can't remember the name of it.

I think you mean Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

It's a great place. She's not in Yaletown anymore though. She's in Kitsilano on W. 2nd near Burrard and on Granville Island in the Netloft, across from the market.


Edited by truenorthern (log)

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There was an exhibit a few years ago, in Ottawa at the National Archives. I went, it was good, here's the link: click


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I'd like to bump this up.

There's been a bunch of Canadian books published since this was last discussed.

Anybody have any comments on the new(ish) batch of Canadian cookbooks. Or want to add to the list of older ones worthy of checking out?

Cheers,

Geoff

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Au Pied De Cochon by Martin Picard, is a well respected "Canadian cookbook"

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I picked up a copy of Fresh Canadian Bistro by Craig Flinn a couple of weeks ago, and have been gradually browsing my way through it. It's a very interesting collection of recipes, and if you wanted to get a picture of the modern state of Canadian cuisine, there are worse places to start. I'd be especially interested in trying the roast Canada goose with brandy marmalade sauce or the red Thai curried caribou, if only I could get my hands on either of those meats!

There's even a touch of avant-garde technique in the book, involving agar and cold oil...


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I picked up a copy of Fresh Canadian Bistro by Craig Flinn a couple of weeks ago, and have been gradually browsing my way through it. It's a very interesting collection of recipes, and if you wanted to get a picture of the modern state of Canadian cuisine, there are worse places to start. I'd be especially interested in trying the roast Canada goose with brandy marmalade sauce or the red Thai curried caribou, if only I could get my hands on either of those meats!

There's even a touch of avant-garde technique in the book, involving agar and cold oil...

I had someone show up at my house one day when I lived in the Queen Charlotte Islands with a Canada Goose to roast. I don't recommend it!

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I picked up a copy of Fresh Canadian Bistro by Craig Flinn a couple of weeks ago, and have been gradually browsing my way through it. It's a very interesting collection of recipes, and if you wanted to get a picture of the modern state of Canadian cuisine, there are worse places to start. I'd be especially interested in trying the roast Canada goose with brandy marmalade sauce or the red Thai curried caribou, if only I could get my hands on either of those meats!

There's even a touch of avant-garde technique in the book, involving agar and cold oil...

Wouldn't try for a Canada Goose in Canada - they are protected by law. Can't imagine they have much to offer taste-wise either unless perhaps it's that or starvation.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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For what it's worth, the book does recommend substituting a farm-raised goose if you can't get wild Canada goose. :biggrin:


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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