What is Canadian cuisine, if not the diverse culinary expertise from abroad and at home? Before the era of European colonization, Indigenous communities across this land have been cultivating stories of traditional recipes over generations. These stories of friendship, family and flavour are as diverse as the many Indigenous communities from coast to coast. As we continue to learn more about Indigenous culture in Canada, we have the opportunity to share in their rich history through recipes in these cookbooks. Written by some of Canada’s most notable Indigenous culinary experts, this non-exhaustive list provides an in-depth look into Indigenous cuisine and culture.
If you’re looking to discover the beauty of bannock and more, check out these Canadian Indigenous cookbooks to inspire culinary storytelling in your own kitchen.
Niqiliurniq: A Cookbook from Igloolik
This cookbook was crafted by five women living in Igloolik, Nunavut. The intention was to cultivate a collection of recipes that embodied the traditions of local food found in the Arctic circle like seal and Arctic char. This cookbook also provides details on how to store food safely and build healthy nutritious meal plans on the foundations of Indigenous cuisine.
This collection of seal and fish recipes are inspired by the traditional methods used by the Inuit people in Nunavut. Seal in an uncommon protein in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, however if you do come across this nutritious meat, this cookbook provides the ideal methods for preparation. In addition, these recipes are printed in English and the Inuktitut dialect.
tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
In tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, chef Shane M. Chartrand invites you to step into his home (so to speak) and discover the traditions of Indigenous cuisine through his eyes. Shane dives into the cultural practices of dining at home, generations old recipes and the history of Indigenous cuisine.
The Deerholme Foraging Book: Wild Foods and Recipes from the Pacific Northwest
Straight from the Pacific Northwest comes this delicious collection of coastal recipes, highlighting the cultural practice of foraging. An exploration of wild foods, chef Bill Jones features of ton of recipes using sea vegetables, shellfish, edible plants and foraged mushrooms. Bill provides everything you need to transform these uncommon ingredients into everyday dishes like salads, soups and even desserts.
A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World
Inspired by the landscape surrounding her bed & breakfast near the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii, Susan Musgrave humorously treats readers to an immersive experience of food, land and culture. She awakens the senses with sensory driven recipes with the use of local ingredients. This cookbook masterfully captures Canada’s West Coast food culture in every way. A few standout recipes include hands-free cloudberry jam spruce tip mayonnaise mussels and Trudeau rose spit halibut with wild rose petals.
A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples' Cuisine
A cookbook for all seasons, this immersive cookbook by Andrew George, of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in Canada, is a well-rounded collection of delicious Indigenous recipes. Andrew spent the last 25 years honing his craft and becoming a thought leader for his community. This cookbook challenges conventional cooking norms and invites the reader to step outside of their comfort zone when it comes to flavour combinations. A few standout recipes include moose chili, smoked beaver meat and braised bear.
Mother Earth Plants for Health; Beauty: Indigenous Plants, Traditions, and Recipes
Ever wanted to learn more about the benefits of edible plants? This cookbook will be your go-to guide for enhancing your plant power prowess in the kitchen. Featuring over 20 medicinal plant recipe guides, this cookbook outlines a unique experience of getting in touch with nature and developing your green thumb.
Modern Native Feasts: Healthy, Innovative, Sustainable Cuisine
Have you ever wanted to try Indigenous recipes with an Asian twist? This cookbook might be for you. Author Andrew George Jr. created this cookbook to reflect his imaginative passion of traditional Indigenous cuisine with his experience trying out Asian cooking in Vancouver. Andrew recipes masterfully envelope the diverse flavours found in Canada’s West Coast, while still staying true to his roots. You won’t be disappointed with delicious recipes like bison ribs with Thai spices or venison barley soup.
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