The Very Canadian History of the Acadian Fricot

The history of Canada’s food culture is a complex story of diverse perspectives and contributions. Over the many years of Indigenous sovereignty to European colonization, Canada’s food culture has undergone a transformative journey to where it is today. There is often debate about what is actually “Canadian” in terms of cuisine — and the answer is quite simple.


There’s no denying the impact European settlers had on Indigenous communities during the early days of colonization. In contrast, the development of notable regional dishes could not have been possible without the resources of Indigenous Peoples. That is why it’s important to recognize that in our shared history, Canadian cuisine is a multitude of rich storytelling, and one most notable being the story of the Acadian Fricot.

Related: The Very Western Canadian History of the Shaft Cocktail

What is the history of the Acadian fricot?

At this point, you might be wondering, who are the Acadians? From the early 1600s to 1755, French colonizers built settlements on what is now known as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. During the Seven Years’ War, the British forcibly removed the Acadians in an effort to limit French influence in Canada. Acadians then found refuge in Quebec, France and some of the Southern United States.

The Acadian fricot itself is a rendition of the original fricot hailing from Western France. It’s a humble dish consisting of herbs, root vegetables and a variety of meats including chicken and rabbit. This recipe is considered a frugal dish as many who made it came from low-income families and areas that lacked an abundance of fruit and vegetables.



What is traditional Acadian food?

While building settlements on the East Coast, the Acadians grew accustomed to fishing and harvesting from the local agriculture. Much of what they grew was also common in Western France, such as cabbage, beans, carrots, corn, wheat and potatoes. Also, being close to the ocean made it convenient to catch fish like Herring and Cod. That said, Canadian winters are challenging, so the Acadians needed to work closely with Indigenous groups to better understand how to grow crops and hunt in harsh conditions.

After the expulsion of Acadians from Eastern Canada, their cuisine started to shift as new influences shaped their style of cooking in their new settlements. In particular, the Southern United States played a big part in developing what is now known as Cajun food. Spices, herbs, and vegetables influenced by trade with Mexico and cooking practices from West Africans allowed the newly proclaimed Cajun people to create new dishes like cornbread and gumbo.

Related: Canadian Indigenous Cookbooks to Get You Inspired


How do you make the Acadian fricot?

The Acadian fricot is easily one of our most popular recipes to make. It is a combination of root vegetables, dairy, chicken and herbs. To get the full recipe on how to make traditional Acadian chicken fricot, find the recipe here.