Canadian cuisine varies widely depending on the regions of the nation. The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, Scottish and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 19th and 20th century from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the Caribbean, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented.
Although certain dishes may be identified as "Canadian" due to the ingredients used or the origin of its inception, an overarching style of Canadian cuisine is more difficult to define. Some Canadians such as the former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark believe that Canadian cuisine is a collage of dishes from the cuisines of other cultures. Clark himself has been paraphrased to have noted: "Canada has a cuisine of cuisines. Not a stew pot, but a smorgasbord.".
Some have sought to define Canadian cuisine along the line of how Claus Meyer defined Nordic cuisine in his Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen; namely that dishes in Canadian cuisine should reflect Canadian seasons, that they should use locally sourced ingredients that thrive in the Canadian climate, and that they are combined with good taste and health in mind. Others believe that Canadian cuisine is still in the process of being defined from the cuisines of the numerous cultures that have influenced it, and that being a culture of many cultures, Canada and its cuisine is less about a particular dish but rather how the ingredients are combined.
National food of Canada
Common contenders as the Canadian national food include:
- Butter tarts
- Kraft Dinner
According to an informal survey by the Globe and Mail conducted through Facebook from collected comment, users considered the following to be the Canadian National dish, with maple syrup likely above all the other foods if it were considered:
- Poutine (51%)
- Montreal-style bagels (14%)
- Salmon jerky (dried smoked salmon) (11%)
- Pierogi (10%)
- Ketchup chips (7%)
- Nova Scotian Donair (4%)
- California roll (1%)
In another survey from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the summer of 2012:
- Maple syrup
- Nanaimo bars, smoked salmon, and butter tarts