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Need to find " Ontario" specific recipes

  • b

My daughter is compiling a cook book for her Grade 9 Geography class with recipes that are indicitive of each Province. We are completely stuck on Ontario, if anyone can think of a dish that is Ontario specific we would appreciate the help.

Thanks so much for you help with this.

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  1. I had a similar project back in the day. There's a Canadian Living Cookbook (I imagine it's out of print now) from the 80s that has a section of recipes from each province/territory. Maybe you can find it at the library.

    The Canadian Living Cookbook (Carol Ferguson), 1987

    Hope that helps. Cheers.

    1. Butter Tart, Peameal Bacon Sandwich, Fried Smelt, Pablum :-)

      1. Lake Erie perch... breaded and pan fried.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Juniper

          St Lawrence Perch rolls too...probably toxic but definitely still a tradition in the Thousand Islands area: Hot dog bun, perch and mayo.

          Edit: Whoops I see now I'm a bit late on this one sorry!

        2. There's the "Flavours of" or the Food Lover's Guide to Canada.

          Blueberries? The best blueberries I've ever had are from Blueberry Point, Georgian Bay. Though I suppose blueberries are found in other provinces too.

          Peameal bacon is definitely an Ontario specific specialty.

          Butter tarts seem to be more French-Candaian and therefore found in several provinces. Leastways, every French-Canadian family I know has a buttertart recipe whether they're from Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec!

          Maybe Foodland Ontario might be of some help?


          2 Replies
          1. re: GourmandGirl

            Thanks so much for your fast responses. She has been working really hard on this project over the weekend but was stuck for Ontario other than Peach Pie from Niagara and Ice Wine ( which she can't include in the project) she was stumped and I thought the territories would be the hardest.

            1. re: GourmandGirl

              I would check out the late Mme.Benoit cookbooks in the Library ...I'm sure that she would have her 'own' Lamb recipes because years ago she 'raised' Lambs on her farm property in Quebec.... she was VERY famous for quite a long time , not sure if she is still alive but I would think she would be quite elderly at this point....She was ONE of the big time Chef's known all over Canada.

            2. I found this site and wonder if this restaurant menu might give her some ideas.

              1. What a fun project. Eating your way across Canada...

                Concord grape pie could be a good one. (My dad makes a fab one) Or something else that uses concord grapes...

                Stone-fruit is something Ontario seems to take a lot of pride in. Damson plums being one of the more distinctive fruits -- seems fewer and fewer of these trees around though.

                Ontario has a real Anglophile orientation, so many British foods also seem quite Ontario to me -- tea sandwiches, Welsh rarebit, etc.

                Maple syrup is another big one for the area (Quebec also has it's share -- but definitely works for ON). Heres a link that has a bunch of recipes that use maple syrup (mains as well as dessert):

                1. Anything with Macintosh apples - they were developed in Eastern Ontario (applesauce, pie).

                  Cranberries are grown here as is wild rice.
                  Another source to consider are Mennonite cookbooks. The Mennonite community has been in Ontario (Kitchener) for hundreds of years.

                  I agree with bite bite - fun project.

                  1. Traditional Ontario cooking and Yankee cooking are the same because the heritage, settlement and lineage are the same. I would feel safe to include such items as apple pie, cherry pie, Brunswick stew, muskrat, squirrel stew and succotash.

                    Many ancient Franco-Ontarian families must also be included - this province was French before it was English. I can't speak to their dishes, though.

                    Interestingly, any peach dish in Canada derives from Ontario, specifically Leamington where peaches were first introduced by southern emigres after the US Confedarate war.

                    1. Remember, there's a huge Mennonite population in Ontario, settled here over 200 years ago...Anything in any of the Food that Schmecks series', Edna Staebler.


                      1. I have a book called "A Century of Canadian Home Cooking" that covers traditional Canadian recipes from 1900-1999. It's not by region, but I scanned through looking for any reference to Ontario. It was hard to find anything specific but I came across 2 you might find to be of interest:

                        1. there was a reference to "Hudson's Bay Pudding". Here is a link to an online recipe, if you google Hudson's Bay Pudding a bunch of results come up, here is one:

                        2. There was mention of Port Carling butcher Morley Stephens who is known far and wide for his fresh lamb available from June to Thanksgiving. Here is the recipe for Garlic Rosemary Barbecued Leg of Lamb:
                        6 lb leg of lamb, bone-in
                        6 cloves garlic, slivered
                        fresh rosemary
                        1 lemon, thinly sliced

                        Cut tiny slits in fatty side of lamb; insert garlic sliver into each. Sprinkle with rosemary; overlap lemon slices on top. Generously grind pepper over all.

                        Set lamb on a greased grill over drip pan with medium hot coals on either side. Cover barbecue and grill for about 1.5 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 140 F (60 C) for rare, or to desired doneness. Serves 8.

                        But I also thought of one very distinct and obviously Ontarian treat: BEAVERTAILS!
                        Here is an online recipe:

                        your daughter's project sounds like fun, good luck!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: pantone

                          Thank you all for your help. She went with sweet and simple choices, Niagara Peach Pie and Mennonite Apple Fritters, this was a great project to " help" her on. We had a blast looking up recipes, and deciding what dishes matched what province and territory. I will admit we took a little okay A LOT of liberty with the recipes of the north, no matter how much I tried she would not put in any seal blubber recipes and instead chose Grilled Arctic Char and Caribou Soup.

                          Thank you once again for ALL of the great ideas.

                          1. re: pantone

                            "But I also thought of one very distinct and obviously Ontarian treat: BEAVERTAILS!"
                            Almost called PETA until I read the recipe.

                            1. re: wolfe

                              Just wanted to let you know that the project was very well received by the teacher, he asked if he could borrow the cookbook over March Break because he wanted to try making some of the dishes. I can't wait to hear which ones he tried.

                              1. re: books

                                Congrats! We often overlook the ethnic groups that settled our provinces. Ontario has a large Italian, Greek, German, Scottish, Irish, Jewish population. Also a lot of big game hunting and fishing in the area.

                          2. Madawaska River pike or muskie, breaded and fried in butter. Bull rams' legs the same way.