Video interview with Catherine Ferland.
Duration: 1 min 28 s
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The title Ingredients from around the world appears. Historian and author Catherine Ferland speaks directly to the camera.



In Québec, our culinary heritage grew over time out of different foods but also out of recipes and cooking practices from our own culture and from the cultures around us. We may think that we’ve always had the same eating habits, but we’d be wrong. Our heritage is something that developed over many years, and chances are that it will always be this way and continue to evolve. There are actually five major influences on our eating and cooking habits: Aboriginal, French, British, American and international.



Today, two significant factors impact the way we eat in Québec. First, there’s this interest in foods from around the world, from foreign cultures. And that interest has led to ethnic restaurants, special ingredients in grocery stores and attempts to recreate recipes from around the world in our own kitchens in an effort to make them our own, in a way.



Second, there is an interest in local foods, the terroir and homegrown products from farmers we know, for example. It’s all quite reassuring and enables us to reconnect with our history and roots.



Ultimately, it’s the dual appeal of the global and the local that truly constitutes our contemporary food heritage. 

Ingredients from around the world


Where do our cooking and eating habits come from? According to Catherine Ferland, author and historian for the Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in North America, they have evolved over time. Inspired by international influences, our food heritage never ceases to expand and hybridize.

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The foods we eat reflect our many influences. Other cultures constantly elevate our foods and culinary practices, which we adapt to specific territories and climates. This mix of tradition and novelty also evolves as tastes and trends change and innovations emerge.

The foods and recipes that make up Québec’s culinary heritage are rooted in the melding of different cultures. Aboriginal peoples collected maple sap; the French made white pea soup; the Americans ate baked beans and the British popularized meat pie and poor man’s pudding, which, here, became tourtière and pouding chômeur!

The trend continues today in the myriad of family spaghetti sauce recipes and the ubiquity of sushi. Families and chefs alike borrow ideas and reinvent their food heritage with great creativity.

Québec’s rich food heritage grew out of major influences: Aboriginal, French, British, industrial, American, international and local.