Flavours at their Purest
Bountiful in nature, inventive in culture, the distinctive feature of Aboriginal cuisine is its honesty, no matter what community invites you to its table. Its raw material? Nature, of course, and the resources that it generously gives, through the seasons, to these people whose way of life was shaped through direct contact with the environment. It’s not surprising, then, that game, fish, wild plants, boreal spices, berries and mushrooms feature prominently on the menu of First Nations dishes. Aboriginal cooking is the taste of the great outdoors, with an added dash of savoir-faire!
Experiences and emotions
As simple and natural as it might be, Aboriginal cuisine won’t fail to surprise you. Wouldn’t it be thrilling to watch game being cooked on a spit over a fire? Wouldn’t you like mussels that have been gathered by the Inuit under the sea ice? Does raw caribou appeal to you? Would you be able to distinguish the different basic ingredients of the traditional soup sagamité (the famous “three sisters”: squash, corn and red beans), and recognize the different Nations’ variations? And would you be able to make bannock, that delicious Aboriginal bread, at home with your children?
Emotions and surprise continue as you see the highly sophisticated variations of Aboriginal cuisine. As in other fields, Amerindians have long shared their culinary knowledge and techniques, to the point of their becoming essentials. Just think of the technique of smoking meat and fish, or the gathering of maple sap. Today, First Nations are also holding their own in the quality cuisine sector. The first reason is that great chefs are increasingly claiming Aboriginal influences, both in the fine natural products they use or in the ways these products are prepared. And the second reason is that there are talented people in the different communities who make a point of bestowing Aboriginal cuisine with prestige and modernity (read the sidebar). Adjust your taste buds for this whole new universe of flavors and culinary artistry!
“Aboriginal cuisine is the taste of the great outdoors, with an added dash of savoir-faire!”
Based on gathering, hunting ans fishing, Aboriginal cuisine inspires you to explore the woods. With a 100% pantry, First Nations concoct a cuisine with the feel of rich earthiness and wide-open spaces. A hike in the woods, casting a fishing rod in the cold crystal-clear waters, a visit to an undergrowth – there are as many ways to survive as there are to cook, Whetther your are Abenaki, Inuit, Huron-Wendat or any other nation, the recipie is the same : we all draw from the source. Today, within the walls of their restaurants, in the kitchens of a number of caterers or on the pages of deliciously illustrated cookbooks, renowned Aboriginal chefs use an ancestral savoir-faire to take us on an epicurean journey with a dash of contemporary cuisine.