Book Review: Anita Stewart’s Canada

BOOK: Anita Stewart’s Canada: The Food/The Recipes/The Stories

AUTHOR: Anita Stewart

Review by Anabela Neves

Before reading this book I assumed it would be filled with recipes such as poutine and nanamio bars. I was already prejudging this book before I even opened it because of what we assume are Canadian dishes. I was greatly mistaken!

This book took a lot of time and work to create. These are stories of the history of food in Canada and every recipe had its own story. I enjoyed reading all the individual recipe histories, even if it was a recipe that I knew I would not try to make.

Anita Stewart writes, “This is no mere cookbook, it is a travel guide.” I was transported to the different regions in Canada and I learned how food can greatly vary. That variation is strongly influenced by the heritage of the immigrants and natives of Canada. Anita proves that there is not just one Canadian cuisine – there are hundreds.

Anita also reminded me of how blessed I am to be living in such a natural wonder. We are blessed with being able to enjoy seasonally harvested food and local produce needs to be a priority in our cooking.

I tried out a great variety of recipes from this cookbook and even went out of my comfort level. There are three recipes that I feel are absolutely fabulous:

Karen’s Brazilian Black Bean & Chickpea Salad was not just a beautiful kaleidoscope of colour but also of taste. The mixture of the lime juice and the cider vinegar is an amazing combination that really adds a tangy kick.   

Peppery Portuguese Fish Stew brought me back to my Portuguese roots while the flavors of this dish danced on my tongue. The combination of the garlic, fresh parsley and pimento sauce is definitely what makes this recipe a winner.

Joan Heaths Prairie Grain Cookies was a quick and easy recipe to make. The textures of these cookies were chunky and chewy, and the flavour of the sunflower seeds explodes on your taste buds.

Anita goes into detail on the history of our key staples in Canada. She describes our maple syrup as “pure gold” while corn, beans and squash are “the 3 sisters” because they were the foundation plants of the First Nations. The history that is taught here is priceless and for that alone I would recommend it to everyone as a must read.

Anabela Neves is a guest book reviewer for You can follow her on her blog: It’s Life Max It Out. Anabela has also written more individual recipe reviews from this book. You can view them here:

Mark Mitchell’s Grilled Salmon With Island Flavours Salsa

Min Biback’s Honey Cake

The Red Shoe’s Gingerbread