Acadian cuisine holds a special place on the Canadian food scene. Fan favourites like poutine and tourtière made their first appearances in Acadia, and have made their way into the homes of Canadians across the country.
Acadia refers to the French-speaking areas of Atlantic Canada, settled by French colonizers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Acadian cuisine drew much of its inspiration from the French cuisine of that era, and adapted over time to meet the needs of a colony. Colonial recipes relied heavily on what could be produced or harvested locally. Root vegetables, grains, and wild game made frequent appearances at the dinner table. These types of ingredients were perfect for making hearty stews, soups, and other one-pot meals, which are now the foundation of traditional Acadian cuisine.
Fricot, or “meat stew”, is one of the most well-known Acadian dishes. This stew was traditionally made with root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, and whatever meat was readily available. The mixture would cook for hours until the meat was tender and then the entire thing was topped with light, fluffy dumplings. It was the perfect meal to warm the body and soul after a hard day’s work.
Fricot is made in much the same way today, with chicken as the meat of choice. Because of its own mild flavour it is perfect for absorbing the flavour the vegetables, broth, and herbs the recipe calls for. One of the most popular seasonings used in Acadian cuisine is summer savory, which has a sweet and delicate aroma. It is often used as sage would be in poultry dishes, and is part of what makes this stew so unique.
Have we peaked your interest yet? Why not try our recipe for this hearty Acadian comfort food and make it a regular at your table.