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Canadian cuisine varies widely from region to region. Generally, the traditional cuisine of English Canada is closely related to British and American cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders.
The basis of both groups is traditionally on seasonal, fresh ingredients, and preserves. The cuisine includes a lot of baked foods, wild game, and gathered foods. Prepared foods were still a novelty for recent rural generations, so there are some that are well-loved to the point of obsession-- and which have come to dominate suburban diets. However, home-made, warming, and wholesome remain key adjectives in what Canadians consider their cuisine.
The cuisine of the western provinces is heavily influenced by British, German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Scandinavian cuisine. Noteworthy is the cuisine of the Doukhobors: Russian-descended vegetarians.
Canadian Chinese cuisine is widespread across the country, with variation from place to place. The Chinese smorgasbord, although found in the U.S. and other parts of Canada, had its origins in early Gastown, Vancouver, c.1870 and came out of the practice of the many Scandinavians' working in the woods and mills around the shantytown getting the Chinese cook to put out a steam table on a sideboard, so they could "load up" and leave room on the dining table (presumably for "drink").
The traditional cuisine of The Arctic and the Canadian Territories is based on wild game and Inuit and First Nations cooking methods. The cuisines of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces derive mainly from British and Irish cooking, with a preference for salt-cured fish, beef, and pork. Ontario, Manitoba & British Columbia also maintain strong British cuisine traditions.
Today many Canadians will identify foods as being uniquely "Canadian" largely on the basis of such items being uncommon in the United States. Foods enjoyed in both countries, such as fast food and popular restaurant cuisine, will often be described as simply "North American" dining.