Cape Breton Pictorial Cookbook


Review by Debbie Mazo

Cape Breton Island, located in Eastern Canada, has a long history of being a uniquely diverse part of Nova Scotia. Originally inhabited by the Mi'Kmaq First Nation, the island is a melting pot of cultural identities that have settled here since John Cabot arrived in 1497. Among them are the Highland Scots, Acadians, English, French, Polish, Ukrainians, Lebanese, and German.

The Cape Breton Pictorial Cookbook is a celebration of the food and beautiful scenery that is abundant on Cape Breton Island. Based on a hardcover book of the same name, the recipes were compiled by Cordon Bleu Chef, Yvonne C. LeVert, who offers a beautiful portrait of the island's diversity in culture, geography, and cuisine. Although access to the site is slow, the exceptional photography of Warren Gordon accompanying the various recipes makes this virtual trip to Nova Scotia well worth the visit.

Comparing the cuisine of Cape Breton to the intricate design and stitching of a quilt, the site provides insight into the treasured recipes, techniques, and traditions of the many backgrounds that have settled into the island over the years. Although the collection of recipes on this site is small, the choices are wide-ranging and unique. Many are old favorites such as oatcakes, boiled dinners, Scotch broth, and hot cross buns. Selections include the Dried Pea Potage traditionally served by the French of Fortress Louisbourg and the hearty Acadian Meat Pie originated by the Acadians who settled in Cheticamp and Isle Madame.

The Cape Breton Pictorial Cookbook introduces first time visitors to the joys of the geography and regional cooking that makes this island truly an original. If you want to expand your culinary horizons, this site will open your eyes to the rich diversity of Cape Breton Island cuisine, seldom seen in a such rustic area of North America.

Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She currently specializes in technical and marketing materials, but is also pursuing opportunities in food journalism.


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