Scottish immigration, Scottish-Canadian, food history, cookbooks, Scottish cookbooks


This essay examines the publication and role of Scottish-Canadian cookbooks in Canada as vehicles of cultural knowledge, identity, and participation. Additionally, this essay seeks to build upon Canadian work in the field of food history, which has been largely neglected up until recently. Motivated by a lack of information on Scottish-Canadian cuisine in particular, this essay seeks to legitimize food as a component of Scottish-Canadian studies. The primary sources utilized are two Scottish-Canadian cookbooks published between 1825 and 1950: Modern Practical Cookery (1845) and The Waverley Cook Book (1934). These cookbooks and their recipes are situated in the greater context of contemporary events and Scottish immigration to Canada, which allows them to be read as a means of expressing nationalism and identity. In turn, this represents how cookbooks such as these were factors in the creation of “imagined communities” and how Scots used them to differentiate themselves from others. Furthermore, the high population of Scots in Canada combined with a Canadian focus on multiculturalism allowed for the complete integration of certain aspects of Scottish cuisine, to the point where it can be found on any grocery store shelf in Canada (like that shortbread we enjoy at Christmas).

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This paper was originally submitted April, 2013 to Dr. Rebecca Lenihan. The author is indebted to Dr. Lenihan for her feedback, encouragement, and aid in preparing this work for publication.

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