Veal: in the Hearts of Quebecers for a Long Time!
November 16, 2022
Did you know that in Quebec we consume twice as much veal as anywhere else in Canada? And this is not something new! Veal is an integral part of the province's culinary history, and is the basis of many of our traditional dishes. We offer you a throwback to the journey of this delightful meat and the evolution of it on our tables.
The First Nations diet consisted mainly of corn, squash, fish and small prey. The beef meat arrived in America at the time of New France, when the first settlers brought with them cattle from Europe. Therefore, the French influence hase a great importance on the food identity of present-day Quebecers, and this is why dishes such as braised veal shoulder, veal blanquette or even pot-au-feu, are still part of our most traditional recipes.
French cuisine is far from being the only thing to have inspired our gastronomic culture! While British influence is responsible for the rise in popularity of the potato, it is also responsible for a considerable increase in meat consumption, which rose drastically, especially beef production.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, the arrival of many Italian immigrants in Quebec had a strong influence on our culinary culture. Veal being one of the most popular Italians meats, it started to become integrated more into Quebec recipes. From osso buco to parmigiana cutlet, as well as Venetian-style veal liver, and not forgetting the essential spaghetti sauce, it was at this time that veal became a treasured choice of Quebec tables.
Nutritious, affordable and so tasty, veal is found today in many pure Quebec dishes including meatloaf, meatball, meat pie and the cretonnade that we spread on our toast in the morning. All are great classics choices!
One thing is certain, veal still has its place in Quebecers' kitchens!
Visit our classic recipes section to discover other timeless recipes!