The Canadian Living Cookbook


285 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-394-22017-X
DDC 641




Reviewed by Esther Fisher

Esther Fisher is a professor of English at the University of Toronto and
a former food critic for The Globe & Mail.


The Canadian Living Cookbook, in publication for over a year, is still among the top ten non-fiction best sellers in Canada. Canadian Living Magazine and its special supplements on cooking are a Canadian institution, much prized by homemakers. Now, the magazine has discontinued the supplements and published, instead, a cookbook with recipes by its food writers. All 525 recipes were tested before publication, and each recipe begins and ends on the same page, so the reader does not have to turn pages while cooking.

The introduction celebrates Canadian home cooking, noting both typically Canadian dishes such as butter tarts and ethnic dishes — cabbage rolls, sushi, fettucini to name a few — introduced by our multicultural population.

Aside from the traditional arrangement of chapters according to courses of meals, the book contains a section on the regional cooking of Canada with short essays about the geography, produce, and culture of different areas of the country. As well, menus are accompanied by recipes which are either included in that chapter or elsewhere in the book.

The remaining chapters include recipes for time-honoured stand-bys and innovative culinary offerings. In the section on soup, there are instructions for chicken soup and minestrone as well as melon and yogurt, and squash and clementine soups. Throughout, the chapters offer a varied and wide-ranging selection of tempting recipes.

Filled with beautiful photographs, easy-to-follow recipes, menus, serving tips, helpful hints on microwave cooking, and barbecuing, a safe storage food chart, and a section on metric and imperial equivalents, Canadian Living Cookbook is a volume any cook, amateur or accomplished, would welcome.

The one drawback of this otherwise excellent cookbook is its large size (12 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches) which makes it awkward to store on a cookbook shelf. It has obviously been published as a coffee-table gift book, which is a pity. It’s lovely to look at, but a cookbook should be cherished not only for its appearance, but for its practicality as well.



Ferguson, Carol, and the food writers of Canadian Living, “The Canadian Living Cookbook,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 10, 2023,