11 Traditional Acadian Dishes and Popular Foods

Acadian dishes are traditional, seafood-centric meals from Acadia, blending French, indigenous, and local influences.

Lastest Updated April 21, 2024
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Basic Information

Acadian Food: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Potatoes, pork, fish, beef, chicken, all-purpose flour, molasses, vegetables

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, baking, pickling, pan-frying


Main course, appetizer, dessert


Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Key Taste

Savory, sweet, sour, neutral

Eating Etiquette

Acadian meals are typically family-oriented and communal, emphasizing sharing and hospitality.
Traditional eating etiquette may not be as formal as in other cuisines, focusing instead on the enjoyment of food and company.

Meal Presentation

Rustic and hearty, with an emphasis on generous servings and the natural flavors of the ingredients.
Meal presentations are often straightforward.

Culinary Festivals

Festival acadien de Caraquet in New Brunswick, Christmas, New Year

Influence and Fusion

Influenced by French, American, and Canadian culinary traditions
Origin and Region

Acadian Food: Origin and Region



Cuisine’s Geographical Territory

North America
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of Acadian Food

  • Casseroles and Bakes

    In Acadian cuisine, casseroles and bakes often utilize a hearty mix of local ingredients, such as seafood, meats, and vegetables, layered or mixed together and baked to create comforting, one-dish meals.

  • Cakes and pastries

    Acadian cakes and pastries reflect a blend of French culinary heritage and local adaptations, featuring sweet and savory baked goods that incorporate regional flavors, often celebrated during festivals and special occasions.

Acadian dishes are a collection of specialties from the Acadian people, primarily found in the cultural region of Acadia.

This cuisine has evolved through various influences, including the Deportation of the Acadians, the region’s proximity to the ocean, harsh winters, poor soil fertility, and influences from Quebec (Canada), American specialties, and English cuisines.

Acadian dishes come with a strong emphasis on seafood. Also, Acadian cuisine incorporates a variety of proteins, Atlantic herring, lobster, and scallops, with pork being the most commonly used meat.

Vegetables and fruits are staple ingredients in many dishes. The cuisine also includes unique elements due to historical trade, like rice, molasses, and maple sugar.

Learn more about Acadian dishes by going through their history and some refreshments that pair well with the dishes.

Traditional Acadian Food involves understanding the culinary practices that have been shaped by various factors. These are some important factors that contribute to the traditional aspect of Acadian food:

  • Rooted in History and Geography: Acadian cuisine reflects the adaptation of 17th-century French culinary practices to the resources available in the Acadia region, including seafood, game, and locally grown vegetables.
  • Influence of Historical Events: The Deportation of the Acadians and subsequent resettlements have influenced Acadian cuisine, incorporating elements from Quebec, American, and English cuisines, among others.
  • Seafood Predominance: Due to its proximity to the ocean, Acadian cuisine features a variety of seafood, including cod, Atlantic herring, lobster, crab, and mussels.
  • Pork and Poultry: Besides seafood, pork is the most commonly used meat, followed by chicken and beef. Game is also consumed in some regions.
  • Vegetables and Preservation: Potatoes, onions, carrots, and other root vegetables are staples, often preserved for winter use.

In addition to the traditional aspect, you should look into the popularity of Acadian food around the world.

Acadian food enjoys popularity primarily within regions with historical or cultural relations to the Acadian people. In Canada, its presence is most felt in the Maritime provinces, notably New Brunswick, where the Acadian heritage is rich and vibrant.

Across the border in the United States, Louisiana’s celebrated Cajun cuisine owes much of its foundation to Acadian culinary traditions brought over by Acadian immigrants in the 18th century.

Furthermore, France, with its historical immigration history, has seen some influence from Acadian dishes, showcasing the global reach of Acadian culinary practices.

Later on, you should have a peek at the healthy side of Acadian food, which contributes to your decision of whether these dishes are worth trying out.

Acadian food is considered healthy for several reasons however, these are the features that you should be aware of:

  • Seafood Focus: Acadian cuisine includes a variety of seafood, such as fish, lobster, and mussels, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and essential nutrients that support heart health and brain function.
  • Use of Local Ingredients: The tradition of using fresh, locally sourced vegetables and meats means that dishes are often made with ingredients that retain more nutrients and are less likely to contain preservatives and artificial additives.
  • Balanced Meals: Many Acadian dishes are well-balanced, incorporating a good mix of proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates, which contribute to a well-rounded diet.
  • Moderation in Meat Consumption: While meat is used, it’s often balanced with other ingredients like vegetables and legumes, promoting a diet that isn’t overly reliant on red or processed meats.
  • Traditional Cooking Methods: The use of traditional cooking methods, such as boiling and baking, can be healthier than frying, helping to retain the nutritional value of foods while reducing the use of excess fats and oils.

Now, you’re more than ready to uncover the dishes available in Acadia, allowing you to add more meals to your diet.

11 Popular Acadian Dishes with Filters

Dive into the dishes of Acadia and make use of the handy filter system to check out the dishes in alphabetical order, dish types, tastes, ingredients, cooking methods, and global popularity.

Also, you should check out some categories of Acadian dishes like the most popular and traditional culinary creations of the region:

  • Widely Recognized: These are the dishes that have gained widespread recognition both within and outside of Acadia, often becoming synonymous with Acadian cuisine to a broader audience.
  • Frequent Preparation: Regularly prepared in homes and restaurants, these dishes are a common part of daily meals and special occasions, reflecting their acceptance and popularity among the general population.
  • Cultural Ambassadors: Serve as cultural ambassadors of Acadian cuisine, introducing the culinary traditions of Acadia to people unfamiliar with the region’s food.
  • Adaptability: Often adaptable to contemporary tastes and dietary preferences, making them appealing to a wide range of individuals.
  • Historical Roots: These dishes have a deep historical significance, originating from the early days of Acadian settlement, and have been passed down through generations.
  • Cultural Identity: Integral to Acadian cultural identity, these dishes embody the history, traditions, and values of the Acadian people.
  • Local Ingredients: Emphasize the use of local and seasonal ingredients, showcasing the natural bounty of the Acadian region.
  • Preservation of Techniques: Involve traditional cooking techniques, preserving the culinary practices and knowledge of Acadian ancestors.
Poutine Râpée

Poutine Râpée

  • Traditional

Poutine Rapee is a traditional Acadian dish of potatoes mostly available in New Brunswick and perhaps other Acadian regions in Canada. Basically, these are dumplings created using grated and mashed potatoes.

Locals usually stuff the poutin râpée with salted pork. Some recipes even require hours of boiling the dumplings for serving on Christmas.

The dumplings have a grayish appearance with a bland flavor contrasting with the salty filling. When serving, folks will either sprinkle peppers on the dumplings or glaze them with molasses.



Chow-chow is an Acadian pickled relish popularized in North America. The dish traces back to the Acadian migrants from Nova Scotia to Louisiana.

Often, a chow-chow, or chowchow, mixture enhances a variety of dishes, including fish cakes, mashed potatoes, and hot dogs. The specialty comes with a blend of cucumbers, onions, cauliflower, and green peppers, pickled in vinegar with mustard and celery seeds.

Traditionally served cold, chow-chow adds a tangy, crunchy texture and flavor to meals.

Fricot Chicken Stew


  • Traditional

Fricot is a traditional Acadian stew with vegetables and chicken as the main ingredients. Originating from France, it has become a cornerstone of Acadian cuisine in Canada.

Interestingly, the inclusion of dumplings like poutine râpée elevates fricot to a beloved lunch among Acadians. Plus, there’s even a meatless version, known as “fricot a la belette” or “weasel stew”.

Croquettes De Poisson

Croquettes de Poisson

  • Traditional

Croquettes de poisson, or fish cakes, are a staple fishcake in Acadian cuisine, especially on the coastline. As a fish dish, it’s mainly made using cod, whether salted or fresh.

This dish incorporates mashed potatoes, with onions, peppers, and parsley as optional enhancements. Traditionally fried in oil, some areas may opt for pork back fat.

These croquettes are shaped into uneven rounds and often served with tomato sauce.

Râpure Rappie Pie


  • Traditional

Râture, or rappie pie, is a traditional Acadian dish revolving mainly around grated potatoes. The pie is recognized globally as a casserole-like specialty from southwest Nova Scotia, Canada.

The preparation involves grating potatoes, draining them of liquid, and then combining them with meat, onions, and broth to bake until golden brown. Additionally, the pie goes well with a range of meat for additional proteins.



  • Traditional

Cipâte is a favorite pie of Acadians coming from Quebecois cuisine. Known in English as sea-pie, it’s often served to English sailors with fillings that may or may not include seafood.

This delicacy is crafted by layering dough with seasoned meat, ranging from cattle and poultry to seafood and game.

Interestingly, the French name “Six-Pâtes” suggests a connection to the process of folding the dough six times during preparation.

Tourtière Meat Pie


  • Traditional

Tourtière is a traditional meat pie in Acadian cuisine. Commonly prepared for festive Acadian dinners during the Christmas to New Year period, its primary filling is pork, though beef is also popular.

For serving, the meat pie always comes with mashed potatoes. In terms of the name, “tourtière” comes from the round mold used for baking the pie.

In Acadia, the pie even goes by the name of pâté à la viande consisting of pork mixed with chicken, rabbit, or beef. This version of Acadian tourtière is especially popular in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

Pâté Chinois

Pâté Chinois

Pâté chinois is a layered shepherd pie that has become a staple in Acadian and Quebecois cuisine. Interestingly, its origins often linked to Chinese workers on the Canadian railway in the 19th century.

Traditionally, it features a bottom layer of seasoned meat, typically pork or beef, a middle layer of corn, and is topped with a layer of mashed potatoes.

Ployes Buckwheat Flatbread


  • Traditional

Ployes are Acadian flatbread cooked on only one side. They are now popular across Canada and Maine as a sweet treat or side dish.

Originating in Nova Scotia, their simple batter employs buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and water. Acadian families often add their unique twists to the recipe.

People often savor ployes at breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a side, or as a dessert topped with molasses, honey, maple syrup, or cream, traditionally rolled up before eating.

Pets De Sœur

Pets De Sœur

  • Traditional

Pets de sœur is a traditional Acadian dessert featuring cinnamon, flaky crust dough, butter, and molasses. The treat is a common choice for Acadians on Christmas Eve.

Its French name humorously translates to “the nun’s fart,” referring to its origins among nuns in Acadian and Quebec regions.

There’s even a variation known as nombrils de soldats or “soldier navels”, similar to pets de sœur but prepared without milk.

Pouding Chômeur

Pouding Chômeur

  • Traditional

Pouding chômeur is a dessert staple of many Acadians though it’s a creation from Quebecois cuisine. Known as “the poor man’s pudding”, it was created by female factory workers during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The treat is all about making a cake batter with maple syrup, or in more austere times, white or brown sugar and stale bread.

What Is the History of Arcadian Food?

The history of Acadian cuisine is deeply intertwined with the experiences and adaptations of the Acadian people through centuries of settlement, deportation, and resettlement. These are the main features that shape food for the Arcadians:

  • Origins and Influences: Acadian cuisine reflects the traditional dishes of the Acadian people, influenced by French, Quebec, American, and English cuisines, as well as the harsh realities of the Canadian winter, poor soil fertility, and proximity to the ocean.
  • Deportation and Adaptation: The Great Deportation of the Acadians by the English in the 18th century forced them to adapt their culinary practices to the resources available in their new, less fertile lands, particularly in New Brunswick and the Upper St. John River Valley.
  • Seafood and Meat: The cuisine prominently features seafood, including cod, Atlantic herring, lobster, and scallops, due to its coastal geography. Pork, chicken, and beef are the most commonly used meats, alongside game in some regions.
  • Vegetables and Fruits: Potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips, and legumes are staple vegetables, preserved for winter use. Blueberries, apples, strawberries, and cranberries are popular fruits.

Want to know more about Arcadian offerings? Let me share with you some pairing ideas of Arcadian dishes and drinks.

What Acadian Dishes to Pair with Beverages?

To elevate the flavors of Arcadian dishes, you should accompany them with some great refreshments in Acadia featuring some of these combos:

  • Poutine Râpée: This potato dumpling stuffed with salted pork pairs well with a crisp, dry white wine or a light-bodied beer to balance the dumpling’s richness and complement the salty pork filling.
  • Chow-Chow: As a tangy and crunchy pickled relish, chow-chow goes well with sparkling wine or cider, which can cut through the acidity and enhance the flavors of dishes it accompanies.
  • Fricot: This chicken stew with vegetables and dumplings is best enjoyed with a medium-bodied white wine, such as Chardonnay, which can complement the stew’s hearty flavors without overpowering them.
  • Croquettes De Poisson: These fish cakes made from cod and mashed potatoes pair beautifully with a light and zesty Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp lager, highlighting the fish’s delicate flavors.
  • Râpure: Also known as rappie pie, this grated potato dish, when combined with meat, onions, and broth, pairs well with a robust red wine, such as Merlot, to complement the pie’s earthy and savory flavors.

Remember to share Arcadia’s specialties with your loved ones. Also, feel free to leave your thoughts or questions about the Acadians and their magnificent gastronomy in the comment section!

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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