Madawaskan cuisine has developed under a multicultural influence and the emergence of an identity of its own, that of the "Brayons" living in a mythical territory, the "legendary Republic of Madawaska".
The first Madawaskayans were descendants of former Acadians who sought refuge in a still isolated land, the home of the chivalrous Maliseet, the most faithful ally Acadia had ever known. But they were joined by more and more "canayens" (Quebecers) from the Lower St. Lawrence, attracted by family ties. The possibility of establishing farms in Madawaska also proved to be a powerful factor in attracting these farmers, as land was scarce in the said region of Quebec. They were also attracted by the jobs related to the forestry operations launched throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by mostly English-speaking entrepreneurs of English, Scottish or "American" descent. The migration of Quebecers became so widespread that the New Brunswick government became concerned. In order to stop this French invasion from the north, it sought to populate with European, British or Scandinavian ethnic groups. Thus, he financed the settlement of Scots and Irish in the Madawaska region.
The ancient cuisine required a lot of time; the preparation of the dishes was long, the cooking slow and meticulous. This traditional cuisine is an oral heritage: there were no cookbooks in those days. The culinary know-how was passed on from mother to daughter, so that each region had its own dishes, each housewife - her trick.
Land of breeding, river front, agricultural land, forest region, we find in the kitchen butter, cream, milk, potatoes, fish (salmon and trout), poultry, pork, game, wild berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), fern and maple syrup.
A poor kitchen; how to calm the appetites of the men who returned from the fields hungry? - It was time for LA PLOYE!
This pancake of flour of wheat and buckwheat whose rather strange name, it is said, comes from the fact that ployes ¨ploguent¨ quickly a stomach (plug). In the past, it was generally made from a yeast that was kept from one meal to another. Made on a wood stove, it was mainly used as a substitute for bread. A true ¨ploye¨ should not be turned while cooking. Mets of the poor before becoming that of the tourists, the ¨pile de ployes¨ had formerly, the place of honor on the tables of the large families.
What were we drinking?
The most popular of all the old drinks was "bagosse". The years of prohibition in the United States stimulated the production of this illegal brandy. Farmers would put their potatoes in a barrel, ferment them, run them through the still and voila, its dozen liters of "BAGOSSE". Flavored with a sweet, like Porto, bottled in a "flask" probably by women, it becomes the basis of "LA FLACATOUNE".
Cooking is an art whose origins go back to the most distant times of mankind, an art that has developed over the years through various experiences, influenced by geography and history. Today, the Madawaska region enjoys a cuisine that has evolved and is grateful for the good old-fashioned dishes that enchanted the palate of our forefathers.