Quebec City (Canada) is well-known for its unique wild environments and its protected cultural heritage, which have attracted tourists to the area for centuries. Often taken for granted or overlooked, the interactions between its natural and cultural landscape have been scantly investigated in a diachronic perspective in archaeology. This article explores the relationship between Quebec City's colonists/inhabitants and their surrounding territory, through the study of food plants for the period between 1535 and 1900. It contrasts visitors’ accounts and official discourses with daily experience using a combination of historical and archaeobotanical evidence to unravel how changing historical, social, and political contingencies impacted past perceptions of “wilderness” as manifested in food choices. In this process, the consumption of local indigenous plants has been interpreted as a form of incorporation of local environments that can enlighten us about popular attitudes toward the New World's natural features.