Great Food of the Maritimes
An incomparable piece of Canada’s geographic wealth is, sans doubte, the historic and culinary heaven called the Maritimes. Locals, proud of their Acadian ancestry, and urban refugees who came for the unique, unspoiled quality of the region, offer fabulous local seafood and share its abundance through a significant number of eco-sensitive producers.
Seafood from these cold, pristine Atlantic waters is truly remarkable. While our first thoughts may connect with fishing for the king Homanus Americanus, the wild lobster, the enormous bounty from the Bay of Fundy includes scallops, succulent wild halibut and haddock, even tuna and swordfish. And throughout the region, in addition to well-known ecological certified salmon farming, steelhead trout and clams abound.
Part of PEI’s fame comes from Malpeque Bay, home of its unparalleled oysters that have been gathered using the same traditional methods for more than a century now. Near Yarmouth, EOL Lake Oyster Co and iGrow Oysters have used the Internet to spread the word of their super premium product, which is now offered in four-star restaurants in New York, Boston and around the world. Imagine, six years ago they were relatively unknown. This is where tradition meets modern savoir-faire.
In the coastal areas you’ll find ideal conditions for growing blue mussels, and there are now many producers of these succulent aqua-farmed jewels, as the cold clear waters are a perfect source of nourishment that results in large size, pure flavour and a consistently high quality mussel.
Only by driving (or cycling) through the area can you get that unique feeling from almost touching that unspoiled quality of centuries past. For the food lover, a romantic taste of the Maritimes is the Garrison House Inn, in Annapolis Royal, an utterly charming (and affordable) seven-room inn that has become a National Historic Site. For the purist gourmet, it’s the finest dining in the region. Patrick Redgrave is an amazingly talented chef (and innkeeper) who has combined the old-world Maritimes with new and exciting food. Here are two of his favourite recipes.