Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Food of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia

I saved the tastiest post about our vacation to the Canadian Maritimes for last: the food of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

As we do on every trip, Paul and I tried to make a special effort to sample the local cuisine. On this vacation, that meant lots of seafood, although I ate a fair number of hamburgers and french fries, as well. But even that wasn't totally out of line: in addition to its mussels and lobster, Prince Edward Island is known for its potato crops and beef.

One of the most memorable meals was at a lobster supper in Prince Edward Island. Lobster suppers seem to be fairly common -- I saw plenty of brochures for them, even though their roots seem humble. They're often fundraisers for a church, and the one we went to was in a church basement.


Paul ordered the traditional lobster supper, which included a salad, seafood chowder, mussels, a lobster with a side of vegetables and a dessert. I got all of the above minus the lobster and vegetables, opting to pick at Paul's instead. There was so much food, he didn't even mind.

Even though I live above a restaurant specializing in mussels, this is the first time I can ever remember trying them. Now I understand why the aforementioned restaurant is so popular.

Paul's first whole lobster


My first mussels

I have to admit, some of the best meals we had were the breakfasts served at our Prince Edward Island bed and breakfast, The Graham Inn. Breakfast started with either coffee or tea and some kind of baked good. I'm still dreaming about the cinnamon rolls.

It was followed by a fruit and yogurt parfait topped with granola, and then the main dish -- it was different each morning. One morning, for example, we had stuffed french toast, while the next morning a delectable breakfast BLT with Canadian bacon and melted cheddar cheese, with potatoes and fruit on the side. We always left for our day's outings pleasantly full.


Cows Ice Cream is based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. We each got a cone when we were there, but I'm guessing it's popular all over the Maritimes -- there were long lines at the shop we passed in Halifax, too.


Back in Nova Scotia, we had one of our simplest and most satisfying meals in Peggy's Cove: cornish pasties, a puff pastry filled with different ingredients. Paul opted for the traditional, with steak, carrots and turnips. I was happier with my bacon and cheddar. They were hot, flaky, delicious and filling.


Besides plenty of ice cream, I didn't try too many desserts. One exception was in a cafe in Chester, Nova Scotia, during our road trip along the South Shore. I tried a Breton -- a round, shortbread-type cookie with a thumbprint of raspberry jam. We were already seemingly surrounded by the French language; we not try a French dessert?


And, of course, we couldn't go to Canada without ordering some poutine, so in Halifax we ate one lunch at a chain poutinerie. Paul's eyes were big, so he got a large Montreal-style (fries topped with corned beef, mustard, gravy and cheese curds, with a pickle), and I got a small traditional order with gravy and curds. I'm normally a fan, but not this time. Luckily, the restaurant was right around the corner from our hotel, so mine went into our fridge, and Paul downed it as a midnight snack.


Last but not least: Prince Edward Island's version of the Buckeye. I almost wish I would have tried one.

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