Even though Montreal won the award for the best food in Canada, the East Coast challenged that with a variety of delicious delicacies. Of course the Lobster dinner was the expected highlight of the trip, but there were so many other amazing dishes that we tried on the coast that are completely underrated!
Cooks are always talking about how amazing fresh food really is, and I've always been of the practical student mind that fresh also costs a little extra. However, when it comes to seafood, fresh is best.
I had an amazing Maritime Chowder in Lunenburg Nova Scotia, the home of the Bluenose Schooner! Back on the prairies, seafood chowders taste very fishy, and you get (what you think) is a really good seafood dish. But out east, the chowder doesn't have an overpowering seafood flavour, it just tastes plain old good. You can of course taste the seafood additions of lobster, scallops and halibut inside of the soup, but they dont try to force it upon you. It will be hard to eat chowder now that im home again!
My girlfriend got herself Fish&Chips, made with an Alexander Keith's beer batter. The freshness in that fish also just blew our minds. Its odd being used to something, and then finding that the real deal tastes completely different.
We also discovered a brand new food that we had never tried before... Fiddleheads! Now, these are a rather unusual vegetable that im told only appear on the east coast. They have a very short season, and we were lucky enough to be around for it! They are best cooked steamed, and then served with a little butter and some cider vinegar. Im not a giant fan of eating just vegetables, but these were a surprise. They are apparently extremely healthy for you, even more so than the blueberry, the powerhouse of nutrition!
We spoiled ourselves twice while we were on vacation and dined on lobster! The first time we were in Louisburg, Nova Scotia at the Point of View Hotel. We got lucky for finding a room there and managed to work out a good deal with the owner! They went down to the wharf right before dinner and purchased freshly caught lobster, then brought it straight to the kitchen, and then to your plate. This was my girlfriends first experience with these armoured crustaceans. She dug straight into the claws and legs, and before I could warn her, she had torn off the tail. It took her a couple glasses of wine to get over the sight of the tamale. Tamale is the lobsters liver, which becomes a green paste inside, and is considered by some to be the best part of the lobster. It is not our favourite, although I did end up trying it. Just imagine it's like a seafood pate!
The second dish was at the New Glasgow Lobster Dinner in PEI. While it was slightly more expensive and had a smaller lobster, this location had something I had been missing since my last visit out east. MUSSELS!! Sure they aren't the sexiest thing you'll ever eat in your life, but steamed with some garlic and some butter and you have yourself a tasty appetizer! These beauties I like to think of as popcorn, you just keep eating them until they just seem to have vanished out of the bowl.
Robin and I enjoyed them so much, we actually bought some out east to cook them for ourselves. Of course they were much cheaper out there than back home ($4.00 for 2 pounds out east... and the $11 back home! And on sale!) so we took advantage of that.
Mussels - 2 Pounds Fresh
Garlic - 1-2 Cloves diced
Butter - 1 tbsp
Water - Between 1-2 cups
*You can also substitute white wine for the water
Butter - Melted for dipping
Place the mussels in a large pot. Add the butter, garlic and water and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells have opened and revealed their goods. When serving, don't eat the ones that are not open or have a different shade than the others.
Serve with hot butter and dig in! It's a great appetizer or a mid-afternoon snack!