44 • Vacations
Fall 2017 • 45
St. Regis Princeville Resort,
I’m standing beside stacks of wooden crates, full of oysters freshly
plucked from the nearby bay. Wearing steel mesh gloves, our host digs
a knife into shell after shell, cranking each open to reveal a fleshy centre.
Although it’s early morning, we gobble up the briny meat faster than he
can shuck them – a perk to taking this tour of Bay Enterprises, a shellfish
farm in Malagash, Nova Scotia.
Oyster-eating isn’t the only experience to be had in this east coast
province. Visiting Nova Scotia, a highlight for me is playing sous-chef to
Alain Bosse, Nova Scotia’s top chef who also runs a culinary school in
Pictou County. In the morning, we shuffle from local markets, butchers,
and other purveyors, picking out produce and ingredients, followed by
an afternoon of farm-to-fork cooking in his farmhouse. Watching Bosse
harvest honeycombs from his backyard beehive, I realize “fresh and local”
is a way of life here.
Hours later, the table overflows with clam chowder, freshly shucked
oysters, beef strips marinated in a maple ginger glaze, and Asian-style
lobster rolls. The gluttonous feast sends me into a food coma overnight,
but by morning, I’m ready for a pancake pilgrimage to Sugar Moon Farm
– an Earltown sugar shack that attracts hungry hordes for their famed
flapjacks and maple products.
“We sell maple everything,” says our waiter. She’s not lying: the menu
features everything from maple butter to maple hot chocolate to maple
mustard. I dig my fork into a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, topped
with maple whipped cream, and vow to visit the shop afterwards.
Stuffed, I seek a digestif at Steinhart Distillery, a farm overlooking the
idyllic Northumberland Shore. The shelves are stocked with craft
vodka and other spirits infused with local berries, like haskap, juniper
and strawberry, or even maple syrup. A shot of Pepperhead Habanero
Vodka beckons, but owner Thomas Steinhart cautions us beforehand.
“It’s holy Hannah hot,” he says. “The first time I made it, I almost called
THERE ARE MORE TIPPLES TO ENJOY:
the rich soil and mild coastal climate, Nova Scotia
is home to more than 70 grape growers, renowned
for producing crisp whites, ice wines, and sparkling
wines. After winery-hopping in the Annapolis Valley,
I wander the grapevines with a fizzy flute, feeling
The feast finale is at Hall’s Harbour, a fishing village
overlooking the Bay of Fundy. Here, seeing the world’s
highest tides isn’t the only attraction: choosing your
own live lobster – cooked and served at the local
seafood shack – is all the rage; but I can’t resist a plate
of lobster poutine.
Watching the boats bob in the harbour, I munch on
fries smothered in cheese, gravy, and sweet, juicy
lobster meat and plot ways to delay my departure.
I don’t want this gastronomic adventure to end.
After all, I haven’t yet explored the Wolfville Farmers
Market or sampled 20 cheeses at Fox Hill Cheese
House; but patting my burgeoning belly, I decide
some things are best reserved for a second visit.
This bountiful province on Canada’s east
coast has a thriving locavore culinary scene
influenced by the land and sea, and the
feast isn’t limited to Halifax.
By Lisa Jackson
FRESHLY PLUCKED OYSTERS ©LISA JACKSON
VODKA ©LISA JACKSON
HALL’S HARBOUR LOBSTER POUND ©LISA JACKSON
CHEF ALAIN BOSE ©LISA JACKSON
CLAM CHOWDER ©LISA JACKSON