We vacationed once more on PEI this summer. Quick, what do you think of when you think of PEI? Anne of Green Gables? Lobster? Mussels? Oysters? Potatoes? All of the above? None of the above? Maybe you aren't even sure where I'm talking about...
PEI stands for Prince Edward Island. It is Canada's smallest province and sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of New Brunswick (where I live) and Nova Scotia. You can get to PEI by ferry (from Nova Scotia) or via Confederation Bridge (from New Brunswick). Confederation Bridge is one of the world's longest bridges (12.9 km).
PEI is known for 2 things, tourism and food. They are great at both. Most of the island (it seems)is covered in potatoes. The waters surrounding the island have are some of the best seafood waters in the world. I have a love for both potatoes and seafood, so we're all good.
The campgrounds we stayed in are very close to the tiny community of Malapeque. Malapeque Bay harvest some of the finest oysters in the world (and ships all over). (http://www.aquaculturepei.com/pei_cultured_oysters.php). I was tricked into trying an oyster shot last year (not my thing) but my husband loves them! You take the raw oyster, open it up (with an oyster shucker), add a little lemon juice and seafood sauce and shoot it down. Here he goes:
More to my liking is one of Canada's best ice cream places, Cows. Not only does it have wonderful ice cream, it has a great clothing/souvenir line that parodies popular music, movies and TV featuring cows. Lightening Mooqueen, Cows in the City, CSI (Cow Scene Investigator)...you get the idea. (http://www.cows.ca/index.php)
Yes we bought him a replacement, in a cup this time :o)
Something we wanted to do last year, but didn't and made sure to do this year was visit the Cheese Lady. The Cheese Lady originally comes from the Netherlands. She used to make cheese for friends as a side in Amsterdam and brought some of her starter over when she immigrated to Canada. Specializing in Gouda (and every sort of Gouda you can imagine) she makes her cheese on site from milk from her cows. She supplies to local farmers markets on the Island.
Back to the seafood. Do you know what it's like to go to PEI pregnant and therefore limited as to which seafood you can eat? No lobster, no smoked salmon, no shellfish...(okay, I snuck a few mussels, because let's face it - they are mussels! Yum!) . PEI supplies 70% of the world's mussels. We went on a boat cruise one afternoon and saw rows and rows of mussel nets (more like netted socks than big nets). The originally catch the mussels as baby mussels in the netting and grow them until they are ready for consumption - it takes up to 2 years. You can read more about mussel fishing here http://www.aquaculturepei.com/pei_mussel_industry.php
Of course you can't not mention lobster fishing when you are talking PEI. The fishing season was over in the parts of the water we were at (still open in other parts as the lobster migrated), but our boat cruise had an educational trap set out. We caught two. Too bad we had to throw them back :o)
Well, that about wraps up my little food tour of PEI. I hope you get to visit there one day :o) It's a really beautiful spot and a lot of fun!