There are a great many things I enjoy about living in Nova Scotia... especially now that Spring is really here. There are gorgeous sandy beaches within thirty minutes - even less, depending on the route. Lush Annapolis Valley where much of the food comes from. Spectacular coastlines with beaches perfect for surfing, not to mention Peggy's Cove - and it's awesome rocky shoreline where The Atlantic shows its might. The spectacular tides along the Bay of Fundy. It's almost as dramatic as Moses parting the Red Sea back in biblical times.
All that is true, and I can't wait to do our usual Spring, Summer & Fall day trips around the province. It's so easily accessible. But this post is about some of my favorite foodie things. Let's start with food adventures...apple picking in the valley with a bottle of Boates Balsamic Apple Cider Vinegar and at least four different kinds of apples to take home.Blueberry picking with little boys who eat them faster than we can pick them!Even before moving to Halifax, more than four years ago, I fell in love with Tangled Garden Herb Jellies, jams, oils, vinegars and more. I've written about it before, but I can't stress enough how beautiful and stress-reducing a walk through the herb gardens are - so Zen! A slather of Apple Sage Jelly on some cream cheese topped toast is a perfect way to start the day.... Or try some ginger thyme jelly basted over some chicken breasts on the grill... for me, every time I take a bite, I'm transported back to the gardens and it's the middle of summer, no matter what time of year it really is.I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a very favorite adventure of mine... to visit farmers markets around the province. I love the Wolfville Farmers Market, which is open all year, but the truth is, I just go during the more summery months when it's held outdoors and is the perfect start to a sunny picnic lunch. Hubbards Market (which is seasonal and opens May 7th this year), is along the coastline on our way, usually to Lunenburg and beyond and yet no more than 40 minutes from Halifax.And, of course the two wonderful markets open year round right here in Halifax... The brand spanking new Seaport Market, where I can get most of the list below any weekend during the year. and the Historic Properties (formerly the Brewery Market) which is quieter than the Seaport, but has many a "must have" item on my weekly grocery list.Some of my favorite local treats....Julien's Patisserie, Bakery & Cafe... two of them, actually. The original (and where all that wonderful bread & pastry is baked) is in Chester, along the Atlantic Ocean, between Halifax & Peggy's Cove. Another one is closer to home in the Historic Hydrostone Market area of Halifax and at both farmers markets in Halifax. The starring attractions at RanCher Acres - Saanen Goats and with the help of Randy & Cheryl, they produce some incredible cheeses. My particular favorite is the garlic cayenne creamy goat cheese, which is great on crackers, crumbled into frittatas or over salads. Nowhere else can you find Dragon's Breath Blue Cheese from That Dutchman's Farm, in Economy. I'm always raving about Getaway Farm's grass fed beef. I can't imagine a week without at least two meals - strip loins are my Honey's favorite... and, well... I love them all. They're at the Seaport Market, and my buddy Bill Wood of Wood n Hart farm with his delicious lamb is over at the Historic Properties.......as are exotic spices from Epices de Cru distributed by the Spice Manand brilliant produce from Hutten Family Farms.
The Fish Shop is where I buy my fish. Peter is incredibly knowledgeable and the fish is always fresh, local & conscientiously sourced. It's the only independent fish monger in Halifax and permanently housed in the Seaport Market.
Digby scallops, so sweet, so succulent, so...droolingly delicious. The Digby Scallop Days is an annual event, not to be missed. If you can't wait until August, you can find them at some of the local farmers markets and at lots of great restaurants around the province. And last, but definitely not least... local Nova Scotian lobsters! You can even find lobstermen selling their catch from the back of their trucks. Or participate in any of the lobster festivals around the Province... my fave is in Pictou... and there are lots of lobster dinners in small towns and villages throughout the province over the summer months.
I could go on forever, but now I'm starving... I wonder what's on tap for lunch!