Taste Nova Scotia
If there’s one thing every visitor to Nova Scotia enjoys, it’s the food. No matter where you go in the province – whether you’re a seafood lover or landlubber – you’ll find the makings of a delicious meal. From Atlantic lobster and Digby scallops, to Oxford blueberries and Annapolis Valley fiddleheads, if you enjoy locally sourced food, you’ll love what Nova Scotia has to offer.
The breadbasket of Nova Scotia has long been the Annapolis Valley. Nestled between the north and south mountains, the valley is home to many farms, u-picks and vineyards that are popular destinations for anyone seeking farm fresh produce or a local wine. In addition to a wide range of fruits and vegetables, the Annapolis Valley is famous for its apples – a fact that is celebrated each spring in the four-day Apple Blossom Festival.
Many people visit Nova Scotia for its world-renowned seafood. Depending on the season, you can watch fishing boats head out in the early morning and return later in the day to unload catches of lobster, fish, scallops and many other types of seafood. The docks are not only the perfect place to seek out the freshest seafood but to also catch a glimpse of the work that goes into bringing that seafood to market.
Halifax Farmer’s Market
For those who can’t make it to the farm or dock, farmers markets can be found in just about every city and town across Nova Scotia. North America’s oldest farmers can be found in Halifax. While the Halifax Farmer’s Market has been operating for over 260 years, its current Seaport location is relatively new and also one the most modern, hosting farmers and vendors inside an environmentally friendly and sustainable building. The market and its more than 200 vendors is a locavore’s dream, featuring products, Nova Scotian wines and local fruit and vegetables from every corner of the province!
Once a decidedly niche sector, the province’s craft beer industry has grown exponentially. There are 28 microbreweries in existence and counting, with Tatamagouche Brewery being the latest addition where the former owners of Jost Vineyards are now extending their hospitable services from wine to stein.
At Bay Enterprises, the Purdy family have been harvesting the oyster beds on Malagash Bay since the early 1800s. Charles Purdy will take you out on the water in a traditional oyster dory to try your hand at oyster tonging. The collected oysters are then cleaned, shucked and, of course tasted. Back on land, you’ll also tour their on-site hatchery and processing facility.
Nolan D’Eon moved to Ste Anne du Ruisseau more that 25 years ago to raise his family. He built his home on the shores of Eel Lake and as he watched the lake over the years, he watched oysters progress too. Eel Lake Oyster Farm Ltd has been in operation since 1996 and has become a major producer of the Atlantic Oyster. In Southwest Nova Scotia, Nolan is known as the “Oysterman” and that suits him just fine. Visitors are welcome to tour his site and take a trip by boat to see the oyster habitat and its stages of growth.
The Hatfield House
Enjoy a hands-on culinary experience at The Hatfield House in one of the oldest homes in Tusket. Dating back to 1793, The Hatfield House showcases local dishes, including seafood and Acadian Fare and offers private culinary experiences to help you recreate the dishes at home.
The Masstown Market continues to evolve and expand. Walk up for an incredible view from the top of the lighthouse. Chow down on fresh fish and chips on the ‘boat’ patio. Taste their award winning Seafood Pie in the café. Let the kids run off some energy in the corn maze and family fun park.
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site – Rum Tasting
After almost 300 years, rum is once again being stored behind the massive stone walls of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Authentic Seacoast Distilling Company Ltd., Parks Canada and Fortress Louisbourg Association are collaborating on a multi-year project to enhance the visitor experience at the Fortress through an authentic interpretation of the historical rum trade of 18th century New France through a new visitor experience called “The Drink That Sugar Made: Rum Tasting”. In the 18th century, Louisbourg was one of North America’s busiest seaports and France’s centre of trade and military strength in the New World. Exchanged for Nova Scotia fish and lumber, Caribbean rum was a major trading good of the times.
From the meandering paths at Tangled Garden that provide fresh ingredients for liqueurs, to North America’s first single malt whisky at Glenora, to Pear Eau de Vie (with the pear in the bottle) at Ironworks Distillery to our newest member with a woman at the helm, Halifax Distilling Company- our Nova Scotia distilleries continue to push the envelope in creating quality distilled products with local ingredients. Try samples on site, and then pick up a bottle to try your hand at a locally-inspired cocktail. Better yet, visit a local restaurant for a creation of your favourite spirits paired with our local seafood.
The Seafood Trail
Hop on our Nova Scotia’s newest culinary trail to discover some of the freshest seafood experiences that our province has to offer. Enjoy seaside lobster boils, authentic seafood chowder, freshly shucked oysters and other unforgettable culinary experiences as you wind your way along our beautiful seacoast. The Nova Scotia Seafood Trail brings together a collection of restaurant, retail and fisheries experiences that highlight our province’s incredible seafood products.
The Good Cheer Trail
Samuel de Champlain started the Order of Good Cheer in Port Royal, Nova Scotia in 1606. It is the oldest social club in North America. The purpose was to provide good food, drink and good times for people during colonization. Keeping with that long tradition of hospitality and pride for bounty, Nova Scotia has introduced The Good Cheer Trail, Canada’s FIRST winery, craft brewery and distillery trail. Lauched in 2015, The Good Cheer Trail offers a unique way to sample a wide variety of locally produced wine, beer and spirits, meet the folks who create them, and taste cuisine paired perfectly with your drink. Over 49 Nova Scotia wineries, craft breweries, brew pubs and distilleries are participating.