Nova Scotia is abundant with culinary riches, as a recent trip to the Canadian maritime province revealed.
Centuries-old professions like fishing and farming have nurtured generations of locals, many of whom have remained close to where their French, British and, later, German ancestors first settled. These businesses, still shaped by the same geography, are presently worked with modern yet respectful techniques to preserve their legacy for the 21st century.
Seasonal freshness drives the seafood-focused cuisine here. The waters surrounding Nova Scotia, including the Bay of Fundy and the uppermost area of Georges Bank in the Atlantic Ocean, yield exceptional scallops, lobsters, Atlantic salmon and the all-important cod, the historic staple of the fishing industry. One can’t praise the succulent, sweet Digby scallops enough. Outside the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, in Lunenberg, onboard the trawler Sable, Captain Gerard Hanlon, a fisherman since 1963, emphasized that fresh scallops are glossy, not dull, with a little resistance, and they shouldn’t be overcooked.
Along with the Annapolis Valley’s flourishing wine industry, the rolling hills are blanketed with fruit trees and bushes, including blueberries, cherries, pears, peaches and apples—the latter of which span more than 40 early- to late-season varieties—all ripe for making jams, jellies and vinegars. Another growing industry, benefiting such creations as a butterscotch sauce in one recipe here, is the locally made rum and other spirits.
Three culinary experts in the area shared their take on the typical cuisine. These recipes embrace the many fresh, quality ingredients Nova Scotia has to offer.