You can’t visit the Atlantic Provinces of Canada without trying their amazing lobster – you just can’t! Lobster is Canada’s most valuable seafood export and, while the vast majority of these go to the US, there was absolutely no shortage of this delicious crustacean for me to try while in Canada earlier this year. There are 45 lobster fisheries throughout the Atlantic Provinces, all of them using carefully managed and tailored conservation measures to ensure the sustainability of the catch.The American Lobster differs significantly from the Australian Rock Lobster and is distinguished by their enormous pair of edible, fat claws and their smooth shell – as opposed to the smaller claws and very spiny shell of our own tasty shellfish (who are not true lobsters at all, according to my somewhat limited research). The American Lobsters can live for decades and can grow to over 60cm with the largest weighing in at over 18 kilograms – and they taste wonderful.
I like to mind my manners when travelling, so was most careful to never refuse such a noteworthy food when it was on offer – one does not wish to seem ungrateful, after all! I discovered it is possible to eat lobster for every meal of the day while I was in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and I was happy to go with the flow. We were presented with lobster dishes in just about every form you can imagine – all of them splendid.
The lobster roll is practically a staple in this region in the summer months and is traditionally made with a soft bun similar to a hot dog roll, mayonnaise and chopped celery and/or spring onions. They are available everywhere, are affordable, simple and a fresh, delicious way for everyone to enjoy a proud local food product.
I think our lobster feasting peaked on the day we went out with Anna-Marie Weir of Roads To Sea Tours. Picking us up early in the morning (and I mean really early, 0600 hrs) she loaded us on to her bus and we headed to Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, to see the worlds highest tide, firstly at low tide and then later in the day at high tide. Here, it is possible to walk on the sea floor at low tide and come back later in the day when the tide has risen. The tides vary in height from day to day, but they can be as high as 16 metres!
In between tides we stopped off for lunch at the Bay Of Fundy fishing village of Alma. This town is famous for it’s seafood and most particularly noted for it’s seafood chowder and – yes, you guessed it – lobster. We were able to meet up with one of the local fishermen who was lunching before going out to get the day’s catch and then to embark of something of a lobster feeding frenzy of our own.
I’m just glad I didn’t have to clean up after all of us.