M’allo! Bonjour! Four hundred years of Acadian Cuisine have perfected these local dishes, and the perfect way to discover and taste the history of Yarmouth & Acadian Shores. This journey of taste begins in the Pubnico’s, (the oldest Acadian village in the world) where the laughter and joie de vivre is evident in the locals you will meet along the way. Rapure, otherwise known as Rappie Pie is a favorite. Try it with molasses. Ask anyone on the French shore who makes the best rappie pie, and be prepared to stay awhile and discuss local ingredients and recipes. Savor plump, juicy, fresh-caught Ruisseau oysters from a local grower in Ste Anne de Ruisseau, and try them Nova Scotia style.
Locally caught haddock, scallops, and lobster are always on the menu. And remember to try our famous creamed lobster on toast. Chicken fricot is another Acadian specialty, similar to a chicken stew, but with Acadian style dumplings. Quahog burgers, poutine, deep-fried clams, and Moules- Frites (mussels and fries) are dishes that will keep you coming back for more. Leave some time for a song and dance; we’ve got a talented and joyful music scene.
Good to Know: Rapure or Rappie Pie can be made with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or clams. It is also made with rabbit and other wild game.
Discover: Lobster Poutine at Ye Olde Argyler in Lower Argyle
Day 1: Pubnico
Start your day early and bring your appetite. The first stop on your list of many is the famous Pubnico’s, the oldest Acadian village in the world, and where an active fishing industry thrives today. Fifteen distinct communities make up the “Pubnico’s” today, and it’s evident that these were the spirited people who lived through settlements, expulsions and then resettlement, to restore their language and culture. Work up an appetite with a walk along the saltwater marshes and the stone walls of this Acadian Village.
Visit Alyssa Foods, a family business known for its salt fish, Bacalao Saladok which is shipped to many Italian and Portuguese families in Upper Canada. Take home a traditional wooden box of salt fish to make your own traditional fish cakes. Perhaps you could try Digby chicks (smoked herring), or salt Pollock. Either way remember to ask for recipes.
Schools-in at Trout Point Lodge where internationally acclaimed cooking classes are offered throughout the year. This year’s classes focus on local seafood (school never tasted so good).
Plan on lobster for tonight’s dinner! Eat it al fresco Nova Scotia, on the beach at Stanley’s or climb Cape Forchu Lighthouse and enjoy a sit-down lobster dinner with fresh rolls and potato salad at the “Mug Up” Café nestled inside this signature “apple core” style lighthouse.
Day 2: Yarmouth
Yarmouth, the center at this end of the province, offers a glimpse into the history of the hardworking seafaring people who still live here today. The historic sea homes walking tour is the perfect way to start your day. The W. Lawrence Sweeney Fisheries Museum, the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives, along with the Firefighters Museum provides hands-on experience of land and sea. A steaming bowl of seafood chowder from Rodds Colony Restaurant & Chowder House or the traditional fish cakes from Rudders is a delicious way to start your afternoon adventure along St. Mary’s Bay.
Over 150 of Nova Scotia’s artisans are featured At the Sign of the Whale, along route 1 in Yarmouth. The Morris’s (our famous local potters) are featuring the newly designed Yarmouth Tartan this year.
Art de la Baie and Yarmouth working studios maps are available at all the visitor information centers along the way.
Chez Christophe offers one of the best Rappie Clam pies on this shore, except for maybe Francine’s or Tante Yvette`s.
Meteghan and area
As you travel throughout this coastal area, you will notice the soaring spires and the beauty of local churches. The largest wooden church in North American is found in Church Point/Point-de-l’Eglise, with a spire rising 185 ft.
The solid and elegant stone church in Saint Bernard will hold over 1000 people. St. Alphonse is rich in stories and history. Ask about them at Rendezvous de la Baie.
Clare is home to Festival Acadien de Clare, the oldest celebration of Acadian culture and heritage. Food and music are front and center in this festive event. The Tintamarre, the parade of noise, brings in a joyful night of song and dance under the big top. Grab some beads, horns, and flags. This parade is for everyone.
Quahogs (a sea clam) are best dug or found on the beaches during low tide and a full moon. Many Acadians either dig them or buy them by the bushel and then bottle the quahogs to enjoy throughout the winter in the form of clam pie or chowder.
The Roadside Grill in Belliveau’s Cove offers the one and only quahog burger in Nova Scotia, and likely all of Canada. Make sure you ask for the homemade tartar sauce. If you find yourself here on a Sunday, try the quahog rappie pie (la grosse coques-big clams), but get there early, as it’s very popular with the locals and it is usually sold out by noon!
Rendezvous de la Baie brings art, food, music and history together under one roof. A visit to this shore is not complete without stopping in to say bonjour!