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Chef Michael Smith says his home province has the best seafood in the country. (Loretta Campbell Photography)
Chef Michael Smith says his home province has the best seafood in the country. (Loretta Campbell Photography)

Where fresh meets salty, oysters are unparalled. Too bad, B.C. Add to ...

Prince Edward Island is a giant green farm ringed by white sandy beaches, floating in the deep blue sea. Our surrounding ocean, bays, rivers and estuaries are teeming with some of the tastiest and most innovative seafood on the planet; our chefs are blessed with unparalleled sustainable choice.

There's no better place in the world to enjoy a lobster than at one of our traditional lobster suppers. The island is dotted with them, like New Glasgow Lobster Suppers, an authentic way to enjoy our most famous crustacean. We prefer our lobsters boiled in seawater, served with lemon, drawn butter and chilly beer. If you hang around the wharf you'll likely get invited onto one of our many colourful boats and find yourself steaming out to sea for a closer look. But there's a lot more to the island than old-school lobster.

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Our fisherman pioneered the cultured mussel. Many of our bays are filled with the buoys that mark long underwater columns of glistening fresh mussels. They love our cool, nutrient-rich waters and are one of our biggest and tastiest exports. They're at their best steamed and we always use a hunk of bread to soak up every drop of their precious broth.

To oyster connoisseurs we are Mecca. Our relentless tides, the never-ceasing movement of our waters in and out of our estuaries, expose our oysters to the perfect balance of fresh and sea water. That blend is the key to their famous sweet flavour. I prefer them au naturel - straight out of the shell - but they are also great with a drop or two of lemon juice, a dash of hot sauce or even a splash of our local potato vodka. For lots of local oysters, seafood and vodka head to champion oyster shucker John Bil's place, Ship to Shore.

 

Our fishery is very traditional but simultaneously cutting edge. We love our world-class lobsters, mussels and oysters but were also getting to know some new fish too. Farm-raised, land-based fish. A few of our forward thinking fishermen have converted an old lobster-processing plant into a halibut farm. They're using giant seawater tanks to grow this firm-fleshed white fish and we Islanders are eating every single one we can get our forks into. We'll share though, and many of our local chefs - including Warren Barr at The Inn at Bay Fortune, Gord Bailey at Lot 30 and Eugene Sauvé at Landmark Café - are starting to offer this newfangled old-fashioned fish.

Prince Edward Island is blessed with pristine waters and a long tradition of going to sea. Both factors define our seafood. The ocean can be unforgiving and its presence is a daily reminder of what it takes to bring the catch home. We are a small island and we all know and respect the people who work hard to bring our fish ashore. Their stories are our stories, and we love sharing them as much as we love sharing a feed of local fish.

For more detail, visit: www.peilobstersuppers.com; www.shiptoshorelounge.com; www.innatbayfortune.com; www.lot30restaurant.ca; www.landmarkcafe.ca

 

 

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