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Why Prince Edward Island is known as Canada’s Food Island
Prince Edward Island has a claim to fame as Canada’s smallest province, and it really is a gem of a place. But another, and particularly appealing, claim to fame is its moniker “Canada’s Food Island”. Food is a way of life on Prince Edward Island, taking the concept of “farm to table” to a whole new level, with fresh, local ingredients from the land and sea transformed in the many restaurants, cafés, bars and bakeries.
If we stay on the claim to fame theme, then the north shore of the island famously inspired resident L.M. Montgomery to write the classic “Anne of Green Gables”. You can discover all things Anne here, but our favourite spin-off is Anne of Green Gables chocolates made and sold in Charlottetown.
Also in Charlottetown, those hunting the perfect lobster roll have plenty of places to try out. The Water Prince Corner Shop has won many fans, with the focus on food rather than fancy. That food being seafood, straight from the water to the pot. Try out the chowder before you dive into a lobster roll and perhaps add a side of scallops.
Picturesque Victoria-by-the-Sea is a historic fishing village, with many tempting treats starting with a selection of chocolates washed down with cup of the special coffee blend roasted in PEI on offer at Island Chocolates. Build up an appetite by walking along the red sand and warm waters at the beach, then checking out the Keepers of the Light exhibit at the Victoria Seaport Museum. When you’re ready for lunch choose from a lobster roll at the Lobster Barn or fish 'n chips at Richard’s Fresh Seafood or try out the Landmark Oyster House. Here they offer a rotating selection of oysters from the cold & clean waters of PEI, each unique in its flavours, texture, and size.
Georgetown is the location of the first harbour to be built on the Eastern Seaboard, which is also one of the deepest harbours in North America. And you can enjoy views of the water whilst savouring a delicious meal incorporating local produce and fresh seafood from local fishermen at the Wheelhouse in Georgetown.
Prince Edward Island has its own national park which also has its own heritage lighthouse – Covehead Harbour Lighthouse. Enjoy a stroll around here and then head to North Rustico Harbour for a spot of lunch at the Blue Mussel Café, which promised their food is harvested, caught or raised hours from your table, not days. Whilst the mussels are the main event, you might be tempted by the Seafood Chowder Poutine combining the PEI speciality with that all-Canadian favourite.
You may be surprised to learn that there is also a decent number of wineries dotted around this gem of an island. At the Rossignol Estate Winery, you can not only sample their wines, you can also enjoy panoramic views of the Northumberland Strait and peruse their selection of original artwork – a nice way to pass an afternoon. The Newman Estate Winery is located in south-eastern PEI where the sandy soil and southern slopes make it a great spot for growing grapes. All of their wines are made with 100% of these grapes, and with only small batches being produced you’ll only find this wine in their boutique winery.
Continuing with beverages, the quirky Island Honey Wine Company, produces the world’s oldest fermented beverage – mead. They invite you to “take a journey through a glass on the back of the bee” when you can visit their working farm and enjoy a sample which reported has all the flavours of Prince Edward Island’s fruit, flowers and honeys.
Finally, craft beer enthusiasts should visit the Copper Bottom Brewery in “Montague the Beautiful” – so-called because of the tranquil river running through it, the lovely tree-lined streets and stately heritage homes. Try out some of the Copper Bottom brews overlooking the Montague River, and then perhaps clear your head with a stroll along the boardwalk on the waterfront.