Golden beaches, towering sand dunes, jagged red cliffs, vibrant fishing harbors, and rolling green farms make Prince Edward Island a photographer’s paradise and a foodie’s haven
Rich in potatoes, blueberries, beef, and pork; abounding in lobster, mussels, and oysters; and brimming with passionately creative chefs, it’s only natural that PEI is home to the Culinary Institute of Canada. And that’s just scratching the surface. Follow the PEI Culinary Trail where it’s possible to eat your way “tip to tip,” as the islanders say, from East Point to North Cape, across a breathtaking landscape.
Islanders are great celebrators of food, known for their kitchen parties, beach picnics, barbecue pits, market days, and food festivals, culminating in the grand fiesta of them all – the PEI Fall Flavors Festival. This month long, island-wide food festival with over 50 culinary events highlights authentic island tastes and traditions to celebrate fall harvest season.
PEI chefs delight in the island’s abundance of seasonal ingredients. From wharves and orchards to farms and u-picks, buying lobsters fresh from the fishers’ traps, and foraging for fiddleheads, dining on the island is very much a local experience. Stop at roadside fruit and vegetable stalls or explore neighborhood bakeries, sinking into the aroma of fresh-baked bread, pies, and cookies. “Living off the land” is a satisfying and quintessential part of the island way of life which anyone can enjoy simply by traveling the PEI Culinary Trail.
Part of the charm of “eating island” is coming across unexpected delicacies such as artisanal cheeses, homemade jams, smoked salmon, heritage recipes, church suppers, and strawberry socials -unique local events and specialties to be savored and cherished, first as delicious culinary experiences and later as vivid PEI memories.
For those looking for a more hands-on experience, take part in island life and take home local traditions. I-lop on an oyster dory (small boat) and learn to tong, shuck, and eat oysters straight out of the bay; dig or dive for island clams and cook them on the beach or enjoy deep-sea fishing for bait before hand feeding giant blue-fin tuna as they swim under your boat. Become a lobster fisherman and learn to set your traps and cook your fresh delicious catch, or participate in a hands-on pottery workshop, culinary boot-camp, or Acadian step-dance class. With over 50 Authentic PEI Experiences, there’s adventure for everyone.
One aspect of island life that’s sure to make an impression is the extraordinary combination of gorgeous landscapes and great eating. Decks, verandahs, bars, and dining rooms are all located to maximize the breathtaking views. Enjoy an ice-cold PEI handcrafted ale while looking out over a quaint fishing wharf or a succulent lobster supper on a patio with a panoramic view down a blue, boat-dotted bay.
PEI is a feast for the senses. Look for white-painted lighthouses perched atop red-cliff capes overlooking sandbars, harbors, bridges, and wharfs. Listen for the crash of waves along the island’s nookm (684 miles) of coastline. Feel the white sandy beach under your feet and the warmth of the sun on your skin. Smell the fresh salt seaside air and the scent of wild roses and bayberry leaves. Taste a lobster roll crammed with lobster fresh off the boat, an oyster plucked straight from the sea, or the world’s best creamy ice-cream. These are just some of the sensuous pleasures that await the island visitor.