Canada

New Brunswick heritage sweets: Ganong Chocolates

New Brunswick heritage sweets: Ganong Chocolates

[caption id="attachment_6734" align="alignright" width="458"] Staff at Ganong's shop are cheerful as kids in a candy store. [/caption]As we drove home from Saint John, we couldn't resist stopping in Saint Stephen, Canada's self-proclaimed “Chocolate Town.” Located on the banks of the Saint Croix River about 75 miles west of Saint John, the town is home to Ganong Chocoaltier, Canada's oldest family-owned chocolate company (73 Milltown Blvd., St. Stephen, NB; 506-465-5611; ganong.com). In 1999, Ganong opened a Chocolate Museum to tell their story. It's located behind their large storefront candy shop in downtown Saint Stephen. The company was founded in 1873 by two brothers of French Huguenot descent. “Chicken Bones,” their signature sweet of hard cinnamon candy filled with bittersweet chocolate, debuted in 1885. Ganong claims to...Read More
Sturgeon from caviar to smoked to kebabs

Sturgeon from caviar to smoked to kebabs

[caption id="attachment_6694" align="aligncenter" width="916"]As the great sturgeon repast was being readied, we relaxed with some wine and this charcuterie board of sturgeon pâté, smoked shortnose sturgeon (rear), smoked Atlantic sturgeon, and puffed sturgeon cartilage—much like pork rinds.[/caption] A big part of the “safari” experience is the languorous luncheon that follows the harvest expedition. Cornel Ceapa and his wife, Dorina, had everything ready to cook when we returned from the river (see previous post). [caption id="attachment_6709" align="alignright" width="416"] About a zillion three-day-old sturgeon hatchlings swim in a tank at Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar.[/caption]But first we toured the hatchery, where zillions of newly hatched sturgeon swam in huge white tanks and hundreds of juvenile and adult shortnose sturgeon coursed in others. Ceapa hatches both Atlantic sturgeon and...Read More
Stalking the wild Atlantic sturgeon

Stalking the wild Atlantic sturgeon

Cornel Ceapa (above left) knows his sturgeon. He earned a PhD in sturgeon biology from a university in his native Romania. He studied sevruga sturgeon, an overfished species that is critically endangered and on the verge of extinction. Now a Canadian citizen living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Ceapa is determined that the Atlantic sturgeon will not suffer the same fate. His company, Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, Inc.(www.acadian-sturgeon.com/en), operates one of the last wild commercial sturgeon fisheries in the world. It also restocks the Saint John River with hatchery fish. The company's sturgeon meat appears on high-end menus in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, and small amounts (along with caviar) are available at Saint John fishmongers. The caviar can also be ordered (in Canada only) directly...Read More
Britt’s Pub & Eatery: good bet to quaff and dine

Britt’s Pub & Eatery: good bet to quaff and dine

We sometimes do a presentation that we call “How to Get a Good Meal Anywhere in the World.” We like to think that we've learned a few things over the years that can help guide folks to good food at a fair price. But we ignored some of our own advice one evening in Saint John, New Brunswick. We selected a restaurant more for its location in a popular, touristy area than we did for the menu. We did have a lovely time sitting by the harbor at sunset and enjoyed the local Idol-like talent contest taking place on an outdoor stage. But the food was disappointing. And we'd missed an opportunity to see what a better kitchen might turn out. Fortunately we were able...Read More
Moosehead: Saint John’s very own brewery

Moosehead: Saint John’s very own brewery

Ever since Molson merged with Coors and Anheuser-Busch gobbled up Labatt, Canadians have been hard-pressed to buy a truly Canadian mass-market beer. That is, unless they drank Moosehead, which proudly proclaims that it's the last major brewery still owned by Canadians. The great-great-great grandson of founder Susannah Oland, who launched the business in 1867, remains at the helm of Moosehead Breweries. Andrew Oland's family has steered the operation through fires, the Halifax explosion, Prohibition, two world wars, the Great Depression, and trade barriers. Although the company launched in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, it's been part of the Saint John scene for more than a century. We knew Moosehead (89 Main Street West, Saint John, NB; 506-635-7000, ext. 5568, moosehead.ca) from the nicely balanced, crisp Moosehead Lager...Read More
Tap into local creativity at Saint John’s Night Market

Tap into local creativity at Saint John’s Night Market

We made a point of being in Saint John, New Brunswick, on a Thursday so that we could check out the “Night Market” that was launched this year. From spring through summer, a group of about 20 crafters, bakers, and food makers lay out their wares on the south side of the Saint John City Market building. As we cruised the pedestrian street, we couldn't help but marvel at the variety within the small group of vendors. There was, of course, a food truck with fish and chips. Friendly women proudly offered their family's food specialties from as near as the Acadian peninsula or as far as Madagascar. One couple worked as quickly as they could to fill Spanish-style churros with chocolate or caramel sauce...Read More
Saint John City Market reveals the city’s foodways

Saint John City Market reveals the city’s foodways

One of the first places we visit when we arrive in a new city is the public market. Sure, we're curious about what's in season, what the fishermen are catching, and what local food specialties we might discover. But it's more than that. People who make a living nurturing their neighbors are among the friendliest folk you could hope to meet. We always feel welcomed and at home after spending some time chatting with food market vendors. That's why we found ourselves in the Saint John City Market (http://www.sjcitymarket.ca) on the first morning of a short trip to this small New Brunswick city. Given the hour, we made our first stop at Uptown Donuts, where Melissa Whiting from Grand Bay, New Brunswick, has been brightening...Read More
Pour a cool one on Montreal Craft Beer Tour

Pour a cool one on Montreal Craft Beer Tour

With Heineken as one of the sponsors of the Montreal Jazz Festival, there's no shortage of beer for sale at the outdoor food and drink stalls. But if you are a hops-head looking for something more than a quick thirst quencher, you might want to set aside time for a Montreal Brewpub Experience (montrealcraftbeertours.com). On a previous visit to Montreal, we joined one of the walking and tasting tours—along with a group of extremely cheerful guys on a bachelor party getaway. Stéphane Lussier (our guide shown at right) told us that Montreal jumped on the craft beer bandwagon about 30 years ago. He also pointed out that Montreal is one of the biggest brewing cities in North America. In addition to brewing giants Labatt, Molson,...Read More
Chinatown noodles fortify jazz buffs

Chinatown noodles fortify jazz buffs

Montreal's small but bustling Chinatown sits between the east end of downtown and Old Montreal. It's literally steps from the Place des Festivals where outdoor concerts and performances take place during the Jazz, Circus, and Comedy festivals. The neighborhood is a remnant of the days when Chinese laborers helped build the Canadian railroads, which were headquartered in Montreal. Like most Chinatowns in North America, the community has welcomed immigrants from Southeast Asia. (Montreal is a worldwide magnet for people leaving former French colonies, including Indo-China.) Nonetheless, the neighborhood still maintains a Chinese identity. Pedestrian rue de la Gauchtière is lined with all manner of gift shops, grocers, and restaurants. But at lunchtime (any day but Monday), we like to detour to Restaurant Noodle Factory, a...Read More
Indoor casual food alternative during Jazz Festival

Indoor casual food alternative during Jazz Festival

No one needs to go hungry or thirsty during the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. Lots of festival food vendors are posted throughout the pedestrianized areas within the Quartiers des Spectacles. The kiosks scattered throughout the plazas between stages have plenty of pulled pork, pizza, poutine, giant hot dogs, beaver tails, ice cream, beer, and wine for sale. But sometimes it pays to look beyond the obvious and duck indoors to find some less predictable food. The Complex Desjardins is located on rue Ste-Catherine right in front of the Rio Tinto stage and across the street from MAC, the Musée d'Art Contemporain. The stage inside Desjardins is oriented to music for youngsters at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. College musicians perform at 5 p.m....Read More