When we think of cities in Canada that are culinary destinations, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver immediately come to mind. But what about the rest of Canada? It’s safe to say that most of us don’t know much about the cuisines outside of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and we should. We were invited to Ateliers et Saveurs to discover the various regions in Northern New Brunswick and what culinary delights they have to offer.
We were treated to cocktails using several different New Brunswick spirits and mixers. We tried the New Brunswick Punch, made with local New Brunswick Gin Thuya, lemon juice, cranberry juice, passionfruit syrup, haskap berry, and basil. A refreshing and light drink, you could easily finish the punch bowl!
The Al Capone cocktail was the stronger of the two drinks, it was made up of vodka, absinthe, lemon juice, honey, white cranberry juice, tonic and thyme. The absinthe was the dominant flavour and takes a little getting used to but it balanced well with the fresh lemony thyme and honey.
A little touch of Montreal was on hand as Daniel Notkin shucked some New Brunswick Beausoleil oysters for the crowd to enjoy. Some were served naked, others, with a squeeze of lemon juice and others with a dousing of New Brunswick vodka – we loved them all!
There were several New Brunswick cheeses on display, including two types of dough puffs using Le Clandestine cheese. The puffs light even though the cheese itself is rather creamy and rich! We also loved the puff made with a drizzle of haskap berry, the same berry used in the punch drink.
There is a lot of fish in New Brunswick cuisine and we’re not complaining, especially when we tried the smoked salmon, from the Miramichi region. Freshly sliced in front of us, and served with baguette crisps and dill cream, the fish was brightly coloured and tasted fresh, with a strong tantilzing aroma. The dill cream was a nice touch, and the fish itself had a hint of sweetness.
You can’t explore New Brunswick without having lobster and we were treated to lobster pâté. It has such a deep lobster flavour that you only really need a little bit to get the full taste, though why not indulge?! The colour is also a vibrant coral which makes it appealing to both the eye and the stomach. We loved it!
We also had the lamb meatballs with goat cheese, served on a simple tomato sauce with fiddleheads that’s were flambéed in absinthe! The absinthe taste was evident but not overpowering and the fiddleheads still had some bite to them. The meatballs were tender and worked well with their simple tomato sauce.
You can’t leave without having dessert and we were introduced to ployes, a customary treat in native New Brunswick. Ployes are like a pancake but more like a crêpe made with buckwheat flour, as well as wheat flower, baking powder and water. It was cooked on a griddle and Marc Landry, of Landry et Filles, explained that it is only cooked on one side. Once cooked, he brushed a little butter on top and then sprinkled on some maple sugar. Light, fluffy and addictive, we could have happily parked ourselves in front of the griddle for the night.
We ended with a coffee flavoured crème brûlée, served with a maple and sesame seed tuile. The creamy texture and the crunch of the tuile was a nice combination. The coffee flavour was mild and paired nicely with the hint of maple in the tuile.
We learned a lot of about what the various regions of Northern New Brunswick have to offer our palates. If you’re thinking of getting away for a few days, especially on a culinary adventure, why not explore Canada and check out Northern New Brunswick!
Tagged: Beausoleil Oysters, Canada, Canadian food, Crème Brûlée, Fiddleheads, Gin Thuya, haskap berry, Lamb Meatballs, Le Clandestine Cheese, Lobster, Lobster Pâté, New Brunswick, New Brunswick cuisine, New Brunswick food, New Brunswick lobster, New Brunswick Oysters, Northern New Brunswick, oysters, pancakes, Ployes, Smoked Salmon