The beauty of Nova Scotia simply can't be overstated and while it's known for its landscape, travelers often book trips for more reasons than just that: its food. In this region of Canada, the food goes above and beyond what anyone could imagine from fresh, off-the-boat lobster to unique and clever dishes such as a potato and meat dish called a rapple pie. There are some international influences at play in Nova Scotia's cuisine, but its most iconic dishes are born of local ingredients and all of the benefits that a coastal town could have.
So, on your next trip up there (or, if you weren't planning a trip before then maybe you should be now), be sure to find these dishes. We promise that you haven't truly found a fondness for seafood - or seaweed, for that matter - until you've tried the dishes that this province is best known for.
Donairs are found throughout Canada and even in Alberta, where it's believed they got their start. The Lebanese-based pita wrap is similar to a gyro with a few minor differences. However, those who are from Nova Scotia will argue that the donair actually belongs to its province and was named the official food of Halifax in 2015 just to prove that point.
Similar to gyro meat, the meat in a donair is cooked on a vertical spit and sliced to reveal tender, moist slices of beef that have been marinated in Lebanese spices. The meat is then piled high into a pita with vegetables and sweet garlic sauce, and the food is so iconic that there have even been other Halifax dishes created with this inspiration in mind.
In speaking to the seaweed point, dulse is a type of edible seaweed that's easily recognizable by its red color. Similar to how nori (seaweed) chips have become popular snacks, dulse is also a popular snack in Nova Scotia.
The flavor is somewhat bold which is why visitors might notice that it has an acquired taste, but it comes with some pretty respectable health benefits and for the locals, there isn't anything like it.
It's not surprising to know that Nova Scotia, with its proximity to Maine, also specializes in wild blueberries. These sweet and tart berries grow en masse throughout the region and are used in practically everything from jams to jellies and even beer and wine.
Nova Scotia locals are very big fans of their blueberry agriculture and it's easy to see why with all the creativity that goes into using these small, yet delicious, berries. Many people would argue that they're the best in North America - but we're thinking Maine locals might have a thing or two to say about that.
It's not surprising to know that oatcakes actually got their start in Scotland, which is the country that Nova Scotia (New Scotland) was named for. These delicious cakes are easy to whip up and serve as the perfect snack, most commonly served with either a cup of coffee or tea.
Their flavor is the perfect balance between sweet and salty and they can be made either crispy or chewy depending on a person's preference. These cakes are commonly found in almost every bakery and in many cafes, and each one has its own recipe and takes on the delicious snack.
It's almost more challenging to go into a local Nova Scotia restaurant and not find rappie pie on the menu. This pie, similar to a mince pie as one would find in England, consists of shredded potatoes and ground beef. While it might be simple in its creation and its ingredients, it's wholly delicious and savory in all of the best ways.
When it comes to finding comfort food in Nova Scotia, it's unlikely that you could do better than one of these pies. Some markets even have them pre-made so that people can take them home and reheat them for lunch or dinner, they're so popular!
All Of Its Fresh Seafood, Mainly Lobster
Lobster is so abundant and so widely available in Nova Scotia that there are even dedicated Lobster Trails and Chowder Trails that visitors can follow to learn more about the local fishing economy.
Each stop along the way introduces newcomers to all of the best Nova Scotia has to offer in terms of its lobster and its lobster dishes, however, it might be a challenge to hit every destination unless you have a very empty stomach beforehand!