Tastes of New Brunswick

Seafood is plentiful all year (lobsters, oysters, crabs, mussels, clams, scallops, and salmon) and prepared in as many ways as there are chefs, and just about anywhere in New Brunswick you'll find some kind of fish-and-chips. Try snacking on dulse, a dried purple seaweed as salty as potato chips and as compelling as peanuts.

A spring delicacy is fiddleheads—emerging ferns that look like the curl at the end of a violin. These emerald gems are picked along riverbanks, then boiled and sprinkled with lemon juice, butter, salt, and pepper.

The big boys of the beer world are Moosehead, brewed in Saint John, Alexander Keith’s (originally a Nova Scotia brewery, now owned by Labatt, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch) and, of course, the various Molson brews. They are being robustly challenged these days by a growing number (29 at the time of writing) of excellent local craft breweries, and Fredericton is the epicenter, home to no less than eight microbreweries. Moncton has two, the Pump House Brewery and the Tide & Boar Gastropub, which brews its own beer on-site, and the rest are scattered around smaller communities. Look for the blue road sign representing a mug full of suds, visit beerocracymovie.com to see their craft breweries map and a trailer for their documentary film, and check listings for beer festivals.

New Brunswick also has a couple of distilleries and 14 wineries, so ask what's available in stores and restaurants. A good introduction would be to take one of the Uncorked Tours out of Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, or St. Andrews; the tours specialize in local wineries and artisan breweries.

New Brunswick's maple products are sought the world over, and chocolates made by Ganong Bros. Limited of St. Stephen, who have been in the candy business for a century and a quarter, are a popular treat.

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