Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Local Flavor

June 30, 2010
We try to engage all our senses in our quest for life-long learning, and we are happy to use our tastebuds to enhance our travel adventures.

We are eating lobster almost daily, as we hoped. But, we never imagined that we would be eating lobster at McDonald’s.

Here in the Maritime Provinces, select McDonald’s have signs out front proclaiming it McLobster Season, and we were curious to discover what this meant. So Jim, Jan, Dick and I headed over to McDonald’s to sample McLobster as an appetizer before our real dinner (because, as you may recall, we have a rule against eating at chain restaurants, especially McDonald’s). We found that a McLobster is a lobster roll—cold lobster meat (and plenty of it) stuffed into a hot dog bun with some lettuce and mayo. At $6.19, it undercut the price of every lobster roll we have seen in our travels in Lobster Country (and was about half the cost of our first lobster roll of the trip consumed back in Maine while waiting for our lobster trapping voyage on the Lucky Catch). We are wondering how they can be making any profit off of it, and our numbers man Jim hypothesizes it is a loss leader.

We have tried some more unexpected regional specialties, as well. Having read a newspaper review nominating Ketchup Chips as Canada’s national food, we bought a bag and shared them four ways with our traveling companions. We all agreed that they really did taste like potato chips dipped in ketchup, and that this was an item we would not be likely to repurchase.

Speaking of ketchup, the Heinz 57 Ketchup up here is sweeter and has less vinegar bite to it than our ketchup in the states.

Yesterday we all shared a regional specialty called poutine. The recipe is simple—take a big pile of French fries, top them with cheese curds, and pour a generous ladleful of canned brown gravy over the top of the mountain of cholesterol. Appetizing as it sounds, this was another item that we agreed we would not be likely to repurchase.

We have seen cod cheeks on several coastal fishing town menus, but not screwed up the courage to actually order it yet. Stay tuned.

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