Put these Local Foods on your Basket List
Whether it’s part of your Victoria Day weekend, or any weekend really, mastering the fine art of the picnic requires three things – a great spot, good company and some simple and delicious local fare. Here are a few of our favourites to pack when we dine in the great outdoors.
Bread. It’s a picnic staple. You can put almost anything on it from cheese to preserves…but you have to start with a good loaf. We think you can’t go wrong with a good French or Italian bread like the ones from 24 Carrots Bakery or a baguette from Stone Hearth Bakery. Here’s the thing about bread. There are great local bakeries all throughout the province. Visit one, pick what you like and away you go.
Now that we’ve got the bread covered, what goes on it? Well, our picnic basket isn’t a picnic basket without local cheese. It’s up to you really, but we like something on the softer side like dill and herb Havarti from Fox Hill Cheese House. Their Gouda is a winner too. We also love Knoydart’s organic cheese, especially the blueberry and cranberry.
Meat. We must have some meat. Something easy to deal with like pepperoni or salami from Peasant’s Pantry in New Ross fit the bill perfectly. But, while you’re there, they also have a great lineup of pâtés that spread perfectly on that fantastic bread you bought. Try the Rilette. They also make a huge variety of sausages. Cook them in advance and toss them in the basket.
Speaking of cooking in advance, this idea might not come to mind right away, but a frittata made with Nova Scotia eggs and other local ingredients is an excellent picnic nibbler. We’ve got a great recipe on our website. You can prepare it in just a few minutes, cool it overnight, cut it up and you’re all set.
We’ve got cheese, we’ve got meat, now we’ve got some peppered jellies from Tangled Garden. Zesty onion and smoking grape are great matches with bread and cheeses. And hey, we’ve got both of those.
It’s not a picnic without potato salad. But being outside in the warm weather might make mayonnaise a concern. Try this instead. Wisk together 100ml of olive oil, 2tbsp of whole grain mustard and the juice of half a lemon. Drizzle over your cooked and cut potatoes and then for a little kick, add some sliced fresh radish and little salt and pepper.
Let’s do dessert, but let’s keep it simple. You may have to wait a few more weeks until local strawberries are in-season, and local blueberries and raspberries will take a little longer, but good things come to those who wait. When they become available, they’ll always be coming along on our picnics.
These are just a few tasty local thought starters. There are all kind of good things grown and made here in Nova Scotia. All you have to do is ask for local when you shop. Nothing beats eating the best of Nova Scotia in your favourite Nova Scotia picnic spot.