Thursday, October 6, 2016

Day 6 of 9 in Prince Edward Island

Today was the day we would be checking out of the Inn at Bay Fortune. After a late night last night we all eventually made it to the breakfast room by about 8:30am. That would leave us still with enough to time to pack up our bags and pay any incidentals that were charged to our rooms.

Today's option for hot breakfast was fish cakes topped with a poached egg and lobster hollandaise,  and a side salad. Their ability to wow us was still very prevalent as it was very delicious.
I also had the fresh squeezed orange juice, blueberry smoothie, and yogurt as I did yesterday morning. I was able to pace myself at dinner a bit more the night before, so I had more room for this bigger breakfast.

Then I wandered outside and down the drive of the Inn to say goodbye to Bay Fortune... Or as Chef Michael whispered to me "it's not goodbye, it's see you later." These two benches and the bay are literally across the street from the Inn at the end of the drive. I must have sat there for about half an hour just taking it all in.
As I was sitting there I was also watching Dennis (you can just barely see him in the boat in this photo) collecting oysters. These are the oyster beds of Bay Fortune and Dennis works all day looking after the oyster crops and bringing in the necessary supply. Remember over 34,000 Fortune Bay oysters have been shucked and served at the Inn this year alone... and they have only been open since May!

Afterwards I reluctantly made my way back up the drive to join the group in gathering our bags to board the bus. Our same bus driver Bob was there to greet us and take us on our next journey.
A 10 minute drive from the Inn at Bay Fortune was our first stop: The Myriad View Distillery.
We met up with the owner and founder, Ken Mill, and he welcomed us and told us great stories of the history of Prince Edward Island and the history of moonshine on Prince Edward Island, and how it is still the official drink of the Island. Many generations have made moonshine secretly even during the prohibition that ran for decades. They even had code-word language so they wouldn't get caught. The only piece of equipment that was specific to making moonshine from their homemade stills back in the day was "the worm" - this is the coiled tubing that was used to cool the alcohol vapour to a liquid... Or better known as moonshine. All the other equipment was equipment that was normally used on a farm. So, if a strange vehicle was coming up the property through prohibition times they would yell "hide the worm!" 
His stories were very interesting and kept the group captivated. 
Then he took us inside to show the complete operations including this still. In this facility they distill and sell many liquors including Shine (50% alcohol), Lightning (75% alcohol), vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, and more. My favorite, believe it or not was the brandy! The whiskey was good too, but I really enjoyed the brandy. It is still illegal to this day to have the word "moonshine" in print on the label, so they call their product "Strait Shine" with the image of a moon behind the name to get around this. Great product and great people.
As a matter of fact, still to this day, moonshine is the official drink at a wedding, but it is bad luck for the father of the bride to make the moonshine. The tradition is for the father of the bride to ask someone else to make the moonshine for the wedding, but secretly do it as if they were still in prohibition times. The father of the bride would approach that person and say "my daughter's getting married next month." The other person would say "double run?" And the father of the bride is just supposed to walk away nodding his head up & down in an affirmative jester. 
A double run, by the way, in when they take the moonshine from the first processes and run it through a second time to get more caramelization flavour and colour from the sugars to the moonshine for a more complex taste.
After a tasting of as many of their products that we wanted to try, we boarded back onto the bus.

Our next destination was to the Confederation Bridge that joins PEI to New Brunswick. About a 1.5 hour drive to get there from Myriad View Distillery.
The Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge in Canada and the longest bridge in the world to cover water that freezes. It spans 12.9 kilometres or 8 miles and it is considered one of Canada's top engineering achievements of the 20th century.
Of course there is a toll to cross it...
But it was well worth it as you could see for miles.
...and then we finally crossed the bridge and entered the province of...
New Brunswick!

...and on our way to:
The town of Shediac!
Which just happens to be...
The lobster capital of the world and...
Home of the world's largest lobster! This lobster was created by a local New Brusnwick artist. It and the base are made from over 90 tons of cement!

Their former mayor was also the first person to create a crossword board game (much like what we know as scrabble today).
And they have a tribute to him.

We met up with Danny Pellerin, Director of Economic Development & Tourism for the Town of Shediac:
And he taught us a lot about the history of the town.

He even took us to a local lobster company to see their operations first-hand.
This company will ship to anywhere in Canada via FedEx Air for only $3.50 per pound more than the going rate for the per pound price of the lobster.

We then headed over to the Tait House that was originally built in 1911.
There we met their Executive Chef Peter Woodworth...
Who just happens to be the winner of the Best Lobster Roll contest held this past July, judged by celebrity Chef Chuck Hughes.

They had a beautiful table setting waiting for us:
And so we got our selves settled for what turned out to be an amazing lunch.

It first started with local raw oysters with a grapefruit reduction and fresh lemon:
I figure I have eaten almost 3 dozen raw oysters now since we arrived! These ones were incredibly delicious.

Then it moved onto an amazing seafood chowder:
The second best one we've had yet.

And then we got to try...
His award winning lobster roll on homemade molasses bread. It was also served with a salad topped the tastiest maple dressing I have ever had.

And for dessert:
Homemade pumpkin ice cream with ginger biscuits. A perfect end to an even more perfect meal.

We then boarded the bus and headed back over the bridge on our way to Charlottetown, a 1.75 hour drive.
When we arrived in Charlottetown we checked into the Great George Hotel...
...that will be our home for the next 3 nights.

We said goodbye to our bus driver Bob, and checked into our beautiful rooms:
...and then getting back together as a group on the main floor of the hotel for a complimentary exclusive wine & beer welcome to the Chef Dez Culinary Tour. 
After this long day of traveling, and a busy day of sightseeing, eating, and drinking, we were all very tired and anxious to retire for the evening.
We are all looking forward to a "free day" tomorrow to do as we please.

Until next time... Happy Cooking!

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