Top 5 – Fish and Seafood to Savour in Gaspésie
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample local fresh fish and seafood while you tour the Gaspé Peninsula! Here are 5 delicacies you will want to savour during your vacation and/or take home with you in a cooler!
Lobster from Gaspésie: Abundant meat and unique flavour
Renowned for its abundant meat and unique flavour, lobster from Gaspésie can be savoured in many ways. Try it in a club sandwich from a snack bar, where lobster meat replaces the usual chicken, or savour it fresh in a restaurant prepared with expertise by our talented local chefs!
You can also buy pre-cooked lobster for your picnics in several fish markets. If you have time, cook it yourself in seawater. Purists will want to eat it plain, but you can also enjoy it with a splash of lemon, with garlic butter or with a sauce.
If you want to see how lobster is fished, Excursions L’Omirlou offers deep-sea fishing excursions with real fishermen departing Bonaventure. Lobster season in Gaspésie runs from early May to late June, but several fish markets and restaurants offer fresh lobster from their tanks throughout the summer.
Delicately flavoured snow crab
In the spring, during snow crab season, the locals eat as much of this delicious and delicately flavoured crustacean as possible! Savour it in crab cakes in the many restaurants that feature crab on their menus. You can also try a crab guedille (crab roll) or club sandwich from a snack bar, which you can then savour along the water on a beach! Fish markets also sell frozen crab in small jars that are easy to pop into a cooler… Once you get home, they will remind you of your dream vacation in Gaspésie!
Tasty northern shrimp
Northern shrimp, also known as northern prawn, Matane shrimp or cold-water prawn, has been fished for decades off the coasts of Gaspésie, especially in the Coast and Haute-Gaspésie sectors. In the spring, when fresh shrimp is abundantly available in the shell, you can eat it with your fingers during a shrimp cook-off!
In the summer, northern shrimp is available in fish markets: follow the local custom and order a shrimp cocktail served in a glass and eat it with a toothpick! You can also order shrimp in restaurants: try a shrimp guedille (shrimp roll), most often available in snack bars. To get your fill of this delicious pink crustacean, be sure to visit the town of Matane, which bills itself as a gourmet shrimp destination. Here you will find many restaurants, pubs, microbreweries, cafés and snack bars that feature northern shrimp prepared in many different ways on their menus.
Cod: A traditional staple
Although cod has not been fished in the waters off Gaspésie since the moratorium, this delicious white fish is still featured in local cuisine. You can savour it in many different dishes in restaurants: baked or fried, in a pâté or chowder, in cod cakes, etc. You can also purchase take-out dishes in fish markets. The locals have much to say about the long tradition of cod fishing, salting and drying that is part of their history… Visit the Banc-de-Pêche-de-Paspébiac National Historic Site or other sites along the Route de la Morue (Cod Route) to learn more about the fascinating history of the cod industry.
Smoked or fresh Atlantic salmon
Gaspesians have a well-earned reputation for being masters in the art of smoking salmon. Many restaurants on the peninsula serve smoked salmon as an appetizer or main dish, in salads or sandwiches, or on pasta or bagels. You can even have it for breakfast! Smoked salmon is also a great addition to your picnics or cookouts.
Purchase smoked salmon in fish markets or directly from the smokehouse. For example, both Atkins et Frères (Mont-Louis) and Fumoir Cascapédia Smokehouse (Cascapédia–Saint-Jules) are open to the public. Without forgetting, Comptoir Monsieur Émile in Percé.
Although Atlantic salmon is no longer fished commercially in Gaspésie, you can try your hand at salmon fishing in the region’s 22 salmon rivers. The Matapédia Valley has long been known as one of the best places to catch this delicious pink-fleshed fish!
By the way, fish chowder is a must while visiting the Gaspésie region! Whether you opt for a bourride, bouillabaisse or other fish soup, you must try this local specialty at least once! Savour it in a restaurant or in the location of your choice if you pick it up from a fish market take-out counter.
Would you like to savour fresh fish and seafood from Gaspésie and discover other local delicacies from the region? Be in the loop! Plan your trip at tourisme-gaspesie.com today. #gaspesie
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