Summer is coming, or so I am told, and that means BBQs, picnics in the park and days on the beach. This month, I’d like to take a look at some of the amazing suppliers the Island has to offer and how they can make your summer plans truly special.
Gallant’s PEI Food, a staple of the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market, has recently opened a location at 18 Superior Crescent in Charlottetown. It’s a great spot for lunch, but the grab and go options are outstanding. Chowder, crab cakes, a great selection of salads: you really can’t go wrong. Tyler’s food is an excellent showcase of what the Island has to offer and it makes the perfect introduction to PEI food for your off-Island dinner party guests.
Not everyone loves seafood, but that’s okay because PEI also has some of the best beef in Canada. For me, my favourite spot is KJL Select Meats on Riverside Drive which is connected to Riverview Country Market. Just some of the most friendly folks around and since they butcher their own animals in-house, they’re always up for a special request or challenge. They do classic deli products and sausages extremely well, it wouldn’t be a BBQ at my place without some of their maple chipotle sausages.
After you’re done picking up your meat at KJL you should visit my friends at Riverview Country Market. They are a Charlottetown institution and their selection of fresh produce is fantastic. Where else are you going to find watercress in Charlottetown? They also carry a great range of products that are sure to satisfy your vegan and vegetarian friends.
It’s refreshing to see growing vegan and vegetarian options, especially for grab and go. Stir it Up located inside Back Alley Music on Queen Street offers their salads (some of the best potato salad on the Island vegan or not) and also meat substitutes such as Facon aka fake bacon and plant-based sausages. To go along with this tasty vegan fare why not add some of Julain Molnar’s Fauxmage, a cashew based “cheese” that is absolutely delicious. Fauxmage is available at most small grocers. I highly recommend the herb as an accompaniment to a baked potato or even as a spread for a veggie burger.
When it’s insufferably hot in the summer, I tend to gravitate towards cold food. Some cold cuts from KJL and maybe a bit of nice cheese. Victoria runs the Charlottetown Cheese Co. at Charlottetown Farmer’s Market and always has an excellent selection on hand. If she has White or Red Fox, those tend to me my go to’s. You can’t talk about PEI and cheese without mentioning Glasgow Glen Farms. It is located in New Glasgow, but the cheeses are available at places such as Riverview Country Market, Kent Street Market and Farmed in Summerside. Oh and you should also probably grab a bag of Mat’s Squeaky Cheese Curds that are produced in Mont-Carmel and available at most independent grocery stores.
I could probably write about the amazing food producers of PEI for the rest of my life, there’s always something new or something old that I have yet to discover. I’m sure by the end of the Summer there will be a whole slew of new options out there. One thing to definitely keep your eye on is what Dave Mottershall is up to with local charcuterie out of the new Bogside Brewing in Montague.