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On Location: Canadian Culinary Delights

In Canada & New England, the “On Location” program is in full swing. This new enrichment experience offers onboard classes and demonstrations by local artists and professionals that allow guests to familiarize themselves with the cultures they’ll be visiting around the world.

On cruises that explore Canada & New England, “On Location” guides present lectures about the region’s history, guests can participate in French language lessons, beverage tastings feature regional beers and wines, and sailaway parties around the lido deck take on a local theme.

With local culinary specialties overflowing in this part of the world, guests on Canada & New England cruises are treated to a host of “On Location” activities centered around food. Sharon Johnson took part in many of these fun and festive events during her recent cruise aboard ms Maasdam.

During our day at sea we had a special “On Location” meal: Fiddling Flapjacks & French Crêpes Breakfast in the Lido Pool area. Local Cape Breton fiddler Gillian Head and guitarist Decota McNamara played jigs, reels and melodic songs while everyone selected pancakes and crêpes and loaded them with their favorite toppings.

There was a choice of buttermilk, buckwheat and sourdough pancakes plus French crêpes. For toppings, there was a choice of stewed fruit and fresh fruit. And there was even toppings for those with a sweet tooth.

There was a choice of buttermilk, buckwheat and sourdough pancakes plus French crêpes. For toppings, there was a choice of stewed fruit and fresh fruit. And there was even toppings for those with a sweet tooth.

We chose one of the must have toppings---100% Canadian Maple Syrup. And we added some fresh New England Blueberries alongside our buckwheat pancakes. Maple smoked bacon, link sausage and hash browns were also available.

We chose one of the must have toppings — 100% Canadian Maple Syrup. And we added some fresh New England Blueberries alongside our buckwheat pancakes. Maple smoked bacon, link sausage and hash browns were also available.

Sharon with Cape Breton fiddler Gillian Head and guitarist Decota McNamara.

Sharon with Cape Breton fiddler Gillian Head and guitarist Decota McNamara.

In Halifax, there was an “On Location” program at 5 p.m. in the Explorer’s Lounge. Culinary Arts Hostess Lauren and Cellar Master Zoltan Levente Fodor presented a local delicacy in their “Sip and Savor” presentation. We had a chance to taste a pre-dinner appetizer with a glass of wine. Lauren handed out spoons loaded with lobster salad on artichoke. We tasted the Chardonnay wine and then had some of the lobster salad. When we tasted the wine the second time, the wine had taken on the characteristics of the salad and had a much nicer taste.

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On a sea day, there was an “On Location” program in the Culinary Arts Center that sounded like fun. So we watched Show Chef Daniel and Culinary Arts Hostess Lauren demonstrated how to do a “New England Style Seafood Bake” so that we could bring the flavors of New England home with us.

Daniel used cod for his seafood bake, but he told us that any white fish could be substituted. Besides the fish, he had butter, dill, cloves, red potato, shrimp and an ear of corn laid out to be assembled into a parchment packet since he obviously couldn’t grill in the Culinary Arts Center.

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And at another presentation in the Culinary Arts Center, Cruise Director Michael showed off his culinary skills and demonstrated how to make Tuna Tartar Tostada with Avocado Honey Butter. It was very obvious that he knew his way around a kitchen just by the way he wielded the knife he used for cooking. It was especially evident when he swiftly brought the knife down on an avocado seed in his palm, demonstrating how to easily remove it.

The recipe is his own that he made up taking basic ingredients that are in all Tuna Tartar recipes and adding in ingredients that he enjoyed. He even demonstrated how to make the mold so that the presentation looked nice. Instead of buying a fancy set of molds, he cuts the top and bottom out of a tomato sauce can and presses the ingredients into layers. The tricky part was pulling the can off and having the tuna tartar stack stay in place. Samples of the tuna tartar were prepared for all of us so that we could have a taste.

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What type of culinary presentation would you like to attend? Are you more of the cooking class type of person or someone who likes to attend a tasting and sample the food?

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