Feasting at the Fortress of Louisbourg

Colonist cuisine


 

Throughout 2013, Parks Canada celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site with a series of events that includes concerts, festivals and, of course, food.

Built by French colonists in 1713 on the wind-scraped shores of eastern Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, the Fortress of Louisbourg was the largest fortified settlement in Canada outside of Quebec City—until it fell to the British in 1758. The settlement lay in rubble for more than 200 years until the 1960s, when the federal government began the largest historical reconstruction ever undertaken in North America. Today, more than one-fifth of the original site has been restored, with 25 buildings open to the public.

Visitors will immediately notice the vegetable and herb gardens, which are used to supply the two restaurants at the site with produce traditionally grown in the 1740s. Diners can choose between the unabashedly described “lower-class” Grandchamps Inn, where a spoon is the utensil of choice, or the slightly more formal Hôtel de la Marine. In either case, expect authentic 18th-century fare with stews, meat pies and fish as the staples, served up by costumed attendants.

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