Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample local fresh fish and seafood in Gaspésie! Here are five delicacies you’ll want to savour during your vacation and then take home with you!
Lobster from Gaspésie: Abundant meat and a 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. Lobster season in Gaspésie runs from early May to late June, but many fish markets and restaurants offer fresh lobster from their tanks throughout the summer.
Lobster. Photo: CHOK Images
Delicately flavoured snow crab
During snow crab season in the spring, 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 guédille (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’ll remind you of your dream vacation in Gaspésie!
Snow crab. Photo: Tourisme 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: be sure to try a shrimp guédille (shrimp roll), most often available in snack bars.
Northern shrimp. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie
Cod: A traditional staple
Although cod has not been fished in the waters off Gaspésie since the 1992 moratorium, this delicious white fish is still featured in local cuisine. In fact, several companies in Gaspésie import cod to make dried and salted cod. You can savour this fish in many different dishes in restaurants: baked or pan fried, in a pâté or chowder, in cod cakes, etc. You can also purchase take-out dishes featuring cod in fish markets. The locals have much to say about the long tradition of cod fishing, salting and drying that’s part of their history… Visit the Paspébiac National Historic Site or other sites along the Route de la Morue (Cod Route) to learn more about the fascinating history of the local cod fishery.
Site historique national de Paspébiac. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis
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 (Saint-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis) and Fumoir Cascapédia (Cascapédia–Saint-Jules) are open to the public.
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.
Smoked Salmon of Monsieur Émile. Photo: Gaspésie Gourmande
Savour the fresh fish and seafood of Gaspésie!