Recently, Covered Bridge Potato Chips released a flavour, or rather a combination of flavours, called Storm Chips, capitalizing on the now ubiquitous Maritime term to describe storm-related snacks. If you haven’t heard the story of how Storm Chips came to be a Maritime phenomenon then carry on, dear reader. Last winter, Stephanie Domet, a Halifax CBC reporter spoke on air about her penchant for chips and dip every time it stormed (which, as you remember, was often last January). When she went to the store to get her snacks, she snapped a photo of them with the hashtag #stormchips and the phenomenon was born. Now, you can actually buy a flavour of chips bearing that very name. I can already hear the crinkle of chip bags opening all over the Maritimes this winter as thousands of Maritimers cuddle up under a blanket on the couch as a storm rages outside. Just, hopefully, not too many times. For our physical health as well as our sanity.
The reappearance of Storm Chips got me thinking: what else can be considered uniquely Maritimes?
There are a few things that the Maritimes share with neighbouring regions, such as wild blueberries and maple syrup. There’s also lobster and other seafood of course, lobster rolls being a favourite served in restaurants across the region.
Dulse (dried seaweed) is another treat (term used liberally!) from the sea commonly found in the Maritimes. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone and while lots of Maritimers love dulse, lots hate it, too.
Donair is another well-known Maritime food specialty. The donair reportedly began in Halifax in the 1970’s, but who can claim credit for creating it and being the first to serve it is up for debate. For those who don’t know, donair consists of sliced, seasoned meat served on bread with tomato, onion and sweet donair sauce.
As for non-food related Maritime specialties, it might very well be the only place in the world that you can find inner-city, dual lighthouses at sunset, like these found in Uptown, Saint John:
Lighthouses in general, while certainly not unique to the Maritimes, are so synonymous with the region that the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
You can also find brutal winters here, that range from +15 one day and -25 the next. And don’t even get us started on the snow…we’re still traumatized from last winter, which saw record snowfalls in several Maritime cities.
Despite all the unique things the Maritimes offer that we love, there is not one single thing that can define us. It’s all part of a way of life that is shaped by our environment and our histories. It’s woven into our DNA, from the first breath of salty sea air that fills our lungs. We are a part of it, as it is a part of us.
Is there anything I missed that is uniquely Maritimes?