Afang soup (gnetum)
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What: As it goes with many cultures around the globe, potato pancakes are likely a part of Acadian cuisine due to potatoes’ ability to grow in rough, rocky terrain—all that was left for the Acadians who returned to Nova Scotia after they were expelled from their land 260 years ago by the British (see rappie pie for more Acadian history). Similar to rappie pie, this dish starts with grated potatoes, which are combined with flour, egg, and seasonings and then pan-fried till crispy.
Where: Café l’Acadie (8369 Peggy's Cove Rd., Indian Harbour, map), newly relocated from Bedford, Halifax to the South Shore, is the only spot we know of in this area that offers these potato pancakes. It’s well worth a detour to taste the culture’s hard-to-find traditional foods—these and the many others we have featured on these pages—and chat with knowledgeable chef-owner Gary Le Blanc, who can trace his own Acadian family history back to 1602.
Order: The potato pancakes ($8.95) are easy to love, perfectly pan-fried without being too greasy (or falling apart). You get three to an order (the chef made us two larger ones and two smaller ones to suit our family), and they come with sour cream—an ideal creamy dip for these. If you have any chowchow on your table (the sweet, tart green-tomato relish that’s typically paired with Acadian fish cakes), that’s also delicious with these, though nontraditional.
Alternatively: If you know of any other Halifax-area spots doing potato pancakes, do let us know in the comments! Otherwise, you probably have to drive to the west coast of Nova Scotia, where more French-Acadian villages remain.
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