The specialities of the Islands

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Le homard des Îles de la Madeleine

Here, local products are kings. The unique signature of our local products come from both our natural pantries, the land and the sea. The following are specialties of the Islands that you will get to taste during your stay. 

Our specialities


This shellfish is without question an emblem of the archipelago. Lobster fishing mostly started with the first waves of Scottish immigrants who were skilled fishermen. Since then, our Island lobster has been celebrated for its delicacy and excellence. A "jewel" at the very heart of the archipelago's identity and local economy, lobster has become a gourmet must.

La bagosse

Le loup-marin

La croxignole

Le hareng fumé

La pomme de pré

Spécialités des Îles


Whether talking about the grey or Greenland seal, this mammal has been inextricably linked to the colonization of the Magdalen Islands. Long hunted for their skin and oil, seals are now appreciated from nose to tail including their meat. Indeed, archipelago's chefs have become masters in the art of preparing this unique delicacy.

"Pommes de pré"

This tiny red berry grows naturally along the archipelago's dune  environments. Rocked by a gentle breeze, its small wild bushes delight both pickers and strollers. On the Islands, these "meadow apples" are also known as cranberries. Keep a watchful eye since they are to be found all over!

Smoked Herring

In ancient times, when La Grave acted as the archipelago's economic hub, smoking or "boucanage" provided an effective and essential means of preserving and exporting fish to market. While smokehouses  are now less ubiquitous all over the Islands, smoked herring remains an iconic ingredient.

Clam Chowder

Molluscs like clams (or surf clams) abound in Gulf waters and are prized by Madelinots. Thickened with potatoes and served in a light white sauce, the local chowder, or Tchaude aux palourdes as it's called, may well be the ultimate comfort food to thrill your tastebuds.


This Island beer lays claim to the most iconic beverage around these parts. Rather than adhere to any one unbending recipe, "bagosses" vary from family to family across time and townships. Mind you, you'll need to cozy up to true Madelinots if you want a taste of this local nectar, but be warned: this is no ordinary beer!


Pot-en-pot is to the Magdalen Islands what tourtiere (meat pie) is to Lac-Saint-Jean. While 17th-century French settlers all over the world usually added whatever meat came handy, Madelinots capitalized on the bounty of the surrounding sea. No doubt about it, this seafood pie has become a classic dish of our Islands' fine cuisine.

Salted Meat Stew

Salting meat  long stood as a favoured means of preserving food. This simple and effective know-how remains in use today, adding a distinctive taste to a few local dishes. With its slow cooking and abundance of root vegetables, this stew — or "chiard" as we call it — has enjoyed pride of place in many local cookbooks throughout the generations.


Associated with the seal hunt, croxignoles are a traditional, exclusive and even rarefied pastry of the Magdalen Islands. Unfortunately, the majority of visitors may not enjoy the opportunity of tasting these famous braided  fritters cooked... in seal oil! If you're among the lucky few, you may want to give thanks and nibble away.

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Les Îles de la Madeleine
Please note that all visitors aged 13 and over must pay a fee of $30 before leaving the archipelago for departures between May 1st and October 14th, 2024. Read more