CUISINE OF CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
Pairs perfectly with Acadian Sugar Pie
While there is no geographic region that is distinguishably Acadie, the southwest coast of Nova Scotia and several New Brunswick areas are defined by the Acadian tradition. The regional history is pertinent to creating this dish. Some call it Rappie Pie while others say chiard, pâté à la râpure, or paté râpé.
Culinary culture is most often born out of necessity, and Rappie Pie is no different. A warm, hearty meal for hardworking people, this regional heritage staple has been devoured on the Canadian coast for centuries. As some of the first French homesteaders in the 1600s, they lived alongside the British on Canada's east coast. But by the 1750s, the British sought to permanently get rid of the Acadians.
More than 10,000 were deported between 1755 and 1763. Some went to Louisiana to become Cajuns, while others went back to France, England, or the Caribbean. Upon their return to Acadia after The Great Upheaval, the Acadians were only permitted to farm on certain land. Potatoes were among the few crops that could grow there.
Read more about the Acadians Exile
Made from patates râpées, or grated potatoes, this dish is all about texture. Not a pie in the conventional sense, this delicious mix of potatoes and chicken lacks nothing but a pastry crust. Removing the potatoes' liquid, then reconstituting the remaining potato pulp with broth is the key to making this dish a success.
The traditional way to prepare potatoes for Rappie Pie is to separate the potato pulp from the liquid. This is done by grating the potatoes, a long and arduous process, to be sure. A modern alternative is to juice them or buy a block of pre-grated potatoes from the store.
Perfectly pairs with Acadian Sugar Pie
Chicken is the most popular choice of meat in Rappie Pie, but one of the best parts of this recipe is its versatility. Try replacing the poultry with venison, bar clams, rabbit, or any other lean meat you may have on hand. Salted green onions are a common ingredient in Acadian cooking and taste best prepared the old fashioned way. Just as the name would indicate, salted green onions are simply green onions cut and preserved in salt.