Summer savory - the herb of Acadie

Summer savory

Summer savory

Summer savory plays a significant role in the food culture of Atlantic Canada. The herb is associated with holiday food and traditional meals. For example, turkey stuffing is often made with summer savory rather than sage (which is common in the rest of Canada).

Summer savory (“sarriette” in French) plays a special role in Acadian food culture. The herb is the main seasoning in fricot (rabbit or chicken stew) in Acadian communities in New Brunswick. It is also a component of the Herbes de Provence mix.

L’Ancienne d’Acadie is a Canadian variety of summer savory with a multicultural history – reflecting the various people who have lived in the region. It may have originally been brought to what is now New Brunswick by French or British settlers. Compared to modern varieties of summer savory, l’Ancienne d’Acadie is a short, stocky plant with a strong flavour.

The variety has been passed down from generation to generation. Jean Prudent Robichaud (1867-1958) received the seed from a woman from the Esgenoôpetitj First Nation at Burnt Church, NB, while he was working on Mi’kmaq farms using his draft horse. Burnt Church was a French settlement and Mi’kmaq community named for the incident in 1758 when the British burned the community’s church as part of the Acadian expulsion. Jean-Prudent’s descendants maintained the variety, which has been incorporated in the Slow Food Canada Ark of Taste.

You can learn how to grow summer savory and enjoy a delicious meal of fricot at the Albert County Museum on Saturday, July 29, 2017. All of this, including a garden tour and a lively discussion of the origins of fricot, costs just $8 with admission to the museum or a membership to the Albert County Historical Society (or $10 for others).

Please reserve tickets at the museum or by calling 734-2003 before July 26. The event starts at 11am and continues to at least 2pm. Cette démonstration est offerte en français et en anglais; this demonstration is offered in French and English.

This is part of Growing Together – a project which celebrates Canada's 150th year through food, seeds and stories! This has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. 

For more information about the lunch, museum garden or storytelling project, please contact Janet Wallace at or Melody Land at 734-2003.