A Taste of Newfoundland

We’re almost one week into our time in Witless Bay, and still just getting to know the area.  I only moved to Newfoundland from Toronto less than two weeks ago, so I’m in the middle of the dual process of acquainting myself with Witless Bay, and the province as a whole.  Food is generally acknowledged to be a great introduction to the culture and the feel of a place, and it has certainly been a very enjoyable way for me to start to learn what Newfoundland is all about.

At the convent where we’re all living, we take turns cooking communal meals for each other.  Given our diverse backgrounds, these meals have ranged from pizza to the Iranian dish mirza ghasemi.  For me, though, getting to know the food of Newfoundland has been the most fun part.  Last Tuesday night’s baccalieu was made with salt cod, and I picked up a bottle of Pineapple Crush at the Needs convenience store the other day.  (Why Pineapple Crush is quite so popular in Newfoundland, I still haven’t found out!)  In our fridge, Jockey Club and Quidi Vidi beers share shelf space with blueberries and chanterelles that Andrea, Sharna and Terra found in the woods.

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Cooking duties in the convent

What has been even better is the way that food has allowed us to connect with the Witless Bay community.  As has been described in previous blog posts, we were welcomed with a lovely dinner at the recreation hall last Sunday, and we’ve received gifts of fresh produce and home-canned jam and pickles from some of the people we’ve gotten to know.

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Top: a recipe book Daisy brought, promising all manner of Newfoundland delights; bottom left: Pineapple Crush; bottom right: delicious jelly and pickles, courtesy of Dena Wiseman

All the food has been great so far, and apparently cod cheeks are on the menu later this week, so I’m looking forward to yet another taste of Newfoundland!

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