Newfoundland has a history and culture unlike any other part of Canada, so it should be no surprise that the food you’ll find across the province is equally unique. While some of these dishes are found in other parts of Canada’s East Coast, combined they make up a particularly Newfoundland cuisine. Here’s a small sampling of some of the region’s most popular delicacies.
Fish ‘n’ brewis
Take some salt cod, take some hard bread (also known as hard tack), soak them both in water, boil them separately, add in some crispy bits of pork fat (better known as scrunchions) and you have a dish that was born on fishing boats that had little access to fresh anything. If you don’t want to bake your own hard tack, Newfoundland’s own Purity Factories sells it ready-made (along with other popular products, like Jam Jams, Cream Crisps, and flavoured syrups).
Okay, they’re not technically tongues—they’re actually a flap of flesh from a cod’s throat—but who wants to get technical when there’s a beautiful plate of fried fish topped with scrunchions in front of them? Like lobster, cod tongues used to be a food of necessity, but have since become a delicacy of the East Coast’s cod stocks.
Yes, flipper pie is exactly what it sounds like. Serving seal flippers in a pie traditionally follows the annual seal hunt in mid-March and April, which also tends to coincide with Lent (seal meat was deemed Lent-friendly by the Catholic Church in Sweden in the mid-sixteenth century). The secret to a really tasty flipper pie? Making to sure to remove every single ounce of fat from the flippers.
Every food culture has fried dough of some sort, and Newfoundland cuisine is no different. Toutons, which are served at breakfast or brunch, are traditionally fried in pork fat and served with scrunchions, although these days healthier oils tend to take the place of rendered lard. Maple syrup, corn syrup or jam are good with toutons, but the traditional topping is a drizzle of molasses and a pat of butter.