This post originally appeared on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism website.
Newfoundland and Labrador is unlike any other province in Canada (in all the best ways), and the food is no exception. The province’s cuisine has its roots in the locals’ connection to the land, and a former simplicity of life. Because of this, there are a number of foods that are uniquely Newfoundland and Labrador. Here are five foods in particular that you should definitely experience while travelling in the province.
Most frequently eaten for breakfast — but delicious at any time — toutons are in some ways like a pancake crossed it with a donut. Typically the yeasted dough is pan fried until golden and served with molasses or corn syrup. Add a hot cup of your favourite morning beverage and you have yourself a fine start to the day!
Jiggs' Dinner with Figgy Duff
This traditional meal is commonly eaten on Sundays in many places around Atlantic Canada, but especially in Newfoundland and Labrador. You might have also heard it called a “cooked dinner” or “boiled dinner.” There are different theories regarding the origins of the Jiggs' Dinner name, but a popular one is about an old comic strip character named Jiggs, who loved corned beef and cabbage. No matter how the name came about, we say it’s delicious. The usual ingredients are salt beef or turkey, turnip, cabbage, potato, carrot, pease pudding, and more often than not, some kind of dessert.
Figgy Duff is a traditional dish, usually served along with Jiggs' Dinner. Unlike the similarly named figgy pudding, this recipe doesn’t use figs, but rather raisins, along with flour, molasses, brown sugar, and butter. It's all mixed together and then placed in a pudding bag and boiled. Very similar to the Scottish Clootie dumpling, it has its roots in the old Cornish term for raisin.
Fish 'n' brewis
This is a meal which has been around for quite a while. In the past, fishermen salted cod to help it last the long winters, as well as keeping it edible for long voyages at sea. The recipe may vary from community to community, or even household to household, but the primary ingredients are always the same — salt cod and hard bread, or tack. The typical recipe calls for the fish to be soaked in water overnight to reduce the salt content. The bread also gets a soak.
The next day, the fish and bread are boiled separately until tender, and then served together. You can add potatoes, sometimes mashed, but you definitely need scrunchins. These are salted pork fat which have been cut into small pieces and fried. Both the rendered fat and the liquid fat are then drizzled over the fish and brewis.
Bakeapple jam and pie
Bakeapple berries — also known as cloudberries — are found in northern tundra and peat bog habitats, are rich in vitamin C and contain few calories. They are generally ready for picking around mid-August and are notoriously hard to pick, which make them a somewhat rare delicacy. These delicious gems make for a distinct tasting jam, juice, tart or pie, and when paired with whipped cream they become a memorable experience.
Did these dishes spark your appetite for Newfoundland?