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When I decided to go to St. John’s for a quick holiday I didn’t expect to be awestruck by its gastronomy. But I have to tell you, I was captivated. The food I saw and tasted turned my head and tickled my palate. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a kitchen so I couldn’t sample or experience all of the intriguing local product. But look at what I found: Marinated seal sausage, pork tongues, bakeapples(a sour raspberry), pickled rabbit, moose burgers and bologna.

And a trip to Eastern Canada is not complete without poutine! (In case you aren’t familiar, poutine is a Canadian dish, originally from Quebec, made with french fries, topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. Sometimes additional ingredients are added). I also succumbed to toutons-pieces of bread dough fried in left over salt pork fat. Dip them in molasses with a side of beans for breakfast and you are ready to take on a nor’easter.


Toutons with beans and molasses

I should not have been so surprised. Newfoundland is where the Vikings found plentiful fishing grounds off the coast and dried their cod on the shores back in the tenth century. The Basques soon followed. If you haven’t read Mark Kurlansky’s Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, you must do so, even if you never make it to the Maritimes. It’s one of the greatest food books ever written. Believe it or not, a page turner.

Consider the trip up north. St. John’s is a beautiful harbor on the North Atlantic. You can find the easternmost point in North America just 15 minutes from downtown. The colorful houses and fjord-like black bluffs are postcard perfect. The wind is fearsome, the music nonstop. It is so well worth the trip and stay in a place with a kitchen… to really savor the local delicacies!

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