This week’s Meatless Monday is being brought to you live from Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.
This province was the last to join Canadian confederation in 1949 and it is also known as The Rock. It is also known for the screech in or kissing the cod, a welcoming ceremony for newcomers that involves a fish (i.e. cod*), screech (Newfoundland rum) and an oath. A menu of typical Newfoundland cuisine reads, though, like a book of horrors for the vegetarian/vegan: cod cheeks, moose burger/sausage/stew, seal flipper pie, rabbit, capelin etc. As usual, it’s the baked goods that are the most vegetarian friendly: figgy duff, toutons, and an assortment of sweets made with local berries .
- Figgy Duff is basically a boiled pudding. It consists of flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, butter and vanilla. I bought a Newfoundland pudding bag as a souvenir and shall be testing it out to make my own dairy-free Figgy Duff.
- Toutons are basically fried dough discs served with molasses as a breakfast or brunch item. Traditionally pork fat was used as the frying oil but a vegetable oil will work just as well.
- The common and beloved local berries are wild blueberry, partridge berry and cloudberry or bakeapple as it is known here. The latter two are quite tart so they pair well with the high sugar content that jams typically contain. Any of the berries can be made into a sauce/jam/jelly or baked into a cake, muffin or scone.
Alcohol also figures prominently when there is talk of food and drink in Newfoundland. Screech is the local rum and iceberg vodka is actually made with icebergs! I suspect they are not vegan beverages. Will have to do more research to confirm this. Stay tuned…
There will be more Meatless Monday on the Rock next week. Watch this space on Labour Day (September 2, 2013) as I review local vegetarian restaurants, share my experience of Newfoundland berry jams and chocolate, and discuss my recipe alchemy on Figgy Duff and toutons.