Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Nova Scotia’s Traditional Foods


Recommended Posts

I miss Annapolis Valley apples! Has anyone had the chance to use any local apples this fall?

I remember all the varieties available, and I miss that!  :sad:

There are apples everywhere. We went to the Fall Fair Exhibition yesterday and there were free Valley apples to sample -- they were all good but I didn't taste any new varieties. Saw a 1200lb pumpkin!

We made several litres of applesauce from a peck of Cortlands, with a bag of cranberries thrown in for good measure.

Apples really are the potatoes of the trees -- or is it the other way around?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lo and behold . . .

gallery_42214_6041_269.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_13837.jpg

This recipe comes from Boularderie Island, Cape Breton (where Petra plucked my turkeys last fall!) and possibly from the Outer Hebrides before that. "More of a biscuit than a cookie" says it's author.

Just pulled a batch of Fat Archies out of the oven. Great recipe, but next batch I think I'll just mix the boiling water with the molasses and soda, rather then creaming the molasses with the butter, sugars and eggs. It was too soft to roll and cut as directed, but worked nicely with an ice cream scoop.

Would also benefit from some plumped up raisins I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw a 1200lb pumpkin!

And here's what a 1200lb pumpkin looks like:

gallery_42214_6041_10541.jpg

Hard to see just how big it really is -- if you want a sense of scale try googling Manuel Uribe, the 1200lb man.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fish and Brewis

gallery_42214_6041_44563.jpg

Pronounced "broose" or "bruce" and not "bruise" as the Wiki suggests -- this is an extremely traditional dish from Newfoundland and Labrador, but one can find similar stuff here in Nova Scotia. The idea is to use up old bread and salt fish when you're floundering off the Grand Banks in foul weather or simply having a Sunday meal at home.

You'll need:

- salt cod, or fresh white fish

- hardtack, also known as seabiscuit or hardbread

- salt pork, diced

- onion

Brown the pork and soften the onion, add fish. Soak the bread until soft and add to the mixture and mix it all up in the pot.

There are many, many variations but that's the gist. Often the scrunchions are sprinkled on top. Most versions are one-pot help-yourself affairs.

For my own version, I used my homemade pancetta with a monkfish steak and diced brown bread. The only place I've ever seen actual hardtack is at the Marine Museum, held by an able-bodied mannequin dressed like Frank Sinatra in Anchors Aweigh. It was not made of plastic.

gallery_42214_6041_185149.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_12123.jpg

Fish and pork together is a bit unusual, and the bread turns into a kind of strange porridge. When it comes to monkish, I'm afraid I have an unnatural affection -- so that was my favourite part. The pancetta adds a nice crunchy-salty dimension . . . but I don't think I could eat this way very often.

Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To recap:

Canadian English: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Nova Scotia English: breakfast, dinner, supper

Acadian French: déjeuner, diner, souper

Quebec French: petit déjeuner, déjeuner, diner

Désolé mais on devrait lire ceci:

Canadian English: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Nova Scotia English: breakfast, dinner, supper

Acadian French: déjeuner, diner, souper

Québec French: déjeuner, dîner, souper

European French (France, Switzerland, Belgium...) : petit déjeuner, déjeuner, diner

:wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To recap:

Canadian English: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Nova Scotia English: breakfast, dinner, supper

Acadian French: déjeuner, diner, souper

Quebec French: petit déjeuner, déjeuner, diner

Désolé mais on devrait lire ceci:

Canadian English: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Nova Scotia English: breakfast, dinner, supper

Acadian French: déjeuner, diner, souper

Québec French: déjeuner, dîner, souper

European French (France, Switzerland, Belgium...) : petit déjeuner, déjeuner, diner

:wink:

Bien sûr, je vous remercie. That's what happens when an Anglo-Canadian gets taught French in Ontario by teachers who've never been to Quebec. Although, I should've known better having spoke my first words in the late 60's whilst living in Beloeil, PQ.

I wonder what meal words are used in Haiti, Senegal, Vanuatu, et. al.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fish and Brewis

gallery_42214_6041_44563.jpg

Pronounced "broose" or "bruce" and not "bruise" as the Wiki suggests -- this is an extremely traditional dish from Newfoundland and Labrador, but one can find similar stuff here in Nova Scotia. The idea is to use up old bread and salt fish when you're floundering off the Grand Banks in foul weather or simply having a Sunday meal at home.

You'll need:

- salt cod, or fresh white fish

- hardtack, also known as seabiscuit or hardbread

- salt pork, diced

- onion

Brown the pork and soften the onion, add fish. Soak the bread until soft and add to the mixture and mix it all up in the pot.

There are many, many variations but that's the gist. Often the scrunchions are sprinkled on top. Most versions are one-pot help-yourself affairs.

For my own version, I used my homemade pancetta with a monkfish steak and diced brown bread. The only place I've ever seen actual hardtack is at the Marine Museum, held by an able-bodied mannequin dressed like Frank Sinatra in Anchors Aweigh. It was not made of plastic.

gallery_42214_6041_185149.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_12123.jpg

Fish and pork together is a bit unusual, and the bread turns into a kind of strange porridge. When it comes to monkish, I'm afraid I have an unnatural affection -- so that was my favourite part. The pancetta adds a nice crunchy-salty dimension . . . but I don't think I could eat this way very often.

Amazing to see another very old recipe preserved in N. S. Thanks very much for posting this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fascinating pictures, Peter! My mum's family always pronounced it 'brew-is', with two syllables, but they're from 'up Labrador way'.

As for hardtack, wouldn't Purity biscuitsbe a good substitute? If the Newfie shop is still open on North street, you might be able to source them there.

eta: link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fascinating pictures, Peter! My mum's family always pronounced it 'brew-is', with two syllables, but they're  from 'up Labrador way'.

As for hardtack, wouldn't Purity biscuitsbe a good substitute? If the Newfie shop is still open on North street, you might be able to source them there.

eta: link

Great link, thanks. Yes I think a Purity biscuit would be perfect -- they even mention fish & brewis in the ad.

I'm desperate to get my hands on the stuff for a genuine seal flipper pie but I'm getting nowhere. I've heard the stories and collected the recipes -- getting the actual flipper is the hard part. My brother-in-law in Conception Bay is looking for me but the timing hasn't worked out. I believe the seal meat canneries have all disappeared too.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Acadian Meat Pie or Pâté à la Viande

Who doesn't love a meat pie? I've made such things as chicken pot pie and steak N kidney pie, but until now I'd never made an authentic Acadian meat pie.

What makes a meat pie Acadian? I'm not sure I know -- most old recipes call for a flaky lard crust and salted herbs. In New Brunswick you might get diced potatoes in the filling. As for the meat you can use pork, chicken, beef, venison, rabbit or something else handy.

I decided to follow the recipe as best I could from the best I know (note the meat pie at five and six o'clock):

gallery_42214_6041_4237.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_3055.jpg

I'm pretty sure there's an English language version of this book out there but I rather enjoy fumbling through the French. I've lived and worked in both Quebec and France -- and partied in Saint-Pierre & Miquelon -- yet I'm still far from bilingual. Besides, it's not hard to translate "1 gros oignon haché".

I suppose I could have just used some boneless pork chops. Instead I decided to attack the giant pig shoulder in the freezer. These last few years I've been lucky enough to help raise a pig on my in-law's farm in Cape Breton as I've posted here. I didn't weigh the cut, but the aluminum sheet is almost two feet long and just barely fits in my oven:

gallery_42214_6041_150157.jpg

The meat sans bones:

gallery_42214_6041_27817.jpg

The bone sans meat:

gallery_42214_6041_70729.jpg

The bones were gently simmered for an hour and yielded enough pulled pork to fill the pie:

gallery_42214_6041_135634.jpg

The big onion was hatchet-ed and softened in butter, then flour was sprinkled in and allowed to brown a bit, then the stock was used to make a thick porky sauce. Thyme from my garden was salted, bagged and frozen months ago for this very purpose. I tasted the hot filling and then snuck in vinegar and sugar, a tablespoon of each. You can probably tell from the photo that I don't do much pastry baking. The bottom crust was blind baked to perfection but I allowed the top crust to dry out while I finished the filling:

gallery_42214_6041_47530.jpg

Served with mashed potatoes and maple carrots:

gallery_42214_6041_64490.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, Peter, the Newfoundland side of my family does in fact pronounce it "bruise." Of course, each part of Newfoundland is somewhat different, too.

Purity's "Hard bread" (not the "sweet bread") is the standard brewis across the Rock, as far as I'm aware. You should find it in Superstore or Sobey's in the seafood section, usually merchandised near the lobster tank. The fish would traditionally be salt cod, aka baccalhao etc. The fish is soaked and then simmered; the brewis is soaked until soft and then gently heated in the same water. Drain both, and serve with scrunchions. Onions in one or another form are ubiquitous, too...fried, raw, or sometimes marinated in a bit of vinegar. Leftover brewis would become dessert with a drizzle of molasses.

Of course, brewis was "back-up" food. It was what you fell back on if your potatoes weren't enough to carry you through until spring.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, Peter, the Newfoundland side of my family does in fact pronounce it "bruise."  Of course, each part of Newfoundland is somewhat different, too. . . .
Thanks, yes I've heard a few variations since I first wrote that part. Depends on the bayman your talking with.
. . . . Leftover brewis would become dessert with a drizzle of molasses. . . .
Without the fish, I presume?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm waiting for you to make those Oat Cakes we enjoyed in NS.

I'm a bit baking-impaired but I wouldn't let that stop me. It's oat cake weather outside . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wild Blueberries

Blueberries are a big deal here in Nova Scotia -- each year the Province exports over forty million pounds to Europe, Asia and the Americas. They're our number one fruit crop in acreage, export sales, and value -- according to Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia.

If you go to Oxford, NS you can find, among other things, a ten foot tall steel blueberry with a face and appendages. I know somewhere I've got one of those photos, the kind you take of a friend or family member who stops the car for a quick pose with a landmark or landscape oddity. I'll look.

Around here, blueberries traditionally show up with pancakes, inside pastries and muffins, or occasionally with more savory dishes. They're a natural accompaniment to fish like salmon, trout and char. For poultry it's often the cranberry alongside.

From the book and recipe pictured below, I felt inspired to try some blueberry chicken. The bird breasts and berries came from the inlaws' farm in Cape Breton, the wild rice is from Saskatchewan, and the peas and carrots are from Sobey's.

I was pleased with the results although I did omit the wine. As I've said in the Coq Au Vin topic, I would rather drink a $15 pinot than pour it on a chicken.

gallery_42214_6041_47547.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_51974.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_15368.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

More blueberries! A five pound box for twelve dollars:

gallery_42214_6041_15440.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_75898.jpg

They should last awhile. I just noticed they're from New Brunswick, oh well.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silver Hake

I love these fish. Also known as whiting or pinnacle, they're a small lean white fish related to cod and haddock. The Fisherman's Market in Bedford was selling them for $2.49 per pound which works out to about 45 cent a piece, headless and cleaned. One or two hake on the plate provides a reasonable portion of quality protein. They're advertised with the slogan "The Superlative Smelt" and I have to agree. These guys are tastier and easier to eat than the much smaller and poorly named smelt.

gallery_42214_6041_15616.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_26450.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_61728.jpg

It's popular around here to simply dust them in flour and pan fry them. Tonight I baked them uncovered for 20 minutes at 350F followed by 5 minutes under the broiler. I put a little water, oil, chopped celery greens and onion in with the 8 fish. Once cooked, the backbone lifts easily from the body and there are very few bones to deal with.

gallery_42214_6041_65419.jpg

Served with potatoes, carrots and a blueberry condiment inspired by local Chef Ray Bear's Blueberry Salsa (berries, oil, vinegar, scallion, salt and sugar):

gallery_42214_6041_20918.jpg

gallery_42214_6041_11185.jpg

Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice pâté upthread! We always make ours with a minimum of three meats (beef, chicken and pork), and ideally with some game thrown in as well (rabbit, duck, moose, deer, and grouse are all fine additions). In the versions that I've had, herbes salées are not used, but the meat is often simmered with savory.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peter, I really love this thread!

I´m a fan of whiting too.. it´s not very popular here, it´s considerd cat food :blink: but probably because of that, it´s really cheap!

And the paté looks gorgeous.

Edited by Chufi (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice pâté upthread! We always make ours with a minimum of three meats (beef, chicken and pork), and ideally with some game thrown in as well (rabbit, duck, moose, deer, and grouse are all fine additions). In the versions that I've had, herbes salées are not used, but the meat is often simmered with savory.

That's a very good point about using more than one type of meat in a dish. I can't recall if I've ever mixed it up in a pâté, but for a serious tomato-based pasta sauce I like ground beef, ground pork and ground turkey all together.

I've really embraced the idea of herbes salées in my kitchen this past year. Various takes from various countries are more available than ever, or maybe I'm just noticing them for the first time. A new fave is Sale Spezie from Tuscany -- sea salt with estragon and catnip.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peter, I really love this thread!

I´m a fan of whiting too.. it´s not very popular here, it´s considerd cat food  :blink:  but probably because of that, it´s really cheap!

And the paté looks gorgeous.

Thanks for the comments, and for explaining why my cat Beryl was so interested in last night's dinner. I thought it was the sea salt with catmint.

My understanding is that the lion's share of whiting finds its way into fish sticks and cakes from the factory. I've also read that it's a bycatch from other fisheries.

People should consider smaller fish more often because:

1. They're lower down the food chain -- humans have decimated the oceans' top predators.

2. Younger fish are less likely to have parasites.

3. Fish that are food for bigger fish generally have lower toxin levels.

4. A whole fish on your plate just plain looks good.

Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a very good point about using more than one type of meat in a dish. I can't recall if I've ever mixed it up in a pâté, but for a serious tomato-based pasta sauce I like ground beef, ground pork and ground turkey all together.

I've really embraced the idea of herbes salées in my kitchen this past year. Various takes from various countries are more available than ever, or maybe I'm just noticing them for the first time. A new fave is Sale Spezie from Tuscany -- sea salt with estragon and catnip.

I certainly never noticed that other cultures made analogues! Maybe I will experiment with salting various herbs from my garden this year.

Next time you make a pâté, try a ratio of 2:1:1 for pork, chicken and beef: I think you'll like it.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly never noticed that other cultures made analogues! Maybe I will experiment with salting various herbs from my garden this year.

The ones I've seen range from green (herbs with a little salt) to off white (salt with a little herb).

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...