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Mjx

eG Foodblog: Mjx (2012) – Elderflowers, Strawberries, and Game

121 posts in this topic

What's up with the margarine?

I have no idea. I think putting margarine or butter under prosciutto or bresaola is barbaric, but I'm not eating it, so I try to remain calm. In Denmark, a major selling point for margarine is that it spreads nicely, and doesn't tear your bread. But when I've kept the butter on the counter, so it's nice and spreadable, he's said 'No thanks', and still reached for the margarine. I guess he's just used to the flavour.

Mjx, that would be Bonci. I have his book which I haven't decided if I like yet.

Mjx, that would be Bonci. I have his book which I haven't decided if I like yet.

Is the book dedicated to baking with spelt flour? I've always treated it precisely the same way as plain wheat flour, although I'll if a recipe calls for cake flour, I'll cut it with a bit of rice flour, since the protein content is pretty high.

I don't know that Gabriele Bonci is that much of a celebrity outside of Rome or Italy. In any event, his pizza is great, and according to knowledgeable expat writer and Roman food guru Katie Parla, the book is worthy.

Weinoo, that's why I put celebrity in quotes, but since mjx has a connection to Italy, I thought she might know who he was. Sorry i wasn't clear though. :sad:

I am not convinced by some of his weird pizza topping combinations, but that's just me. For example, licorice on pizza sounds vile to me. I do however like a lot of what he writes about the process. (and some other yummy combinations. ) Like I said, only my humble opinion. Still love his pizza. Can't wait for his bakery. :) (p.s. he's on national TV in Italy every week so may be at least somewhat famous outside rome. )

Mjx, Not at all dedicated to the flour. but he recommends it a lot. I am dying to try it and you've just convinced me further. Your bread looked wonderful.

Ha! I don't feel so out of the loop for being unfamiliar with him, now. And if he's putting licorice on pizza... I don't know. I love both pizza and licorice, but it would take some serious threats to make me eat them together.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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What's bread chocolate? simply formed thin for sandwiches?

Precisely. It's great stuff. I had another kind today, as an experiment, and can't say I was thrilled.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Eventually, I had some breakfast.

BreakfastMon2.jpg

This bread chocolate is not so good. Not very chocolaty, although I kind of like the texture. Crunchy. That’s honey under the chocolate, in case anyone was starting to believe I eat healthily. No butter, because I don’t like my butter in combination with anything else (on bread, that is).

Then, I went out shopping. I saw this sign (‘The fish man is here today’),

FiskeManden.jpg

and thought I’d get some fish (or at least nice shots of fish). However, the sign was deceptive, since there wasn’t any indication of anyone selling fish. No idea what that was about.

At my next stop, there is a sign that says, ‘New potatoes, vegetables, strawberries, peas’, outside a small, unmanned hut where you can get produce, and pay by putting your money in a tin just inside the door, sort of on the honour system. Apart from the two or three security cameras (out of frame).

LilleHusSkilte.jpg

LilleHus.jpg

New potatoes, strawberries, and green peas are the Danish summer produce trifecta, and I thought some peas would be nice.

Except, there were no peas.

LilleHusLeft.jpg

LilleHusCentre.jpg

LilleHusRight.jpg

Under the dark cloth are potatoes (the dark cloth keeps them from sprouting):

LilleHusPotatoes.jpg

I thought about getting some strawberries, but decided against it, since I had more shopping to do, and didn’t want them to get smashed.

Next, I pushed on to Føtex, the higher-end chain of a major Danish supermarket conglomerate.

FoetexOut.jpg

FoetexEntrance.jpg

Here, there were peas, although I only got a few, since they were on the large side, and those can tend to be a bit stony:

FoetexStraberriesPeas.jpg

They have a small selection of organic (‘øko’) produce, where I was hoping to find some EU garlic (I didn’t, but at least it didn’t come as a surprise).

FoetexOekoGroent.jpg

Towards the back they have wine and beer:

FoetexDrinks.jpg

The aisles are curvy, which may or may not serve a specific function, but I like the effect:

FoetexAisle.jpg

I mentioned that the selection of herbs and spices is a bit restricted, and this is pretty much it (the light is not too good here):

FoetexKruedderier.jpg

There is a fair amount of duplication among the herbs and spices: Santa Maria (dark-blue labelled items) is about the most widely distributed brand, Budget is Føtex's budget store brand (Princip is their high-end one), and the herbs in tins are by Urtekram, a specialty/organic brand (I like the tins, since they protect the contents from light).

One thing that always surprises me about US supermarkets is the vast number of breakfast cereal offerings; here, they occupy just one side of a short aisle. Muesli and various types of oats are popular, and Kellogg and Quaker brand sugar crappies make up the rest of the selections:

FoetexMueslis.jpg

FoetexSugarcrappies.jpg

There’s a small section of gluten-free items, and some organic ones (others found in the various other sections, too):

FoetexOekoVarer.jpg

The dairy section is fairly substantial. Naturally, I forgot to take a picture of the unusually wide variety of cultured milk products, something quite usual here (in the US, there are quite a few brands, but usually not that much variety; here it’s the opposite).

FoetexDairy.jpg

I'm planning more interesting shopping tomorrow/Wednesday.

And now, I need to figure out dinner.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I love seeing food stores around the world!

thanks!

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(‘The fish man is here today’)

Do you eat much fish? I remember from Sweden a long time ago that rodspette is very nice.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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(‘The fish man is here today’)

Do you eat much fish? I remember from Sweden a long time ago that rodspette is very nice.

Actually, as I was walking away from where the fish guy wasn't, I realized I wouldn't have got anything, anyway: fish is currently proscribed, because my boyfriend's father hates the smell of it cooking!


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Dinner was penne and cannellini, with pheasant, porcini, lovage, and thyme:

DinnerMon.jpg

I'd love to say the lighting is meant to be atmospheric, but I just forgot to turn on the light.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I'm loving this blog! Your photos are great, with and without contortions.

The pasta dish from directly above this post looks delicious, and strikes me as similar to the kinds of things I throw together from whatever happens to be on hand. Was it an improvised dish on your part? Do you tend to be more of an improvisational cook or a follow-a-recipe cook?

Pheasant sounds very exotic to me. I've had it and enjoyed it, but it isn't commonly available here - at least not in northern Minnesota, unless I go hunting for it myself. Is it easy to find there? I hope you'll follow through on the "game" part of your title, and discuss how one comes by game there!

I envy you your apparent fluency with Danish, Italian and English - and who knows how many others. Do you consider yourself to have one "mother tongue" that comes most easily?

Any insights to Danish culture that you can throw in will also be appreciated. For instance, the "honor system" shop surprised me only a little; the security cameras surprised me more.

Oh, finally (for now) - I just acquired lovage in my garden. I like its flavor but have only begun to explore its uses. Any hints you have about when / how your use that herb would be appreciated.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Their is a lovage synchronicity going on! I looked for it when touring 4 big plant nurseries on Saturday - none available. Panaderia Canadiense mentioned it as a factor in the flavor of Maggi sauce in the Banh Mi topic. The hunt is on.

The pasta dish looks and sounds delicious. Did you do a salad or vegetable with it?

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What type of chocolate is the bread chocolate? Dark chocolate? Milk chocolate? Sweet, semi-sweet, or a variety?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I'm loving this blog! Your photos are great, with and without contortions.

The pasta dish from directly above this post looks delicious, and strikes me as similar to the kinds of things I throw together from whatever happens to be on hand. Was it an improvised dish on your part? Do you tend to be more of an improvisational cook or a follow-a-recipe cook?

Pheasant sounds very exotic to me. I've had it and enjoyed it, but it isn't commonly available here - at least not in northern Minnesota, unless I go hunting for it myself. Is it easy to find there? I hope you'll follow through on the "game" part of your title, and discuss how one comes by game there!

I envy you your apparent fluency with Danish, Italian and English - and who knows how many others. Do you consider yourself to have one "mother tongue" that comes most easily?

Thanks! :) The pasta dish was improvised (I improvise a lot of the time), but it's the sort of thing that doesn't really need a recipe. I saw these (frozen) pheasant breasts in the supermarket, and thought they’d be a nice element in the pasta and bean dish I had in mind; the porcini came into the equation when I realized that I did not have a litre of stock in the refrigerator as I thought, in fact, I had none!

There are quite a few recipes I use fairly often, but I usually make some changes to them.

Pheasant (and various other frozen game) is usually available at this particular supermarket chain, and I'm fairly certain that it’s a by-product of canned hunting. You have to watch out for shot when you're eating it, or you can do really expensive things to your teeth. Also, my boyfriend's father hunts (of course, that’s seasonal), and right now there is some venison, some wild duck, and (I think) a pheasant in our freezer. Fresh game in shops is really expensive (so is rabbit, when it come to that).

My Danish is best described as ‘entertaining’; it’s relatively fluent, but patchy and unreliable, and I still make some epic mistakes. I grew up bilingual, but we left Italy when I was young, and I haven’t spent any lengthy blocks of time there since, so my Italian is not as strong as it was, making English my strongest language.

Any insights to Danish culture that you can throw in will also be appreciated. For instance, the "honor system" shop surprised me only a little; the security cameras surprised me more.

There are a lot of security cameras in Denmark! In this instance, a few security cameras are probably the most cost-effective option for minimizing theft, almost certainly cheaper than hiring someone to stand there (even minimum wage is high, here), and the odds of anyone stealing a bunch of vegetables aren't that significant. Plus, there is a bench nearby, which is usually occupied by at least one eagle-eyed resident from the senior housing centre next door, which is a sort of deterrent to anyone wanting to stroll in and nick some strawberries.

Oh, finally (for now) - I just acquired lovage in my garden. I like its flavor but have only begun to explore its uses. Any hints you have about when / how your use that herb would be appreciated.

I especially like lovage with game, chicken, and mushrooms, and usually include it when I make stock from these. Sometimes, I add the leaves to the mix when I'm deglazing a pan for a sauce. I find it works nicely with thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and juniper berries (not all together!).

Their is a lovage synchronicity going on! I looked for it when touring 4 big plant nurseries on Saturday - none available. Panaderia Canadiense mentioned it as a factor in the flavor of Maggi sauce in the Banh Mi topic. The hunt is on.

The pasta dish looks and sounds delicious. Did you do a salad or vegetable with it?

Lovage is one of my favourite herbs, and I'm currently in luck: there are a couple of extremely vigorous plants of it right outside the kitchen window, so I've been using it with a pretty free hand.

Thanks! We had the cherry tomatoes you see in the corner, and that was it. I've been tending towards very compact, simplified meals since we've been staying with my boyfriend's parents, usually just a main dish and a (usually raw) vegetable.

What type of chocolate is the bread chocolate? Dark chocolate? Milk chocolate? Sweet, semi-sweet, or a variety?

The Danish bread chocolate (the square-ish sheet on my boyfriend's bread) is plain/dark chcolate, and it's also available in a milk chocolate version that I've never tried. the Dutch bread chocolate (the things that look like cake decorations, on my bread) is both kinds: the ones on the left side of the bread are plin, the ones on the right are milk (the difference in these is mostly textura, though).

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Today’s plan was to collect elderflowers and make elderflower drink concentrate, one of the very traditional Danish things I like most. I noticed some great shrubs a couple of weeks back, and figured this would be the perfect week to do it. However, a friend has just informed me that I’m kind of late to the party, and most of the elderflowers are finished, and he did his... a couple of weeks back. Erm.

Well, I’m going to take a look, anyway. Right after breakfast.

Two takes on breakfast:

My boyfriend's preferred chocolate/sugar bombs:

ChokoCrappies.jpg

and cold pheasant and rucola with balsamic vinegar:

PheasantRucola.jpg

Part of the reason I usually skip breakfast, or have something that is not traditionally regarded as breakfast, is that I handle most starches fairly poorly, so many of the conventional Western breakfast choices don’t make for the greatest start to my day. Fortunately, the alternatives are fairly attractive (and they can out-do my boyfriend's breakfast in the 'You can't be serious factor', by several orders of magnitude, e.g. a Ritter Sport).


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Great blog!

For me breakfast is black coffee. Anything else isn't attractive unless I've been up for a few hours. Unless I'm in Europe and there's a big spread of meats and cheese.

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Great blog!

For me breakfast is black coffee. Anything else isn't attractive unless I've been up for a few hours. Unless I'm in Europe and there's a big spread of meats and cheese.

Thanks! And I know what you mean: I watch people eating solid breakfasts at the crack of dawn, and cannot figure it out. Even in Europe :wink:


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I went down to the water, where there are quite a few elderflower bushes growing, to see whether there were any elderflowers left.

Hylde1.jpg

It's been a bit overcast today.

I needed 40 to 50 flower-heads, or, according to the one recipe that gave weights for everything, half a kilo.

Eventually, found some bushes that still had flowers that were reachable, if I didn’t mind pawing through nettles and thistles. I’d dressed accordingly, and forged ahead.

Hylde3.jpg

I foraged further, and eventually managed to get 50 flower-heads, although some were a bit small.

Hylde4.jpg

Fortunately for me, when I scrambled out of the shrubbery and onto the main road, my hair full of twigs, the various passers-by didn’t give me a second look; the bag of flowers I was clutching told the entire story.

The next job was to pick all the florets off the main stems, since the stems supposedly make the concentrate bitter. My haul weighed 320 g, and took about an hour to pick through:

Hylde5.jpg

I really love the way elderflowers look, I find them incredibly frothy and festive, the way excellent champagne would look if it was a flower.

I used 2 L water, 500 g sugar (half the traditionally called-for amount for this amount of water and flower-heads), the zest and juice of 3 limes (I find their flavour more interesting than lemons’), about a tablespoon of citric acid (the scale died on me while I was weighing it), and a pinch of salt.

Hylde6.jpg

I boiled the water, dissolved the sugar and salt in it, then added the flowers, and the lime juice and zest:

Hylde7.jpg

Hylde9.jpg

It’s supposed to steep for 3 to 4 days, but I can’t find any explanation of why so long; the flowers go into nearly-boiling water, and they’re both fresh and very small (no more than 0.5 cm across, and many are smaller), so a long steep seems unnecessary. I’ve decided to taste it tomorrow morning, and if I like where it is, I’m going to filter, regardless of precedent.

At this point, I realized that I needed to get going with dinner, and since there wasn’t much time, I went with larb:

DinnerTues.jpg


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Fascinating blog. I know next to nothing about Denmark other than where it is and some vague bits of WWII history. Does its cuisine resemble any of that of its neighbors across the Gulf, or are there German influences from the south?

Interesting that you can eat spelt bread and not wheat. A newly diagnosed celiac who is having to rethink the entire baking world, I thought spelt was, like wheat, banned. Is it not? And does it approximate wheat in taste and behavior? If you tell me it's safe, I'm off to the bulk store to load up on spelt flour.


Don't ask. Eat it.

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I really love the way elderflowers look, I find them incredibly frothy and festive, the way excellent champagne would look if it was a flower.

I love a nice turn of phrase, and finding one in a foodblog is a double bonus. :smile:

At this point, I realized that I needed to get going with dinner, and since there wasn’t much time, I went with larb:

A commendable approach. Larb is always appropriate.

I am enjoying this very much, please carry on!

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Very interesting to see the concentrate made. I've never had the patience to pick the tiny flowers off anything for cooking.

Does no one mourn the loss of elderberries due to the harvesting of the flowers? Or is all the good flavor in the flowers?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Did you say what part of Denmark you are in? I had a chance to visit Copenhagen last year and had a great time.

I think Mjx is here per the OP:

But I’ve have been spending a lot of time in the Danish city of Århus over the past several years, and this is where I’m blogging from, so... welcome to Denmark!

One of the owners of Cafe Katja, here on the lower east side of NYC, is from Austria, where his family has an elderberry farm. There's often an item or two on the menu containing them, usually a cocktail, sometimes a food course - always delicious.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Did you say what part of Denmark you are in? I had a chance to visit Copenhagen last year and had a great time.

I think Mjx is here per the OP:

But I’ve have been spending a lot of time in the Danish city of Århus over the past several years, and this is where I’m blogging from, so... welcome to Denmark!

Thanks. I need better glasses :-)

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I went down to the water, where there are quite a few elderflower bushes growing, to see whether there were any elderflowers left.

Hylde1.jpg

It's been a bit overcast today.

I needed 40 to 50 flower-heads, or, according to the one recipe that gave weights for everything, half a kilo.

Eventually, found some bushes that still had flowers that were reachable, if I didn’t mind pawing through nettles and thistles. I’d dressed accordingly, and forged ahead.

Hylde3.jpg

I foraged further, and eventually managed to get 50 flower-heads, although some were a bit small.

Hylde4.jpg

Fortunately for me, when I scrambled out of the shrubbery and onto the main road, my hair full of twigs, the various passers-by didn’t give me a second look; the bag of flowers I was clutching told the entire story.

The next job was to pick all the florets off the main stems, since the stems supposedly make the concentrate bitter. My haul weighed 320 g, and took about an hour to pick through:

Hylde5.jpg

I really love the way elderflowers look, I find them incredibly frothy and festive, the way excellent champagne would look if it was a flower.

I used 2 L water, 500 g sugar (half the traditionally called-for amount for this amount of water and flower-heads), the zest and juice of 3 limes (I find their flavour more interesting than lemons’), about a tablespoon of citric acid (the scale died on me while I was weighing it), and a pinch of salt.

Hylde6.jpg

I boiled the water, dissolved the sugar and salt in it, then added the flowers, and the lime juice and zest:

Hylde7.jpg

Hylde9.jpg

It’s supposed to steep for 3 to 4 days, but I can’t find any explanation of why so long; the flowers go into nearly-boiling water, and they’re both fresh and very small (no more than 0.5 cm across, and many are smaller), so a long steep seems unnecessary. I’ve decided to taste it tomorrow morning, and if I like where it is, I’m going to filter, regardless of precedent.

At this point, I realized that I needed to get going with dinner, and since there wasn’t much time, I went with larb:

DinnerTues.jpg

This is awesome. I'm enthralled.

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Fascinating blog. I know next to nothing about Denmark other than where it is and some vague bits of WWII history. Does its cuisine resemble any of that of its neighbors across the Gulf, or are there German influences from the south?

Interesting that you can eat spelt bread and not wheat. A newly diagnosed celiac who is having to rethink the entire baking world, I thought spelt was, like wheat, banned. Is it not? And does it approximate wheat in taste and behavior? If you tell me it's safe, I'm off to the bulk store to load up on spelt flour.

Denmark isn't very focused on food culture, which makes it difficult to find anyone who knows much about anything more then the currentlty widely available dishes. Germany and Denmark seem to share certain things (prevalence of sausage/pork, potatoes), but most of the Germans I know have complained loudly about Danish food.

I don't tolerate spelt. But I don't have celiac disease, either; I don't know what the problem is, but it seems to be a generalized inability to handle a lot of starches. However, spelt is delicious (it's a form of wheat, and tastes like it, only more so), and handles like wheat (it's fairly high-protein, about 11 or 12%, according to the bags I buy)

Very interesting to see the concentrate made. I've never had the patience to pick the tiny flowers off anything for cooking.

Does no one mourn the loss of elderberries due to the harvesting of the flowers? Or is all the good flavor in the flowers?

My recollection is that elderberries are mostly seed, and not that much in the flavour department, but whatever the reason, no one seems to worry about it much (quite few elderberries do show up, since the bushes are often really tall, and the topmost flowers are pretty much always left).

. . . . I can't help it but the Monty Pythons come to mind whenever I hear about elderberries. :wink:

. . . .

I was wondering whether anyone was going to bring that up!


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Did you say what part of Denmark you are in? I had a chance to visit Copenhagen last year and had a great time.

I think Mjx is here per the OP:

But I’ve have been spending a lot of time in the Danish city of Århus over the past several years, and this is where I’m blogging from, so... welcome to Denmark!

One of the owners of Cafe Katja, here on the lower east side of NYC, is from Austria, where his family has an elderberry farm. There's often an item or two on the menu containing them, usually a cocktail, sometimes a food course - always delicious.

I'm pretty sure I've eaten there, and I'm racking my brains to remember what I ate. I'm pretty sure I missed the elderflower options completely, though. Are these all from the flowers, or the berries, too?


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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    • By ElsieD
      We are at the airport waiting to board our flight.  As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province,  I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
       
      Before Newfoundland  became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony.  Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada.  Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although  the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English.  French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else.   Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France.  There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
       
      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
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