Food ReportJune 19 in Canada
So one of the things that people always say when they travel is that they look for the "local secrets". I'm no different. So far however, in Newfoundland, things have kinda backfired. Tim Horton's is their version of Dunkin Donuts. Every truck stop has a "Tim's". (I've used them for their free wifi). And throughout my travels, I kept hearing people talk about "oatcakes". So I tried one knowing that from a chain, it wasn't going to be very authentic. It was actually okay. The history also surprised me. Apparently these oatcakes were a Scottish staple that is kind of like a less sweet oatmeal cookie but cooked on a griddle. And usually eaten with ale. Hmmm. That seems like an odd combo.
I also had the experience a few nights back of finding a food place where there were a zillion cars in front. Actually, mostly trucks. I walked in and it was totally like the scene in Animal House where everything just stopped for a second. There were literally twenty five or thirty men all gathered around tables. Eating, talking, enjoying each other. Since I had no food in my truck, I forged ahead and sat myself down in the corner of the room. A waitress came over and said, "Don't mind if they stare. They are just wondering who you are". Now THAT'S a small town! She told me that they had just started serving Rappie Pie for the summer. I asked what it was and she said it was a traditional Acadian fish cake. Served with chow-chow. Say, what?! It was incredible. And I don't mean that in a delicious way. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to eat pretty simply. Not much in the way of processed food or carbs or things that are fried. So when two big fat cakes arrived I dug in only to find that it was mashed potato with cod mixed in. Slathered in green pickle and onion relish(that's the chow-chow). I was all about having a couple of bites to enjoy the experience. Just a couple of bites!
Because I'm such a quick learner(haha), a couple of nights later I saw a huge line outside a little truck. I admit, I got kind of excited. Turns out, it was hamburgers and onion rings. Hamburgers with "all the fixins" in Newfoundland means mustard, ketchup, sauted onions, lettuce and tomato. On this 39degree night, it was really good. But here I was eating this food, again! I only felt a bit guilty.
Strike three came when I followed a big crowd into a diner. Everything, literally everything, was fried. So my new vow is to assume that crowds are like seagulls at the beach. They always go for the french fries. (Unless there are peanut butter crackers, right Vaughan?)Read more