Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Newfie Fries and Other Interesting Foods

Many Newfoundlanders live in the province of Ontario. They continue to identify with their homeland and are fiercely proud of their heritage no matter how long they have been here. Newfoundland entered into Canada in 1949 as the newest province. Many of its residents are of Irish and Scottish ancestry and the dialect, music and cuisine reflect this connection to some degree. Potatoes and fish are staple foods for sure.

Close to the hospital on an empty lot stands an old "Chip Wagon". It is actually a trailer and the flag of Newfoundland flies proudly above it. One of my patients who had been in hospital for three months following surgery made this the destination of her first trip to the outside world. I drive by the stand every day but have never been inclined to stop for a meal.

The Becka severely limits her intake of sugar, dairy and wheat during ragweed allergy season but had a craving for some french fries one evening. We decided to have some real french fries, not the fake, factory moulded items sold in fast food restaurants. The trailer menu was interesting. Newfie fries came with gravy, peas and stuffing! Poutine, the French Canadian artery clogging delight, came with cheese curds and gravy. And the most trendy option was nacho fries with sour cream and salsa. We settled for a small order of plain fries which ended up being large enough to feed a family of four. But the potatoes were real and they were hot, crisp and delicious. We hid incognito under a large multi-coloured umbrella and enjoyed the treat.

Most cultures have a signature dish and we all enjoy comfort foods that tend to be tasty if not the most healthy for us. Earlier this week, Laura from Somewhere in NJ posted a meme called the Omnivore's Hundred. Many of the foods are ethnic specialities. Here it is with my results. I have added some comments in italics. What are your favourite comfort and ethnic foods??

The Omnivore’s Hundred:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea -a patient brought me a big bag of nettles…not bad
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare -have you seen Mr Bean hide his steak tartare?
5. Crocodile – well it was Alligator, but only once!
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue- I still have a fondue pot
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush -eggplant is my “iff-iest” vegetable
11. Calamari
12. Pho – one of our favourite Thai take out items
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi - I love this dish! Recipe on my other blog…
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float -I hate root beer
36. Cognac with a fat cigar

37. Clotted cream tea- I think this an error. You eat clotted cream with your scones and fruit at tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail – Mom often made oxtail soup
41. Curried goat- pretty standard fare at Indian buffets
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut -once
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer- Delicious Indian cheese
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake -or “Beaver Tails” at the Byward Market in Ottawa Ontario
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail -sounds better when called “escargot”
79. Lapsang souchong -tea lover that I am
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum- I made this yesterday but the chili pepper was very HOT!
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (this is on the list twice)
95. Mole poblano

96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain
100. Snake

Postscript: My nephew Alex did not think I had enough disgusting food on the list so he has added some of his "favourites". The links are not for the faint of heart or stomach!

None of this stuff is particularly gross, so I’ll add some:

Kopi Luwak ,Casu Marzu ,Balut ,Escamoles ,Lutefisk ,Rover ,Bugs! .And last but not least – Ortolan


  1. I've only just 'discovered' Indian and Thai food so I expect my list will change some in the coming months.

    Those fries with gravy and stuffing sound great, btw.

  2. Kaolin..isn't that a binder when you have stomach issues? I have a very sensitive stomach so I haven't had many of those things...

  3. There are several trucks in this town but no Newfie ones. The best chips are to be had an independent burger place in town.

  4. A few I missed but some close substitutes too.
    Have to get going to finish the list.
    And then make our own from your reader's suggestions.

  5. Who knew there were so many ways to have fries? And who knew there were still places that peel and cut potatoes to make them?

  6. Laura- It took me a while to figure out the extensive menus at Indian and Viet/Thai restaurants. Now I zone in on my favs. Have fun experimenting

    Michelle- I just looked up Kaolin and indeed it is a rock! The only internal use listed is as Kaopectate. In that case, I have had it before. It binds you like a rock if you have to get on a plane while suffering from traveller's diarrhea. ;-)
    (I didn't create this "food" list)

    AC- It is worthwhile to check out the private establishments.

    SLB- I received the emails from you and Alex with your lists. They are worthy of a follow up post, especially Alex's additions to the food list.

    NCMW- The potatoes for these fries were not even peeled. I figure the extra fibre compensated for some of the fat.

  7. Wow, I suddenly feel very adventuresome (or crazy...not sure which!) And a stomach of steel.

    Didn't you get a hot dog from a street cart in NYC? What did you think of Durian?

  8. Oh, you now have me craving Poutine fiercely! I've never seen cheese curds for sale over here on the West Coast.

  9. Jas- I didn't really notice hotdog carts in NYC. Lots of bagel carts and fruit carts though...
    Durian stinks but is featured as a drink at all Viet/Thai restaurants around here. I prefer their mango drinks. I can only get cheese curds at the farmers markets.

  10. I have eaten at that fry truck, just once, and my experience wasn't as good as yours. Maybe it was just a bad day for them. I do like fresh cut fries with gravy and ketcup.

    As for that list...there are many foods on there that I haven't even heard of let alone tried. I have had Thai food few times and so far I like it. You have to experiment with the dishes to pick out your "favs".

    mmmm...Now I want fries!

  11. Cheryl- Even though I thought they were good, I won't be going back as a regular customer. I figure once they are cold, the fries would be pretty greasy. That list of foods is quite diverse. There are plenty of things on there I haven't heard of either.

  12. ate alligator????

    And Alex, that food list of yours is gross!!!!!!

  13. Anonymous6:00 am GMT-4

    I know the stuff is gross, but a lot of the stuff on that list is eaten regularly (or at least readily)

    My point with that was that there as a part on the list that said "underline anything you would never eat" and there did not seem to be anything particularly disgusting on the list. :)

  14. Becka- I was tricked into alligator on an appetizer tray at Alice Fazooli's restaurant in Mississauga.

    Alex- Your point is well taken!


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