Growing up in Newfoundland and being raised on traditional Newfoundland recipes was both a blessing and a privilege. The food was simple and rustic, and it was hearty and delicious too. In this collection, I am narrowing down my favourites to showcase 30 of the tastiest home has to offer!
Please note that this is a collection of my personal favourites. All of these recipes have been prepared by me and all of the images and instructions are mine. Traditions vary across the island when it comes to food and food preparation and everyone seems to have their own substitutions, add-ins, and techniques. My list of 30 Traditional Newfoundland Recipes is traditional to me, my family, and my home.
I’m probably going to get some hate mail coming my way for this, but unlike some recipes that call Newfoundland home, my recipes do not include salt beef. It is used quite a bit in Newfoundland, and it was used in my mom’s kitchen weekly. But, I never did acquire a taste for it. In fact, I remember picking it out of things like my mom’s homemade soup. I ate around it and never complained about it being in a recipe. You can read more about salt beef here.
When I caught the cooking bug, I developed my own traditional Newfoundland-style recipes without salt beef. There are two reasons for that. The first, I already mentioned. The second reason is that John.e is a vegetarian. So, even though I’m willing to eat around it, he doesn’t have that option. But, trust me, Dear Reader, these recipes are quite delicious without it, and if you must have salt beef in your version, there’s absolutely no law that says you can’t! Go for it!
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DESSERTS AND BAKED GOODS
I can’t think of a better place to start! Newfoundlanders love things like freshly baked bread, cinnamon rolls, and no-bake cheesecake. And when it comes to dates, there are certainly more Newfoundlanders that love them rather than those who do not! Here are 5 of my favourites!
Everyone loves a good side dish, but growing up in my family home, the side dish was 100% secondary. When I cook, I like to think about possible sides even before I’m completely settled on the main. That was not the case for my mother. She opened the freezer, picked up a package of frozen meat or fish, and decided on a side later!
In most cases, a condiment is considered a sauce, but not in Newfoundland, and this list of 30 Traditional Newfoundland Recipes would not be complete without a few of them. What some consider a side dish, we consider a condiment. For example, you might want to pour gravy onto your mashed potatoes, which is a great option, but what about topping them with mustard pickles or pickled beets?
MAINS THAT ARE MEATLESS
I have not lived in Newfoundland for many years, so things may have changed, but when I was growing up there, a meatless main was almost unheard of! In this section, you will find some traditional Newfoundland recipes that I have updated from meat-based to meat-less!
COOKING WITH MEAT
If memory serves me correctly, the first vegetarian I ever encountered was in my mid-twenties. There are no vegetarians in my hometown – not one! I can guarantee it! There may be a few now, but I would assume they are few and far between. When I met John.e and started to experiment with vegetarian cooking, I remember my mom screwing up her nose at it. To her, a meal without meat wasn’t a meal at all! These meat-based recipes are some of my all-time favourites!
We had salads all the time, but very rarely did one of those salads have lettuce or tomatoes! Whenever a “green salad” was present, it was always called a tossed salad. It was prepared with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and ham. Even the salad had meat! Salads in our home were mostly potato or pasta-based. And, to this day, they are the types of salad I crave the most!
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING, SO TO SPEAK!
That’s how the old saying goes, right? In this particular case though, the proof is in the recipes! Since I’m the one promoting these 30 Traditional Newfoundland Recipes, it’s safe to say that I love them all. Over the years, I have made each one over and over again in my kitchen. But, as I said in the beginning, what is traditional to me might not be traditional to you.
If you plan to make any of these recipes, feel free to make them your own. For example, I know that my Aunt Louise will add finely chopped raw onion to her potato salads. And, my ex-mother-in-law will add chopped apple to hers. I won’t add either of those things to mine. They are not traditional to me, but onion and apple are traditional to them.
I hope you enjoy these recipes. And, if for even just a moment, I hope I have encouraged you to embrace Newfoundland cuisine.