Today I had the nerve to fool with a Newfoundland favourite: fisherman’s brewis (pronounced bruise). Not to be confused with fish and brewis. Fisherman’s brewis is traditionally fish and brewis mashed up together and smothered with scrunchions. More on those in a second.
This is the fish:
Sorry, I forgot to snap a picture before it was cooked and mixed in. I bought it at Carla’s Seafood Market in Digby, NS. It is the best salt cod I have purchased in NS.
This is the brewis:
It is also known as ship’s biscuit, hard bread or hard-tack. It is made in Newfoundland and a bit hard to find elsewhere.
There are no pictures of scrunchions because I don’t eat scrunchions. Scrunchions are diced salt pork which is fried until rendered and crisp and then poured onto the dish, rendered grease and all. Some people fry up onions with their scrunchions, some fry onions seperately, and some don’t use onions at all because there is always a kid in the family who doesn’t like onions (was that you Mary, or was it our brother?) Scrunchions are to condiments what pork rinds are to chips. Shudder. I never liked them. Even if they were good for me (they are not) I wouldn’t like them. So when I was little and refused scrunchions Mom would give me butter and molasses to put on my fisherman’s brewis. Today, to get the grease, I carmelized onions in a lot of olive oil and mixed that in.
I should tell you that if you bought fisherman’s brewis from the Lion’s Club booth at the carnival it would be mashed finely but I like it more on the chunky side so I just chop instead of mash. Tonight I did a taste test with three condiments and here are my thoughts on that:
1. Salsa. Don’t bother. It clashes. As would ketchup although I hear there are some who like it.
2. Sweet mustard pickles. This was good. It adds the element of acid to the salt of the cod and the sweet of the onions, not to mention a bit of colour to a very beige dish.
3. Table butter and maple syrup. This was the best; less intense than molasses. (In NL we called margarine ‘butter’ and we called real butter ‘table butter’) So good in fact, I had seconds and when I fry up the left-overs for breakfast I will grace them with more Nova Scotia maple syrup. Lance had his with just butter and says it was tasty and worth a repeat.
How do you like your fish and brewis?
© Judy Parsons 2022