Fisherman’s Brewis

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.

Fisherman’s brewis with condiments.

This is the fish:

Salt Cod

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:

Hard Bread

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

4 Comments to "Fisherman’s Brewis"

  1. Maureen Ashfield's Gravatar Maureen Ashfield
    June 22, 2022 - 6:56 am | Permalink

    Maple syrup? Going to try that. I like molasses. And scrunchions lol. When I came to Newfoundland, I was taught to use fresh fish, so was interested to see you used salted. But if you’re not using salt pork that would make a difference. Seeing Mary today so I’ll ask about the onions. Thanks for the article!

  2. Cheryl Benson's Gravatar Cheryl Benson
    June 22, 2022 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Well, this is a new one to me, and if I come visit, I hope you will make it for me as I doubt I could find either the salted cod or the biscuits. As for the scrunchions, they sound delicious to me, but I’m not sure about including all the rendered fat. Thanks for sharing!

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