Prodding gently out into the wild Atlantic, Newfoundland is immersed in and obsessed with the sea. I am also a little obsessed with Newfoundland’s obsession with the sea, as it means that I can eat fantastically well when I visit and differently to at home. Yes, they speak English and everyone says that it is just like Ireland but the truth is, it isn't. Newfoundland is just like Newfoundland and not like anywhere else, even if it has a slight comfort of home.
The area is quirky and creative. Not just in terms of culture (The Battery neighbourhood in Newfoundland has more artists in that postcode than any other part of Canada), but also in their approach to food. Locals eat lots of gorgeous wild berries, moose, seal flipper pie (yes, although I didn't taste it) and lots of wonderful local seafood.
Newfoundland is not just obsessed with the sea; cod speaks to the residents' souls. If you are lucky they will screech you in with a glass of the local screech (like a rum) delivered to you as you kiss a cod (all true). Cod fishing was central to Newfoundland’s industry for hundreds of years, until the fisheries suffered in the twentieth century and a moratorium was declared in the 1990s. However, the cod population is now returning to abundance, and local fishermen can safely indulge in cod pot fishing.
Cod swim into the baited pots and are unable to swim back out. They can survive in them for a few days and no damage is done to the ocean floor as they are caught. When the cod is retrieved it is still alive and can be dealt with appropriately, ensuring a high quality product. Cod pot fishing is completely sustainable and allows Newfoundland restaurants to serve fabulous locally-sourced cod.