Fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices are a rare find in St. John's. With the little bit of travelling we did prior to arriving in St. John's at the end of August, finding fresh produce is harder still in the smaller villages. Thankfully, MUN is not located in St. Anthony (the extreme north western tip of the island). I can only imagine how much the bananas must cost there!?!
Some things I have discovered while cruising the shelves at the local Dominion:
1.) Macintosh apples are the cheapest apples around at $1.49 per pound.
2.) Bananas are a steal at $0.85 per pound.
3.) Starfruit, guava, and pineapples are available but not on a student's budget.
4.) They have Niagara peaches. However, these are the peaches that we would point and laugh at while picking at the farms in Winona.
5.) The buckets of salted beef out number the lettuce heads 3 to 1. Seriously.
6.) Sweet and fresh corn on the cob is almost a foreign concept (read below).
7.) The discounted rack is where I now shop for produce because I can't bring myself to pay so much for a bunch of carrots or a couple of red peppers.
8.) If not already, the people who came up with the idea of canning and freezing fruits and vegetables should receive an award. Had it not been for Mott's or Knorr I would most likely be afflicted with scurvy by now.
9.) Beer is a food group, no? It's very convenient having beer and liquor stores attached to the grocery store. It truly is one stop shopping. However, if picking up a case of Quidi Vidi Honey Brown slips your mind while grocery shopping, fear not, because beer is essentially sold at every gas station!
10.) I am usually one of the few people who shop at the seafood counter, because everyone else is at the meat counter picking out cuts of beef. I guess everyone here has had their fill of scallops and cod. I wish I could say the same.
To put all of this into context, whenever there is a luncheon, working meeting, or snacks served while at a networking function with the university, I am the first at the fruit and veggie trays. I have also reconciled with myself that there is no shame in eating tray garnishes if they are leafy and green.
As for the sweet and fresh corn on the cob, I picked up a can of corn on the cob to try. This is such an odd concept to me. Instead of stripping the kernels off the cob and canning only the kernels, they can the entire cob of corn. There are 4 cobs, each with the tops and bottoms trimmed off so that they can be vacuumed packed and fit into the can. The instructions read: corn on the cob is delicious when it is warmed in boiling water. Delicious, eh? Costing only a $1.99, I was sold!
Can opener in hand, I opened up the can to find 4 cobs. They looked a little soft. Following the directions, I boiled the cobs in water for a few minutes and then sat down for dinner. Conclusion: while not terrible, the kernels are a little soft and there is not much in the way of juice or sweetness. Had I never tried local Ontario corn before, I would have thought that this corn was not that bad. Will I buy the canned corn on the cob again? Probably not - I know what Ontario corn tastes like. The canned kernels or creamed corn is more to my liking. That said, I am happy to have tried a Newfoundland delicacy - canned corn on the cob.
So what's next? Salt beef maybe? Unfortunately, the salt beef comes in large buckets or in large vats that you have to hook yourself, and I don't think I will be able to finish it all. I have no idea how to even eat it. Suggestions anyone?