This morning I was off to do some grocery shopping at Bidgood's in nearby Gould's. The mission was two-fold: to take a drive outside St. John's, while also figuring out what sorts of Newfoundland awesomeness I was going to bring back with me to Ottawa for everyone else to sample over the Christmas break.
To summarize, Bidgood's is a traditional Newfoundland foods and craft store. See their website for more information; they do ship across Canada. The store is in a busy shopping plaza, itself called Bidgood's Plaza. In addition to carrying the standard food items you could find at any Dominion, they carry traditional Newfoundland food. While this section of the store is realtively small, they do carry quite a few items, some more interesting than others. For example, there is an entire shelf of seal flippers packed in jars, caribou steaks, and rabbits (which are snared every fall by local residents, cleaned, and sold to Bidgood's). Not to be missed is the large bakery and the Mug Up restaurant, offering daily specials of fish cakes, Jigg's dinner, fish and chips, salt fish and brewis, and toutans. Best of all, the bakery and restaurant items are prepared in the store. You know it's fresh and local when the pies are wrapped in plastic wrap as opposed to being vacuum sealed by a machine!
So, after spending nearly an hour perusing the aisles, I decided to pick up a few things to taste test. I intend on making another visit to Bidgood's in a couple of weeks with a list of things to bring back to the mainland. Here is what ended up in my cart:
Home style rabbit pie... local rabbits. Tasty!
Home style flipper pie. I am not sure if the flipper is from a seal, but this was a must try! I saw the jars of seal flipper next to the prepared pies. In their raw form, the seal flippers did not look incredibly appetizing. We shall see how they are in a pie format.
There were way to many pies to choose from. I am repeating myself when I say this, but what really struck me was that a lot of the baked goods were hand wrapped!
I decided to try the Bidgood's version of fish and brewis. This looks to be less processed than the version I typically buy at Dominion. Bidgood's is also well known for their spreads. While choosing among the many varieties, there was a sign which explained that for a something to be called jam, the product must contain at least 66% sugar. Bidgood's therefore calls their products spread because they use less sugar and more fruit. Interesting!
With my grocery shopping done, I decided to make a detour to see nearby Maddox Cove and Petty Harbour. For all you Great Big Sea fans, Alan Doyle grew up in Petty Harbour. From the picture, you can see that we have only a dusting of snow on the ground. Fall in St. John's has been great. My fingers are crossed for a nice winter.
A very quiet Petty Harbour.