Moose Pastrami & Our First Taste of Screech

After arriving on The Rock and spending a night in Port Aux Basque, we drove the W-I-N-D-Y and rain-strewn road (locally known as ‘The Wreckhouse’) to Corner Brook.

It certainly threw some wind at us, but it also gave us a rainbow.  Thanks, Wreckhouse.

In Corner Brook we met up with our friend April, the ideal Newfoundland host. 

We gave her this title for many reasons, but the most important one is that she’s utterly devoted to her home.  She LOVES Corner Brook, and spent half our time with her lamenting the fact we couldn’t stay longer.  “Even just a few hours more – do you even know the things I could SHOW you??!

Despite the time crunch, she managed to pack a lot in.  She first showed us where she works – Newfound Sushi, Corner Brook’s first and only sushi joint.  The owner, Kevin Vincent, used to work as a west coast kayak guide and knows Kuyuquot!  It’s a small, small world.

He also makes daaaang good sushi, much of which utilizes local fish.

Then we wandered over and checked out the Newfoundland Emporium - a store for the curious. 

It’s filled with everything from old furniture and records to locally-knit sweaters and cod. 

April showed us their impressive variety of “Ugly Sticks” (musical noisemakers), and we had our first look at products made from bakeapples, which you’ll learn about in the next post.   

An "ugly stick."

Next, April took us on a hike up Marble Mountain to a waterfall, toting a bag filled with a thermos of coffee, mugs, Screech, scones, Fussell’s thick cream, and jam. 

We each topped up our coffees with a dash of Screech, Newfoundland’s quintessential liquor; it’s a type of Jamaican rum that first showed up when it was traded with the West Indies in exchange for salt fish.  If a Newfoundlander is going to insist you try anything, it will be screech (though this was not the moment we were ‘screeched in.'  Trust us, you’ll know when that time comes).

Later that afternoon, we visited the Marble Inn Resort, where we met owner Joe Dicks and Head Chef Nathan Hornidge.  Guests at the resort have their choice of dining at Madison’s or the more casual Cove Café, where we tried two things we’d never before seen:

black bear sausage,

and moose pastrami.

They’re about as local as it gets – Joe hunted the animals nearby, and Nathan processed the meat. 

He served the sausage with a plum compote made with plums from the trees outside, and the pastrami with house-made pickles.  Both meats were rich and extraordinarily good.  April, a native Newfoundlander, said she’s never tried better moose!

Ah the moose - our big, slightly awkward friends.

They aren’t native to Newfoundland, but they’re now abundant.  Just four of them were introduced to the island in 1904, and now, 110 years later, there are more than 150,000.  They’re a regular part of Newfoundlanders’ diets – far more so than the rest of the country.

Thanks so much to April for being the most passionate and well-versed guide we could have asked for.  And we promise – PROMISE – we’ll stay longer next time.