Fish and Brewis
DESCRIPTION: In summer we fish and jig squid. In spring we log and "make just enough to have fish and brewis. If the cutting is bad then we'll go in the hole, there's no other redemption but live on the dole"
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Peacock)
KEYWORDS: fishing lumbering hardtimes nonballad food
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peacock, pp. 123-124, "Fish and Brewis" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gordon Rice, "Fish and Brewis" (on PeacockCDROM)
NOTES [136 words]: Peacock: "Brewis (pronounced 'brews' in Newfoundland) is hard-tack soaked overnight in water, boiled up with cod-fish the following morning, and garnished with 'scruncheons' (bits of fried pork fat). Fish and brewis is supposed to be the traditional Sunday breakfast in some parts of Newfoundland. I [Peacock] personally find it virtually indigestible at any time of the day. It is one of those national dishes like the Scotch haggis which mercifully has passed from popular usage so that its peculiar attributes may be more fully appreciated at infrequent ceremonial meals." - BS
Of course, un-soaked hardtack was also nearly inedible (especially to those with poor teeth); its only virtue was that it didn't decay. Something had to be done to make it swallowable, even if the result tasted like, well, wet flour. - RBW
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