*Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man*

That is the new and oddly underreported book by Mark Kurlansky, about Clarence Birdseye and the early history of frozen food.  I found it consistently good and enjoyable, here is one excerpt:

Birdseye asked himself many questions about food and survival in the subarctic.  Why, he wondered, did people in Labrador eat lean food in the summer but a tremendous amount of fat in the winter?  The ultimate winter survival dish was something he called bruise, which is sometimes known as brewis, a combination of dried and salted food mixed with a tremendous amount of fat.  Usually it was salt cod, hardtack, flour, and water, baked hard and mixed with cubed salt pork, and then boiled and served like a hash with huge globs of melted pork fat.  Bowls of melted fat were often served on the table to spoon onto food.  Birdseye laughed when heard a host say, “Have some more grease on your bruise,” but everyone then took a few spoonfuls.  It was a Sunday morning breakfast favorite.  He remembered that people also ate a great deal of grease in the Southwest, where it was hot in the summer.  They would open a can of corn and eat it with pork fat.

Here is one picture of fish and brewis.  I found this book especially interesting on the early history of European-settled Labrador.


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