By Richard LeBlond
Fisherman’s brewis is an anachronism from the earliest stages of development of fish and clam chowders, when “sea biscuits” – hardtack – were a central ingredient. Brewis is what happens to hardtack when it is soaked in water overnight. Hardtack is a durable cracker that was a major source of limited nutrition on 19th century ships, and in the U.S. Civil War. It often consists solely of flour after the water is baked out of it, and if kept dry, can last for years. There is a joke among Civil War re-enactors that hardtack made during the 1860s tastes just as good now as it did then.
In Newfoundland, fisherman’s brewis was once the main meal for fishermen on a boat, and often a breakfast on shore. It is still eaten today, and is on the menu of some outport restaurants.
We are looking for great food stories!
We tried that print publishing thing, but books are heavy, take up space, cost a lot to produce, and soak up beer when your table at a book fair collapses… don’t ask. However, we still think that Canadians have some great food stories to tell and some great food traditions that need to be shared.
Which is why we’re trying an alternative, online version of the “literary food journal” project we started with Beer and Butter Tarts.
Here’s the deal – each Monday morning we’ll publish a piece of long-form food writing. This could be anything from fiction to an essay to a fully researched article. We’ll also consider comics, photo essays or a series of artwork. That piece will remain our featured article – at the top of our front page – for the full week. During that week, any donations made to our PayPal tip jar or Patreon page will be split 50/50 with the author (less processing/service charges). Payment could range from only a few dollars to lots of dollars – but will hopefully be a fair amount, on par with professional rates – depending on how much effort the featured writer puts into helping promote their own work.
We hope to start publishing your food stories the first Monday in March, so pop on over to our submission guidelines and send us your stuff.
In the meantime, if you’re planning on enjoying the content on Stained Pages Press, please visit our Support page where you can check out the options available to help us pay our contributors for their work. There’s a couple of tipjar options, as well as a “pay per post” option via Patreon at a variety of different levels, some with fabulous rewards.
Image modified from a photo at Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons fair use copyright.