Drawing on forty years of student collections in the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive, the researcher explores the many meanings of what is arguably Newfoundland and Labrador’s most iconic food: home-made bread. Bread dominated women’s work and sustained men’s, nourished families and, fashioned into desserts, added sweetness to life. Used as a poultice it helped heal the body and in the form of blessed bread, “fairy bread” and “bread for the road,” it protected the soul. For many Newfoundlanders even today, fresh bread is the taste of home. The researcher reflects on the centrality of bread to Newfoundland culture, as a food of poverty and of nurturing.
Presentation to be given at Folklore Studies Association of Canada Conference, Sydney, N.S., 2008.