Speaking in Cod Tongues

Canada’s culinary landscape is a delightful tapestry of diverse flavors, blending traditions from all over the world. In her remarkable book, Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey, author Lenore Newman takes us on a captivating expedition through the rich and fascinating history of Canadian cuisine. With a mix of historical accounts, personal anecdotes, and delectable recipes, Newman artfully explores the cultural significance of Canadian food, revealing the country’s unique culinary identity. We first met the author when we shared her book, Lost Feast at https://canadiancookbooks.ca/lost-feast/ 

One of the most impressive aspects of Speaking in Cod Tongues is how Newman weaves together the multicultural influences that have shaped Canadian cuisine over the centuries. From the indigenous peoples’ traditional dishes to the European settlers’ culinary heritage and the vibrant contributions of immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, this book portrays Canada as a true culinary melting pot.

Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey: Newman, Lenore:  9780889774599: Books - Amazon.ca


Newman’s meticulous research and engaging storytelling paint a vivid picture of the various regions and their distinct food traditions. She dives into the significance of dishes like poutine, bannock, butter tarts, and tourtière, exploring their cultural roots and evolution over time. The book’s seamless blend of history, geography, and gastronomy creates a compelling narrative that will leave readers with a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of Canadian cuisine.

Throughout the book, Lenore Newman embarks on a personal journey of exploration, immersing herself in the local food scenes of different provinces and territories. Her encounters with chefs, producers, and everyday food enthusiasts provide intimate insights into the passion and dedication behind Canadian gastronomy. Each chapter feels like an adventure, as the author takes us on a delightful ride, sharing heartwarming encounters and hidden culinary gems.

Newman’s passion for preserving culinary traditions shines through as she emphasizes the importance of embracing and preserving Canada’s diverse food heritage in the face of modernization and globalization. Her advocacy for sustainability and the protection of local ecosystems adds a timely and essential layer to the narrative, reminding readers of the interconnectedness between culture, food, and the environment.

In Speaking in Cod Tongues, Lenore Newman discusses the development of recipes throughout both the historical and cultural evolution of dishes in Canada. Since we’re talking about cod tongues, I thought it would be fun to provide you with traditional Newfoundland Pan Fried Cod Tongues in our Recipe section. The author suggests you use both tongue and cheeks of the cod as “traditionally both pieces of meat from the head were used, usually fried with pork scrunchions”.” You may wonder where someone in a landlocked province can purchase cod tongues and cheeks…just google it and you’ll find fishmongers close to you who will gladly provide this delicacy. Thanks to Bonita’s Kitchen for inspiring us to try something new! https://www.bonitaskitchen.com/recipe/traditional-newfoundland-pan-fried-cod-tongues/ 

Food cooking in a pan

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Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey is a triumph in both culinary storytelling and cultural exploration. Lenore Newman has crafted a masterpiece that beautifully celebrates Canada’s rich food heritage while also drawing attention to the importance of preserving it for generations to come. Her eloquent prose and deep reverence for Canadian culture make this book a must-read for food enthusiasts, historians, and anyone eager to learn more about the unique flavors and traditions that make Canada’s culinary scene so extraordinary. Purchase a copy at https://uofrpress.ca/Books/S/Speaking-in-Cod-Tongues or go to our Giveaway section and win the book!

Contents and images used with permission by University of Regina Press. https://uofrpress.ca/Books/S/Speaking-in-Cod-Tongues