Monday, 10 September 2012

When Cod Was King

Dr. John Mannion presenting the cultural

landscape of Keels (Photo: Meghann Jack)

We explored the Keels landscape today with Dr. John Mannion, retired MUN geography professor and expert on all things Irish in Newfoundland. Dr. Mannion led us on a comprehensive historical-genealogical-architectural-geographical tour of this early Anglo-Irish fishing community, dating from the 1600s. He reminded us that the cultural landscape is dynamic, always changing and adapting, growing or receeding as time progresses. In the late nineteenth century, Keels had multiple fishing rooms and a peak population of over 400. Today, there are less than 100 residents and only two active in-shore fishing families. But traces of earlier ways of living and working are still visible on the landscape --- old foundations, stone walls, pathways, outbuildings and early house types. 

Whole cod (Left), Split cod (Right) 

Furlong Brothers Fish Plant

in Plate Cove (Photo: Claire McDougall)

Later we visited the Furlong Bros. fish plant in nearby Plate Cove, where Mike Furlong and Howard Quinton instructed fieldschool students in the art of filleting and splitting cod fish. We've nicknamed Howard "The Codfather", because that man sure knows his cod fish! The plant employs 100+ workers during peak season, processing cod, mackerel, capelin, fish cakes and other frozen goods. We now have about 30 lbs. of cod fish (all fileted by us with the patient assistance of Howard), fish cakes and pea soup to enjoy over the next few weeks. After learning to split cod fish with Howard and Mike, Junior Fitzgerald demonstrated how to salt cod. We'll keep you updated about this process as the fish cures. 

Mike Furlong and Howard Quinton (Photo: Jerry Pocius)

Claire filleting cod (Photo: Meghann Jack)

Edward (Photo: Meghann Jack)

Erin splitting cod (Photo: Meghann Jack)

Kristin (Photo: Meghann Jack)

Michele and Cyndi (Photo: Meghann Jack)

Noah and Howard Quinton (Photo: Meghann Jack)

No comments:

Post a Comment