Mount Pearl, Netherlands – Hi from Bermuda my foodie friends!
I know the odd opening for a foodie column, but I’m sitting here writing my “Fit to Eat” column while visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Bermuda.
From one beautiful island to another, but their island is more tropical than the two beautiful islands of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Food is common ground, a global experience.”
– James Beard
On my way here, I was torn about what to write about in my column. I have written some columns from Bermuda during my previous visits, as there are many similarities and relationships between Newfoundland and Labrador and Bermuda, especially when it comes to fish and rum. Surprise!
However, it didn’t take long to figure out what to focus on this week once I started thinking about it, because I haven’t written about the famous fish sandwich – yet.
Of all the times I’ve been here and heard other family members talk about this delicious same, I’m amazed that it took me so long to try it.
According to gotobermuda.com, the traditional Bermuda fish sandwich is touted as a perennial staple. One of the top things to do, see and eat while you’re on your Bermuda Lists.
Heck, they even have an annual local best fish sandwich contest. Bermudian magazine held The Best of Bermuda 2022 where Seaside Grill was named home to the best fish sandwich.
All this provided so much fodder around the kitchen table that everyone had a different view of where to get the tastiest fish sandwich. There were suggestions for places like Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy, The Swizzle Inn, Woody’s and Blackhorse Tavern to where we ended up, Cafe Ole’ at The Crystal and Fantasy Caves.
“Food is all we are. It is an extension of the national feeling, the ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandmother. It is inseparable from those who set out to work.”
– Anthony Bourdain
Similar to cod cakes (Newfoundland and Labrador) or fish and bruise, everyone has their own take on the recipe. The same goes for restaurants in Bermuda that have fish sandwich on their menu.
The common thread that holds the traditional sandwich together? Fried, lightly breaded fillet slices stacked on top of raisin bread.
Now, although people have a choice about the type of bread, some people say it doesn’t really count as a traditional fish sandwich unless it’s on raisin bread.
It looks different, doesn’t it? It’s one of those recipes you’d never think of combining these two ingredients, but, boy, it works!
It’s my favorite flavor combination, sweet and salty. The sweetness of the raisin bread paired with the lightly salted fish was perfect. So much so that I thought, at first, that it was impossible for me to be able to eat it all.
Was I wrong? I didn’t leave a bite behind.
Nate, my brother’s wonderful close friend, who joined us on our lunch outing to hunt down the traditional Bermudian fish sandwich, was the perfect person to lunch with. He’s Bermudian and knows exactly what to ask for true island flavour.
The traditional Bermuda fish sandwich split includes: fresh white snapper scrambled and fried (there was also an option of wahoo), topped with coleslaw, tartar sauce and hot sauce.
Amazing thing! Even the hot sauce wasn’t too hot – it compliments the other flavors perfectly.
“Eat like no one’s watching. Enjoy food like that’s the only thing left in your world.”
– Nikita Dodani
Toppings and seasonings are optional as you can also choose lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Like most sandwich dressings, it’s a personal preference, but I totally recommend the traditional – hands free sandwich.
If you’ve ever come to Bermuda, you should add this sandwich to your foodie itinerary, as it’s definitely a go-to for dining.
Erin Sully is a recognized foodie and lives in Mount Pearl. E-mail: [email protected] Instagram: @erinsulley