Coastal Foraging in Tors Cove Newfoundland

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Foraging for food is one of the best ways to develop an intimate connection with what you’re eating. Communities like Tors Cove, Newfoundland, offers prime coastal foraging opportunities and is a must-visit for any foraging enthusiast. 

It’s possible to forage for food almost anywhere if you know what you’re looking for. Knowledge is power, and what’s on the forager’s menu is driven by the environment around them and their ability to identify the food choices that exist.  

Coastlines and intertidal zones like the ones found near Cribbies Meadow Beach and the tickle between Cribbies Beach and Fox Island in Tors Cove offer special opportunities to the Newfoundland coastal forager. Tors Cove, located in the middle of the special marine protected zone and ecological reserve, is one of our favourite coastal foragings venues. Aside from the multitude of food choices this area has to offer, it’s also one of our favourite places to go paddleboarding in Newfoundland. This coastline in and around Tors Cove is breathtaking. Getting out on the water on a stand-up paddleboard SUP or kayak offers a wonderful perspective. 

Getting started with foraging can feel intimidating, but when you think about it, everything about you is built to be a forager. If you grew up in Newfoundland, you’re probably already familiar with foraging for wild Newfoundland berries that grow here in abundance. You may not, however, know about some of the other tasty things that lay just beneath your nose, overlooked by most and thoroughly enjoyed by a select few. As you forage for food, you get to see what you’re harvesting in its natural environment.  

Chances are you will be more comfortable with foraging for food than you had anticipated, even if it’s one of your first times foraging along the coastline. Long before humans adopted the modern agriculturalist lifestyle, we sustained ourselves by foraging and hunting for our food. Our biological design is a product of natural selection that favoured those who were good at foraging. It’s part of our DNA, and it’s an aspect of human nature that’s worth reconnecting with. Next time you’re out foraging for Newfoundland berries, forest chanterelles, or coastal periwinkles and oyster leaves, take a moment to pay attention to just how natural the activity feels.

Two of the most popular foods to forage for when coastal foraging in Tors Cove Newfoundland are Perriwinkles and Oyster Leaves.

From spring to fall along most rocky coastlines in Newfoundland foragers can find Oyster Leaves, also know by the name Mertensia Maritima, Sea Bluebells, and Oyster Plant. 

Oyster Leaf

Oyster Leaves grow in abundance along rocky beaches in Tors Cove like Cribbies Beach.

Periwinkles, also known by the name Littorina Llittorea, are locally referred to in Newfoundland as “Wrinkles”. This small tasty sea snail can be easily harvested during low tide from the rocky coastline in the intertidal region along beaches in the community of Tors Cove and at the beach at Cribbies Meadow.

How to cook Newfoundland Periwinkles “Wrinkles”

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil

Place Newfoundland Periwinkles “Wrinkles” into the water along with a piece of fresh kelp (optional)

Boil for 3 to 7 minutes

You can eat your Periwinkles hot but they’re also very tasty served cold. These pair great with white wine and garlic butter.

How to Cook Oyster Leaves

Remove tender leaves from the stem and discard any non-tender parts

Rinse in cold water

Steam for 3 minutes 

You will know the foraged Newfoundland Oyster Leaves are cooked when they turn a bright green. Do not overcook. Cooked oyster leaves can be substituted for any steamed green and go great with most dishes. Foraged Newfoundland Oyster Leaves can be served hot or cold.

Foraging in Newfoundland is an activity that you will naturally get better and better at as you do it. Most people find it easiest to forage along the coast when starting to learn since it’s simpler to identify species along the coast and in the intertidal regions, but any trip outdoors can be a fun foraging activity. If you’re new to coastal foraging, why not start by getting your feet wet with coastal foraging in Tors Cove Newfoundland for Periwinkles and Oyster Leaves.

Have you done some foraging along the coastline in Tors Cove? Do you have any Newfoundland Foraging Tips for us? Let us know how it went in the comments below.

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Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.

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