Pursuit of Truthiness

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Cod

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The book is surprisingly great, mostly because I learned even more about history than about fish. Above all, that a lot of the original exploration of the North Atlantic was for fishing purposes; the Vikings were catching cod on their way to Greenland and North America and the Basques many have discovered America before Columbus and simply not told anyone so as not to give away their best fishing spot.

There was also some adventuring the other way by cod fishermen; in 1876 one sailed  across the Atlantic solo on a dare, from Gloucester to Wales. Later, another crossed the Altantic not only solo but single-handed, having previously lost his hand while cod fishing.

“The year after the Plymouth landing, 1621, while the Pilgrims were nearly starving, ten British ships were profitably fishing cod in New England waters”

Though the Pilgrims themselves were slow to recognize the value of marine resources- “In 1622, Bradford reported with shame that conditions were so bad for the settlers that the only ‘dish they could presente their friends with was a lobster'”

Once they finally did, “In Cod [New England] had a product that Europeans wanted…. this is what built Boston…. by the eighteenth century, Cod had lifted New England from a distant colony of starving settlers to an international commercial power.

“The entire Newfoundland economy was based on Europeans arriving, catching fish for a few months, and taking those fish back to Europe….. typical of the difference between New England and Newfoundland, Newfoundland imported Jamaican rum for local bottling, and still does, wheras New England imported molasses and built its own rum industry.”

 

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Written by James Bailey

September 25, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Coffee Xenophobia

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Has anyone else noticed Dunkin’ Donuts’ massive new advertising campaign, “America runs on Dunkin'”?

This theme, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that Dunkin’ Donuts is currently getting beat down by their Canadian competition, Tim Hortons.

For the record, I’m rooting for our northern neighbors, and am pleased that there is now a satrapy of their coffee-and-donut empire in Bangor, Maine.

America runs on Dunkin

Written by James Bailey

June 26, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Canada, Coffee